Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Drought is Cracking Mississippi Highways

Trent Avenue, also known as SR 290, near the intersection
with Starr Road.
It's not the freeze-thaw cycle that Mississippi officials are blaming for the poor condition of their highways, but drought. Yes, drought, according to the SunHerald, allegedly the culprit behind cracked highways there.

Maintenance crews are patching the worst cracks, but long-term repairs will have to wait until the state has some significant rainfall, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) employees say.

Mississippi soils contain several types of clay that expand when wet and contract when dry, similar to the freeze-thaw cycle that messes up our local roads. The shrinking causes a void between the clay and the asphalt and when traffic goes over it multiple times, cracks form.

Cracks are particularly bad on rural highways lined with trees. MDOT says a mature tree can absorb 100 gallons or more of water on a hot day.


Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/news/local/traffic/article117520608.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, November 28, 2016

Local Road Construction Update

SPOKANE VALLEY
Cowley Between Corbin Rd. and Long Rd.- Closed through Tuesday, November 29 at 5 p.m. for utility work. A detour via Appleway will be posted.­­

Sprague and Conklin Intersection- Traffic signal remains out of service through Tuesday, November 29 due to damage from an accident.  For safety and to reduce traffic congestion:
  • Sprague is reduced to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane.
  • Stop signs are posted on Conklin northbound and southbound at Sprague and traffic is limited to right turns only with no traffic crossing Sprague. 
  • Northbound and southbound drivers are encouraged to use Sullivan as an alternative.
  • Pedestrians should use extreme caution when crossing Sprague at Conklin.
  • Drivers are asked to slow down and be particularly cautious when driving through the area.
  • Expect congestion and delays.
Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project- Expect reductions to a single lane northbound from dawn until dusk weekdays with turns from Indiana northbound reduced to one lane. Expect reductions to a single lane southbound dawn until dusk Monday, November 28 through Wednesday, November 30.

WSDOT
No work scheduled.

SPOKANE CITY
37th Avenue, Regal Street to Custer Street- 37th Avenue was open for the long weekend but closes again today to finish concrete and irrigation work. The detour route is Glenrose to Palouse Highway to Regal Street.  Remaining landscape work will be completed in the spring of 2017. This work is to reconstruct the road, curbs, sidewalk, bike lanes, stormwater piping, and a 36 inch water main.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- Summit Blvd./Bridge Ave. is closed. Lincoln has one northbound lane open.  Lincoln southbound is closed at Broadway. This project will construct a Combined Sewer Overflow Tank (CSO) tank and piping.


Leaf Pickup-  
Leaf Packer Pickup – Finishing Hamblen area and possibly moving to the Liberty/Lincoln area, which is South of I-90, North of 20th Ave., East of S.E. Blvd., and West of Ray St.
·    Clamshell Loader – Finished Driscoll Rt., and will start the Shadle Park area:  South of Wellesley, North of Garland, West of Wall, and East of Belt.
·    Hand Pick 10 P.M. to 2:30 A.M.- Finished the Woodridge and Pacific Park areas, will be moving to the Indian Trail Rt.:  South of Johansen Rd., North of Francis, West of Cedar St., and East of Nine Mile Rd.
      Residential Packer Leaf Sweeping- Working in Rockwood area:  South of I-90, North of 29th, West of S.E. Blvd., East of Grand Blvd.  Then moving to Hamblen:  South of 29th, North of High Dr. /54th, West of Perry East of Perry (S. from 37th)/Cook (N. from 37th), and West of Bernard St.

      Martin Luther Kind Jr. Way Phase 2A, Sherman to Erie Street- Rock excavation is in progress. This is a continuation of the Riverside Extension Phase 1 project. This project will provide a route that eliminates several safety issues and increases capacity into and out of the downtown area. Improvements include a new street, utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements, street lighting, street trees, and re-vegetation with native species. In lieu of sidewalks, a section of the Ben Burr trail will be separated from the roadway traffic and aligned parallel to the Spokane River.

Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO 12) Project- Pettet Drive is closed. The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettet Drive is in service. The leg that comes off of Pettet northbound re-directs citizens to Northwest Blvd. Vehicles traveling southbound on Down River Drive have two options; enter onto TJ Meenach or continue under the bridge and turn uphill to Northwest Blvd. This project will build a 690,000 gallon storage facility and connections to existing CSO Basin 10 outfall.  Work also includes repaving of Pettet Drive and pedestrian/bike trail construction.


