Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Monroe Street Lane Reduction

Monroe Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction this week as work begins on a traffic signal at the intersection of Summit Parkway and Monroe Street.

The new signal will allow for easier, safer access in this area for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. The signal will include pedestrian count-down timers and detectors that are sensitive enough to recognize when people on bikes or motorcycles want to cross. Here is a list of project features:

·         Pedestrian count-down timers
·         Pedestrian and vehicle detection will be provided on all approaches
·         Vehicle detection has been designed to allow for detection of motorcycles/bicycles
·         The signal controller cabinet includes an uninterrupted power source (UPS) that will automatically allow the signal to operate continuously for several hours in the case of a power outage
·         Cobra head street lights attached to signal poles are LED
·         The signal will have the ability (wiring will be in place) to accommodate protected left turns in the future, when needed, for both eastbound and westbound traffic on Summit turning onto Monroe.
·         Northbound and southbound left turns will have a ‘protected-permissive’ phase using flashing yellow arrows
·         The protected left turn phases have the capability to operate by time of day
·         Provisions (wiring and signing) for future blank-out signs prohibiting left-turns by time of day will be provided


Crews are working as much as they can behind the sidewalks before closing any lanes on Monroe to complete the project.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Local Road Construction Update

WSDOT
I-90/Eastbound Monroe St. On- Ramp- The closure of the eastbound I90/Monroe Street on ramp is being extended through Monday, May 9, at the latest, to install storm pipe.  This closure is in effect 24 hours per day. Traffic is directed to the Division/Browne on ramp via a signed detour

SPOKANE CITY
2016 Street Maintenance Curb Ramp Project- Work has begun on Lyons Avenue from Perry St. to Pittsburg Street. This year’s projects include work in the following areas to install ADA compliant curb ramps at each corner intersection:

  • Maxwell Avenue from Belt to Ash Street 
  • 7th Avenue from Browne to Division Street   
  • Thurston Avenue from Lee to Regal Street   
  • Indian Trail Road from Ridgecrest Drive to City Limits   
  • Park Place from Euclid to Columbia Avenue   
  • Wellington Place from Alice to Glass Avenue   
  • Lyons Avenue from Perry to Pittsburg Street   
  • Myrtle Street From Marietta to Frederick Avenue
Addison/Standard Bicycle/Pedestrian Corridor from Buckeye to Holland-Work to install signs and striping layout is underway from Lincoln to Bridgeport on Addison and Standard for the next two weeks. This project will complete a major bicycle and pedestrian corridor.  It will add new bike lanes and sidewalks along the entire corridor and make improvements to existing bike lanes.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- Bridge Avenue is closed.  Lincoln has one northbound lane open.  Lincoln southbound is closed at Broadway with local access maintained to Anthony’s restaurant and parking lots. 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 Street- Pre-construction work is underway.  Indiana will have temporary closures at times with a detour route during this work. This project will include curb ramps, storm swales, new curb, waterline replacement, signal installation work and some parking removal

2nd Avenue from Freya to Rebecca- One lane at a time will be closed to repair/install irrigation lines through May 9. 

Rowan Avenue Improvements from Driscoll Boulevard to Monroe Street- Rowan Avenue from Alberta to Monroe Street is closed. The intersection of Alberta, Belt, Ash, and Maple is open to north and southbound traffic. This project is for reconstruction work from Driscoll Blvd. to Monroe Street. The project also includes installation of bike lanes, filling sidewalk gaps and replacing water lines.

Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow Project- Beginning Monday, May 2, Phase II of this project will begin. The traffic control plan for Phase II work is as follows:
o   Pettit Drive will have a full closure until November.
o   The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettit Drive (three out of the four legs) will be in service
o   The leg that comes off of Pettit, north bound will re-direct citizens to Northwest Blvd.
o   Vehicles that are traveling southbound on Down River Drive will have two options; enter onto TJ Meenach or continue under the bridge and turn uphill to Northwest Blvd.

