Letter to freshmen: Enjoy the city of Pullman

Mayor Johnson introduces some new features of Pullman, airport expansion and community



GLENN JOHNSON, Pullman Mayor

Welcome to Pullman, and for those returning, welcome back. We’ve been busy over the summer.

For those of you who were here for summer classes, you’ve seen a few traffic snarls as the state fixed Highway 270 through town. Some complained that they were delayed in traffic by 20 minutes. Twenty minutes! If you were on the 405 or I-5, that would be a fabulous commute.

We were also busy on Colorado Street fixing the road and sidewalks at the street corners. We also did some work on Grand Avenue near Dissmore’s to fix the water main in that area.

If you were looking for Washington Federal bank at Main and Pine, it’s moved a couple of blocks up Main on a temporary basis. “Evolve on Main” is under construction where the bank once stood. It will be a five-story building, housing apartments and retail (including Washington Federal) on the ground floor.

The Subway across the street, which had a fire in May, should be expanding into the adjacent storefront that once housed a barbershop. You’ll also see some added restaurants coming to that old Pullman Building Supply building on Grand. The new owner plans to have a variety of food trucks inside with a general eating space shared by all.

The biggest project we have going in the region continues to be the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. You can almost see the layout of the new re-aligned runway that will be longer and wider. The runway and the taxiway will be farther apart to accommodate our current planes. But one of the most important features of the new runway will be the improvement of all-weather reliability. We will have an ILS approach that allows pilots to land at 200 feet and a half-mile. The runway is scheduled to be completed in October 2019.

In case you were wondering, this commercial airport has Alaska flights to Seattle every day, and maintains the same FAA standards as SeaTac or Spokane, just on a smaller scale. The FAA engineer in charge of this project is a Coug, Karen Miles. I’m certain that’s another reason why this project is going so well.

Our Town and Gown collaborative has been meeting and working on a variety of ideas/challenges/opportunities to improve your experience in town and on campus. I’m grateful to WSU President Kirk Schulz for his emphasis on building great relationships between the city and the university and how that benefits all of us. The vice president for Student Affairs, Mary Jo Gonzales, is also working closely with us as we address ways to make sure that your student experience is top notch.

Speaking of students, I had a chance to host ASWSU President Jordan Frost and Vice President Garrett Kalt for lunch so we could get to know each other better as the new semester gets underway.

Having become a professor emeritus after teaching my last class in the Murrow College in 2014, the one thing I really miss is the interaction with students. But I’ll see you at Cougar football and men’s basketball games as I start my 38th year as the “Voice of the Cougs.”

I hope you have a fantastic year at WSU and in Pullman. If you want meet or send me suggestions on how we can make your city experience even better, my email is glenn.johns[email protected]. Thanks for your time and as always, Go Cougs!