SPOKANE COUNTY
Country Homes Boulevard, Wall to SR 395- 
Stormwater work in the raised islands, install topsoil. Look for occasional lane closures for cleanup work, expect delays, on street parking is limited.
     
      Holcomb Road (North side of Hwy 206)- Culverts failing under the road. Detour in place. Complete Road Closure.
     Geiger Blvd. Westbow Boulevard (between Thomas Mallen Road and Soda Road)- Geotechnical core drilling. Lane restrictions with flaggers.

55th Ave., Regal Ave., 57th Ave.- New Electrical Poles. Lane restrictions with flaggers until mid-December.

61st (Palouse Highway to Yale Road) and Ben Burr Road (from 57th to 65th)- Road reconstruction and Waterline installation. Road closure, detour in place.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Secret Santas to Plug Downtown Parking Meters

Will YOU hit the free parking lottery?
City of Spokane Parking Enforcement staff will be performing random acts of free parking for the holiday season. Parking enforcement officers will start plugging parking meters for unsuspecting downtown shoppers as they arrive to their parking spot Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (normal parking meter hours). Parking enforcement officers will randomly be providing free parking to citizens from Friday, November 25 to Saturday, December 31.

This holiday tradition encourages people to come downtown during the holiday season to celebrate and support local businesses. Money used to plug parking meters is donated from the City’s parking meter revenue funds.

The ‘Secret Santa’ parking enforcement officers only plug meters of drivers who just pulled into a parking spot. They do NOT re-plug meters for vehicles already parked at a metered spot. Vehicles are not allowed to remain parked at a meter beyond the maximum time allowed by that meter, per Spokane Municipal Code, Section 16A.61.561.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Enjoy Your Long Holiday Weekend

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, all area government offices, including SRTC, will be closed this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24 and 25.

And parking meters are free on Thursday. Normal meter rates apply Friday, Saturday and Sunday though, so if you are doing Black Friday shopping, be sure to pay or you will get a ticket.


DOT Rules Expected to be Implemented Before Jan. 1

With roughly 60 days left in the Whitehouse, what transportation policies will the Obama administration push through? According to Politico, they're looking at drone use, vehicle technology, and airline passenger protections, among others. A round up of rules expected to be passed before the end of the year can be found at the link above, along with the ones that are expected to be undone or put aside for the time being, once president-elect Trump takes office in January.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Transportation Advisory Committee Meets 11/28

The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), SRTC's citizens' advisory group, meets for their last meeting of the year on Monday, November 28. The meeting agenda is here. One particularly interesting item is a presentation on Transportation as a Social Determinant of Health, from the group Better Health Together.

All SRTC committee meetings are open to the public so feel free to attend if there is anything on the agenda that interests you.

Will Your Future Home Be In A Parking Garage?

Will your next home be in a parking garage? Possibly, but not because you are living in your car. Wired says people in the future may be living in remodeled parking structures as parking rules change and less parking is needed as new forms of transportation become available along with new technology.

Currently, a tower is in the works at 4th and Columbia in Seattle which will include residential units, a hotel, office space, retail, parking and plans to overhaul the parking levels into living space in the future when it becomes needed.

It's not as easy as it sounds though- floors must be reinforced to support future furniture and appliances, support columns must be placed so they don’t ruin the look of a future living room, ceilings should be high in order to be attractive and areas must be preserved where ductwork can eventually be placed.

And floor leveling is the biggest challenge. Most garages are built on a slight incline, so water or snow vehicles carry in runs toward built-in drains. The Seattle tower solves this by building completely flat floor plates and using an elevator to carry cars between floors.

One drawback though- building for a future retrofit costs more money, usually at least five percent more, which can add up to several million. 

"Then and Now" Photos of Spokane International Airport

The "Then and Now" pictures of Spokane International Airport in today's Spokesman-Review are pretty cool. You can see the "futuristic" design in the first picture, then how the airport has been added onto many times since it opened in 1965 in the "now" picture. Another cool thing, at least one of the architects behind the design, Warren Heylman, is still working today, 51 years later. Photos courtesy of the Spokesman-Review.



Friday, November 18, 2016

LV Streetlights That Are Powered by Pedestrians

Where is the best place to test market street lights that work on pedestrian power? Las Vegas of course- where there are lots of people walking around.