Northwest Boulevard and Columbia Circle- Construction of catch basins and drywells in the following intersections will begin Monday, May 2. The project includes the installation of a 900,000 gallon tank. New water mains will be added at H Street, Glass Avenue and Columbia Circle. Columbia Circle, H Street and Glass Avenue will be repaved and sidewalk repairs will happen in select areas. 

o Wellington and Cora (both Coras)
o   Park Blvd and Cora
o   Sheridan Court and Cora.

SPOKANE VALLEY
Indiana Parkway from Desmet Court to Steen Parkway- Closed through June 16 for utility work. Signs redirect traffic via Mission Parkway.

Southbound Sullivan Road Bridge- Closed for bridge replacement work. Traffic is reduced to one lane northbound and two lanes southbound. Southbound Sullivan Road at Flora Pit Road will be reduced to one lane on Monday, May 2 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Friday, May 6 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Turns from Indiana Avenue onto northbound Sullivan Road are reduced to one lane. The Centennial Trail below the bridge is currently open but has been temporarily narrowed.

SPOKANE COUNTY
Market Street from Parksmith to Farwell- Road closed with a marked detour in place to install sewer and fiber optics and rehabilitate the roadway.

Seven Mile Bridge & Seven Mile Road- This project is located approximately four miles west of State Highway 291 in north-west Spokane County. The structurally deficient bridge is being replaced. A detour is in place immediately upstream and to the south of the bridge. 

Hawthorne Road from Waikiki to US 395- The Hawthorne Road Improvement Project will provide road and stormwater improvements along Hawthorne Road starting west at Waikiki Road and continuing east to US 2.  

Hawthorne Road (Division to US 2- The Hawthorne Road Improvement Project will provide road and stormwater improvements along Hawthorne Road starting west at Waikiki Road and continuing east to US 2.  

19100 N Little Spokane Dr-Colbert- One lane closure  for a power pole removal on May 3.                                                                                  

Spray Paint on Centennial Trail is a Good Thing In This Case

If you've noticed spray paint on sections of the Centennial Trail, it's not graffiti. Engineers have marked up areas of the trail that need repair and are getting bids for the six major repair projects that will take place in August:

1.  Milepost .86 to 1.17 - Crack seal concrete panels.

2.  Milepost 3.6 to 5.6 - Repair corrugations and bulges.
3.  Milepost 6.8 to 9.8 - Repair tree root damage, eliminate debris/rock washouts, etc.
4.  Milepost 10.6 to 12.7 - Repair bulges, humps and tree root damage.  Joint fill on Denny Ashlock Bridge.  Eliminate rocks washing onto trail.
5.  Milepost 16.8 to 20.1 - Repair corrugations, waves and humps on separated trail portions.
6.  Milepost 29.1 to 31.9 - Repair large surface gaps from previous failed repair project.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Doomsday Hill Construction Won't Interfere With Bloomsday Run

Photo of the start of work on Pettet Drive,
courtesy the Spokesman-Review
Don't worry Bloomsday runners, you will still "get" to run up Doomsday Hill this year, despite a construction project underway on Pettet Drive.

According to the Spokesman-Review, construction on a new trail along Pettet has just started and won't interfere with Sunday's race. However, the street will be closed in September when Spokefest happens, so a detour has already been planned for the biking event.

The project will reconstruct the roadway and narrow vehicle lanes by a couple feet each in order to make room for a new section of the Centennial Trail on the river-facing side of the road. Before all that happens though, a tank for storing runoff will be buried under the roadway in the hillside to keep it from overflowing into the river before being treated. 

Pay Your Parking Ticket at a Kiosk in L.A.

Do you hate going to the courthouse to pay parking tickets? I never get them anymore, but I used to hate going through security, standing in long lines, etc. just to hand over $15.

If you live in Los Angeles, that's a thing of the past. CBS Los Angeles reports that kiosks were recently placed at five areas around the courthouse where people can pay their tickets seven days a week, whether using cash, credit, personal checks or debit cards.

Users can also check the status of a ticket, request an extension, make a payment, request traffic school or reserve a court date. The kiosks are aimed at getting more people to pay their tickets by simplifying the process and freeing up overloaded courthouse staff.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Do You Drive A Semi Or Work For A Trucking Company? Check This Out

I didn't know this, but apparently there is a serious shortage of parking for semi trucks across the nation.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is doing something about this in our state by developing a state Truck Parking Strategic Plan and is looking for input and assistance from truck drivers and companies that hire truck drivers.