According to Engadget, tech startup EnGoPlanet is testing new LED streetlights there that are powered by both photovoltaic panels and kinetic footstep pads. The setup not only lights up the Boulder Plaza in Vegas, but powers security cameras, WiFi hotspots and portable charging stations.

The system uses a solar panel to charge a battery that powers the LED streetlights at night along with the charging stations and WiFi hotspots. When the sun isn't out though, there are kinetic pads installed in the sidewalk that are connected to micro-generators that put out 4 to 8 watts per footstep, depending on the pressure. This powers those same items.

City workers can change the color of the LED lights for special events and the system even has sensors that can do environmental and air quality monitoring and "smart analytics," such as counting footsteps to determine the amount of pedestrian traffic.

Local Road Construction Update


SPOKANE VALLEYSullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project- Northbound traffic may be reduced to one lane north of Indiana during working hours. Both northbound lanes will be open during non-working hours. Turns from Indiana onto northbound Sullivan may be reduced to one lane.

WSDOTHoliday Travel Alert- WSDOT construction work will not affect traffic from noon, Wednesday November 23rd, through Sunday, November 27th, in anticipation of increased Thanksgiving holiday traffic. Drivers should be prepared for winter driving conditions, especially if they plan to travel across mountain passes or in higher elevation areas such as the Palouse or the mountains of northeast Washington. 
WSU Football-On Friday, November 25, expect congestion on US 195 and SR 27 between Spokane and Pullman, plus SR 26 between Vantage and Colfax, as fans travel to and from the WSU Cougar/UW Husky Apple Cup football game.  Game time is 12:30 p.m.
SPOKANE CITY37th Avenue, Regal to Custer Streets- Phase I of this project is scheduled for completion Saturday, November 26. At this time landscape work will focus on addressing areas that have a safety concern.  The remaining landscape work will be completed in the spring of 2017.  37th Avenue from Freya to Custer Street is closed. The detour route is Glenrose to Palouse Highway to Regal Street.  This work is to reconstruct the road, include pavement replacement, curbs, sidewalk, bike lanes, stormwater piping, and a 36 inch water main.
Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- 
Summit Blvd./Bridge Ave. is closed to traffic. Lincoln has one northbound lane open.  Lincoln southbound is closed at Broadway. This project will construct a Combined Sewer Overflow Tank (CSO) tank and piping.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way Pahse 2A, Sherman to Erie Streets-
 T
his project will provide a route that eliminates several safety issues and increases capacity into and out of the downtown area. Improvements include a new asphalt  street, utility infrastructure, storm drainage, street lighting, street trees, and re-vegetation. In lieu of sidewalks, a section of the Ben Burr trail will be separated from the roadway traffic and aligned parallel to the Spokane River.

Monroe and Lincoln Street, Main Avenue to 2nd AvenuePaving is complete for this year.  Top lift paving is scheduled for the 2017 construction season. Utility adjustments, signals and lighting along with curb and sidewalk work continues with 4 way stops at the intersections of 1st, Sprague, and Riverside Avenues.  This is a full depth roadway replacement and full depth replacement between curbs on Lincoln Street and Monroe Street; Main Avenue from Monroe Street to Lincoln Street; and Monroe Street from Spokane Falls Boulevard to Main Avenue. Some minor curbing and ADA curb ramps will be installed where necessary.

Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow Project- Pettet Drive is closed to traffic. The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettit Drive (three out of the four legs) is in service. The leg that comes off of Pettet north bound re-directs citizens to Northwest Blvd. Vehicles traveling southbound on Down River Drive have two options;  enter onto TJ Meenach or continue under the bridge and turn uphill to Northwest Blvd. This project will build a 690,000 gallon storage facility and connections to existing CSO Basin 10 outfall.  Work also includes repaving of Pettet Drive and pedestrian/bike trail construction.

Residential Crack Sealing- Working on Pittsburg 29th to 34th Avenue and Lacey/ Hoffman et al, bounded by Queen to Hoffman-Crestline to Haven.

SPOKANE COUNTYCountry Homes (Wall to SR 395)- Stormwater work in the raised islands. Traffic is one lane in each direction; side road access to and from Country Homes is restricted and on street parking is limited.

Centennial Trail Work- Improvement of the trail, tree root removal, pavement removal and replacement, repair concrete, crack sealing. Portions of the trail may be closed to pedestrian traffic.

Gleneden, Edencrest and Little Spokane Connection Road (Wandermere Golf Course area)- Repairing hillsides and retrofit Stormwater facilities. Possible lane restrictions for stormwater work and shoulder work.

55th Ave, Regal Ave, 57th Ave- New Electrical Poles. Lane restrictions with flaggers through early December.

Barker Road (11th Ave. to 15th Ave.)- Road work and widening. Lane restrictions, watch for flaggers.

Gibbs (Sherman Road to Hatch Road)- Ditching and graveling the road. Road closed.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Work Starting on Long-Range Transportation Plan

We made the Journal of Business today. That's because SRTC is starting an update to the long-range transportation program, Horizon 2040. So here's how it works; this summer we started talking to groups of stakeholders such as planning commissioners, neighborhood representatives, healthcare workers, major employers, emergency services staff, freight movement companies, education representatives, young people and senior citizens, transit users, people who bicycle or walk for transportation, and many others. We asked them a series of questions about what is working well for transportation in our area, what isn't, what they would like to see in the future, etc. That input will help to shape the plan. Plus, once we have a rough idea what will be in it, we will be out talking to the public MORE about Horizon 2040.

Local jurisdictions who do road construction projects will submit projects to us to be included in the plan that they consider to be priorities for their city or area. Staff will put them through a process to determine if they are considered "regionally significant" and appropriate for the plan. Unfortunately, the plan has to be "financially constrained," meaning that we have to prove that there are funds reasonably available to cover all the projects included in Horizon 2040. That means that the plan will only include a limited number of projects.

Being included in the plan doesn't guarantee a project will get funded though, just that it is a priority for our region. However, when applying for state or federal funds, one criteria is often being able to show that the project requesting funding is considered regionally significant, and inclusion in Horizon 2040 will do that.

Anyway, read the article, it explains a lot more about the long-range plan. Plus you will be hearing a lot about it for the next year! The Journal of Business article is here.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BNSF Reaches Agreement With Environmental Groups Over Coal Trains

The Spokesman-Review says BNSF Railway Co. has reached a settlement with Washington State environmental groups over coal dust
from uncovered train cars.

The railroad agreed to a two-year study of methods for covering rail cars carrying coal. BNSF will also spend $1 million on state environmental projects and clean up deposits of coal and petroleum byproducts near water.

The Spokane Riverkeeper was among seven groups that sued BNSF in 2013 under the federal Clean Water Act, saying coal particles and dust from trains is polluting the Spokane River, its Hangman Creek tributary and other Washington waterways such as the Columbia River and Puget Sound.

In late October, a federal judge ruled that BNSF could be held liable if environmental groups could show during trial that coal was being spilled directly from trains into waterways. In that case, passing trains could be considered pollution sources, he said.

Hundreds of BNSF trains ship coal to ports in Washington and British Columbia each year. Some of the coal is unloaded through the bottom of rail cars and other cars are flipped over to dump it out. The different unloading methods make it difficult to cover the loads.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Seattle Bridge Designed to be Earthquake Proof

You've heard a lot about the tunnel being bored under Seattle for a new freeway, but what you haven't heard much about is a bridge now being constructed at the south entrance to the tunnel. According to KING 5 TV though, it's not just any bridge though, it's one that is designed to be earthquake proof.

The bridge will take traffic from northbound State Route 99 into the city. As drivers cross it, they will not see any significant difference between this bridge and traditional ones. This bridge is made largely of the same materials, such as concrete, rebar and pre-stressed concrete beams for the deck.

The joints are what is revolutionary though. They are made designed to be flexible, with reinforcing bars made from a special metal alloy that holds its shape, snapping back to its original position once an earthquake is over. A five-foot bar can stretch as much as five or six inches and return to its previous length. Conversely, once steel rebar is deformed, it holds that shape

The material is expensive and, at current prices, would add five to seven percent to the cost of the structure. The savings could come if an earthquake actually happens though. The bridge would allow the economy and society to recover far more quickly by remaining safe for people to use to keep traffic, and freight, flowing.

Data Says Walking to School is on the Rise

Photo courtesy of the Spokesman-Review.
New research from the National Center for Safe Routes to School shows that nationwide, walking to and from school increased from less than 14 percent to more than 17 percent of all trips between the 2007-08 school year and 2014.