The plan includes all types of truck parking, such as truck stops, rest areas, weigh stations, highway ramps, private parking lots, and other areas.

As part of the plan, WSDOT is surveying individuals and companies that use short-term and overnight truck parking in Washington. This online survey is intended to better understand the types of trucks operating in Washington, the corridors most traveled, and overall truck parking needs and issues.

Results of the online survey will identify truck parking problem areas, and help WSDOT develop and focus on strategies to improve truck parking in our state.

If you are a truck driver or work for a company that operates trucks in Washington, please complete the survey before April 30 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RYTK2JK.

Bike to Work/Bike Everywhere Week Coming Up May 16-20


May is coming up quickly and it is National Bike Month. Plus Bike to Work Week falls in May. Join the local Spokane County Bike Everywhere challenge using the National Bike Challenge website. For those already using apps like Endomondo, Strava, or Map My Rides to track your miles, you can now sync them with the website to automatically track your rides

To get started, create an account, and you will be directed to the Washington Bikes Challenge. If you live in Spokane County, you'll automatically be part of our challenge and be ready to log all your miles for the month of May. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Georgia Building Truck-Only Lanes

Obviously this isn't in Georgia, but the
Peach State is about to have less of this. 
You've heard of transit-only lanes in some big cities. Well, Georgia is building truck-only lanes. Transport Topics, two new northbound lanes will be built on 40-miles of Interstate 75 between Macon to McDonough. They will be part of a 10-year, $10 billion transportation law that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed. Georgia’s Department of Transportation says traffic volume on that segment of I-75 are projected to reach as high as 100,000 vehicles per day, including 40,000 trucks.
According to

Deal's administration takes freight movement very seriously and hopes this will alleviate traffic issues in an area that has many warehouses. Not only will it help get goods to and from market more efficiently, but the truck-only lanes will take trucks out of private vehicle traffic, which will mean less backups and safer driving. According to American Trucking Associations, the only other truck-only lanes are on connector roads from the ports of Miami and Tampa.

Friday, April 22, 2016

STA Taking Tax Increase to Improve Transit to the Public Again

Spokane-area voters will be asked, again, to fund a major expansion of transit service, including a new Central City Line. According to the Spokesman-Review, the Spokane Transit Authority board last night voted to place a transit proposal before voters in November.

The measure calls for a 0.1 percent sales tax increase in April 2017, followed by a second 0.1 percent increase in April 2019, with both taxes running through 2028.  Last April, voters  rejected a similar measure. It would have raised the tax by 0.3 percent for 10 years.

STA officials say the increase is smaller this time around because an improving economy could raise money at a faster rate in coming years.

In addition to building a Central City Line from Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College, the measure would improve the convenience and frequency of bus and paratransit service.

Local Road Construction Update

SPOKANE CITY
1ST Avenue from Erie Street to Altamont Street- Work has resumed on this project to preserve pavement from Helena to Altamont Street and add ADA ramps and striping.  Traffic impacts are minimal.

Addison/Standard Bicycle/Pedestrian Corridor from Buckeye to Holland-
 Work from Lincoln to Bridgeport on Addison and Standard is underway for the next two weeks to install signs and striping. This project will complete a major bicycle and pedestrian corridor.  It will add new bike lanes and sidewalks along the entire corridor and make improvements to existing bike lanes.
Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- Bridge Avenue is closed.  Lincoln has one northbound lane open. Lincoln southbound is closed. This project will construct a Combined Sewer Overflow Tank (CSO) tank and piping.

Hartson Avenue from Altamont Street to Fiske Street- Work has started between Smith Street and Altamont Street.  Access is limited. This project includes reconstructing the roadway, filling sidewalk gaps, replacing curbing where needed and installing ADA curb ramps.
Havana Street Improvements from Glenrose Road to 37th Avenue- Havana Street is closedImprovements include pavement replacement, filling sidewalk gaps and a pilot project to add porous asphalt bicycle lanes.  This project will also include installation of a water transmission main between 37th Avenue and the Brown Park reservoirs at 57th Avenue.