The full report on the study can be found here.

While not nationally representative of all American schools, the travel patterns documented by the study’s 6,500 schools show an upward trend in walking.

In 1969, 48 percent of students in grades K through eight walked or rode their bikes to school. That's compared to only 13 percent in 2009. The study "Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School from 2007 to 2014" was compiled from 720,000 parent surveys throughout the United States. Researchers analyzed school travel patterns to learn more about school and household factors that may influence families’ school travel mode choices.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Utility Tax to Fix Roads Not Popular With Spokane Valley Residents

A proposed utility tax to repair roads in Spokane Valley is off the table- for now. According to the Spokane Valley News Herald, the 6-percent utility tax would have replaced an existing 6-percent telephone tax earmarked for road maintenance in the city. Public outcry scrapped the idea though and put the idea on hold.

At a hearing last week, Spokane Valley residents spoke out against the tax that would be levied against power usage, water, natural gas, garbage and sewer use. Among other issues, they cited the hardship the tax would put on low income people and how utilities aren't something people can cut back on if tight on money.

The tax would generate over $7 million a year to cover the nearly $6.5 million that is the projected need to maintain roadways. The existing phone tax only generates about $2.3 million because more people are getting rid of landlines and using only cell phones.

While the tax idea has been shelved for now, City Council members aren't done looking for a source for that revenue. They meet with utility officials this week to discuss a tax possibility and plan to work with the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce on potential ideas.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Local Road Construction Update

SPOKANE COUNTY
Country Homes (Wall to SR 395)- Stormwater work in the raised islands. Traffic is one lane in each direction. Expect delays.
Centennial Trail Work- Improvement of the trail, tree root removal, pavement removal and replacement, repair concrete, crack sealing. Portions of the trail may be closed to pedestrian traffic.


Gleneden, Edencrest & Little Spokane Connection Road (Wandermere Golf Course area)-Repairing hill sides/ Retrofit Stormwater facilities. Possible lane restrictions for stormwater work and shoulder work.


55th Ave, Regal Ave, 57th Ave.- New Electrical Poles. Lane restrictions with flaggers through December.

61st (Palouse Highway to Yale Road) and Ben Burr Road (from 57th to 65th)- Road reconstruction and waterline installation. Road closure, detour in place.

Barker Road (11th Ave to 15th Ave.)- Road work and widening. Lane restrictions, watch for flaggers.

Gibbs (Sherman Road to Hatch Road)- Ditching and graveling the road. Road closed.

Craig Road, South of McFarlane Rd.- Water Main crossing, road Closed.
WSDOT
Eastern Region Intersection Signage and Striping Improvements- US 395/Burroughs-Dalton-Stripe repair. There may be some lane restrictions.

SPOKANE CITY
37th Avenue, Regal to Custer- Crews are working on completing landscaping, pouring sidewalks and driveways, and installing permanent signing. This project is scheduled for completion Saturday, November 26. In the meantime, 37th is closed from Freya to Custer. The detour route is Glenrose to Palouse Highway to Regal Street. This work is to reconstruct the road, include pavement replacement, curbs, sidewalk, bike lanes, stormwater piping, and a water main.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street- Summit Blvd./Bridge Ave. is closed to traffic. Lincoln has one northbound lane open.  Lincoln southbound is closed at Broadway. This project will construct a Combined Sewer Overflow Tank (CSO) tank and the necessary piping for our Cleaner River Faster Program.

Indiana Avenue from Dakota to Perry- This project will include curb ramps, storm swales, new curb, waterline replacement, signal installation work and some parking removal

Martin Luther King Jr. Way Phase 2A, Sherman to Erie Street- Phase 2A is an extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way from Sherman to Erie Street.  This project will provide a route into and out of the downtown area along the south edge of the University District. These improvements include a new asphalt street, utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements, street lighting, street trees, and re-vegetation with native species. In lieu of sidewalks, will construct a section of the Ben Burr trail to provide pedestrian circulation.

Monroe and Lincoln Street, Main Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Paving will be ongoing and paving dates will flex depending on weather conditions. The next scheduled pave date is Wednesday, Nov. 16. There are four-way stops at the intersections of 1st, Sprague, and Riverside Avenues. Both Monroe and Lincoln have lane restrictions with four way stop signs located at the intersections of 1st, Sprague, and Riverside Avenues. This is a full depth roadway replacement and full depth replacement between curbs on Lincoln Street and Monroe Street; Main Avenue from Monroe Street to Lincoln Street; and Monroe Street from Spokane Falls Boulevard to Main Avenue. Some minor curbing and ADA curb ramps will be installed where necessary.

 Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO 12) Project- Pettet Drive is closed to traffic. The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettit Drive (three out of the four legs) is in service. The leg that comes off Pettit north bound re-directs citizens to Northwest Blvd. Vehicles traveling southbound on Down River Drive have two options; enter onto TJ Meenach or  continue under the bridge and turn uphill to Northwest Blvd. This project will build a 690,000 gallon storage facility and connections to existing CSO Basin 10 outfall. Work also includes repaving of Pettet Drive and pedestrian/bike trail construction.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Transportation Technical Committee Meeting Next Wednesday

How did it get to be November already? I know I say that every month but seriously... Anyway, the November meeting of the Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) is coming up next Wednesday, November 16. The agenda can be found here. This one will be fun because it's the annual election of officers for the following year. Which means that if someone doesn't show up for the meeting, they get elected. As always, everyone is welcome at TTC meetings, so mark your calendar and come check out what is happening in the world of transportation as we start to wind the year down.

10 Safest Vehicle Models for 2017

Not only does the 2017 Genesis look tough, but it apparently
IS tough when it comes to keeping you safe in a collision.
If you're looking to buy a car in 2017, good news, the research has already been done to determine
which 2017 models will be the safest. Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) test a multitude of cars, trucks and SUVs to determine how well each vehicle will protect its occupants in a crash, as well as features each has to prevent collisions.

On the list this year? As far as affordable cars, there's the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Santa Fe, Chevy Volt and Kia Sportage. If you're looking for a more higher-end car, your options when it comes to some of the safest include the Lincoln MKZ, Cadillac XT5, and the Buick Envision.

If you want to know why each of those is considered among the safest, The NewsWheel has the details on each one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Voters Approve Spokane Transit Upgrades

Voters yesterday approved Spokane Transit Authority’s Proposition 1 by
55.41 percent.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the measure calls for a tenth-of-a-penny sales tax increase next April and a second tenth of a penny in April 2019, with both taxes running through 2028.

The funding – more than $200 million over 11 years – pays for many improvements in every neighborhood across STA’s service area from more night and weekend buses to new park-and-ride facilities.

The local taxes will be leveraged to take advantage of $86 million in state and federal grants to pay for the new Central City Line electric bus route from Browne’s Addition through downtown and the University District to Spokane Community College.

Also in the budget is $12 million for a new West Plains Transit Center at the Medical Lake interchange on I90. Bus service will be expanded on Indiana Avenue east of Sullivan Road to Greenacres. Park-and-ride lots will be added or expanded at Liberty Lake, the Mirabeau Park area, Moran Prairie and Spokane Community College.

Liberty Lake will see renewal of nonstop express service while north and south Spokane will be connected with a through route from Five Mile to Moran Prairie.

Near the end of the 10-year implementation, an experimental run into Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene will be tried in 2025.

New Signs Installed to Increase Safety on Highways 2 and 395

Three new warning signs with yellow flashing lights are up and running on north Spokane County highways to improve safety.


According to the Spokesman-Review, the signs, along with wider lane markers and reflectors, were installed recently to reduce the numbers of collisions at three intersections.

The intersections include U.S. Highway 395 at Burroughs Road and at Crawford Street.
The third sign is on U.S. Highway 2 at Colbert Road.

From 2010 to 2014, the stretch from Burroughs Road to Crawford had 65 accidents, including two fatalities.

Two-thirds of those crashes involved vehicles entering the highway from side roads, said Glenn Wagemann, regional traffic engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

At Colbert Road, there were 19 crashes during that time frame, including two with serious injuries.

The signs and lights warn oncoming drivers on the highway that another driver might pull out from the side. The signs have pavement sensors that detect when a driver is stopped and waiting to enter or cross the highway from side roads.

The signs cost $100,000. Also, the state changed striping at the intersections to better control crossings and turns. The new signs at Deer Park were installed even though Washington State Department of Transportaion plans to reconfigure traffic with roundabouts in 2018.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.