Monroe/Lincoln Street Couplet, 8th Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Monroe Street is closed.
  • The on ramp for eastbound traffic at Monroe is closed for pipe installation through until Monday, May 9,
  • Traffic exiting Maple Street eastbound is detoured off 4th at Jefferson Street
  • The alternative route during the Lincoln Monroe Project is the converted two-way traffic on Lincoln.  
  • The official detour route is Stevens and is clearly marked
  • Alternative routes are not clearly marked as they are local and business access routes

This project reconstructs the roadway from 8th to 2nd Avenue and installs storm water and water facilities.  The portion of this project that reconstructed the street from 2nd to 4th Avenues is substantially complete.

2nd Avenue Lane Closures- The City of Spokane Water Department will close one lane at a time on 2nd Avenue from Freya to Rebecca to repair/install irrigation lines from April 25 to May 9.

·    Sprague Avenue Closure- Sprague Avenue will be closed between Monroe and Lincoln on April 24 for placement of a crane in the right-of-way.
·
Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO 12) Project- Pettet Drive under TJ Meenach Bridge is closed for initial work on the combined sewer overflow tank project that is scheduled in that area.  The Centennial Trail is open. The traffic control plans are as follows:
·    Northbound traffic entering the project on Pettet Dr. will be detoured to northbound TJ Meenach Dr. (This is the only movement allowed)
·    East bound traffic entering the project on Downriver Dr. will be detoured to southbound TJ Meenach Dr. (This is the only movement allowed)
·    Northbound traffic entering the project on TJ Meenach will be forced to continue north on TJ Meenach Dr. (The portion of the clover leaf that allows traffic to access Pettet Dr. and Downriver Dr. will be closed)
·    Southbound traffic entering the project on TJ Meenach will be allowed to proceed south on TJ Meenach or proceed west on Downriver Dr. (Access to southbound Pettet will not be allowed)

Qualchan Force Main on Meadowlane Replacement Project- Qualchan Force Main on Meadow Lane is under construction.  Expect delays into the area and golf course. Work on this project has begun and will last approximately 30 days. Meadowlane will be restricted to one lane. Qualchan Golf Course entrance will also be restricted to one lane for approximately one week.

Rowan Avenue Improvements from Driscoll Boulevard to Alberta Street- Paving on Rowan has begun.  It is anticipated that Rowan will open by Friday, May 29.  Currently, Rowan Avenue is closed from Driscoll Boulevard to N. “A” Street. Rowan will be closed from Alberta Street to Monroe Street beginning April 18.  The intersection of Alberta, Belt, Ash, and Maple will remain open to north and southbound traffic. This project is for reconstruction work from Driscoll Blvd. to Monroe Street. The project also includes installation of bike lanes, filling sidewalk gaps and replacing water lines.

Spokesman Review Building Maintenance Work- Walker Construction and Rhodes Crane will be closing Sprague Ave between Lincoln St and Monroe St. on April 24 to remove equipment on the roof of the Spokesman Review building. A detour route to Riverside Avenue will be in place.  

WSDOT
I-90/Sunset Hill to Liberty Lake- Sunday through Thursday, during daytime hours, WSDOT Maintenance crews will be sweeping and cleaning drains on I-90 in the Spokane metro area at various locations, possibly in the far left or far right lanes or shoulders. Be alert for lane restrictions with workers and equipment adjacent to traffic. 

SPOKANE COUNTY
Market Street from Parksmith to Farwell- The road is closed with a detour in place in order to install sewer components and fiber optics and rehabilitate the road.

SPOKANE VALLEY
Indiana Parkway from Desmet Court to Steen Parkway- Closed through Thursday, June 16 for utility work. Signs redirect traffic via Mission Parkway.
Southbound Sullivan Road Bridge across the Spokane River- Closed until Summer 2016 for bridge demolition and replacement work:
·         Traffic remains reduced to one lane northbound and two lanes southbound.
·         Southbound Sullivan Road at Flora Pit Road will be reduced to one lane on Wednesday, April 27th from 7 a.m. to approximately  p.m.
·         Northbound traffic is restricted to vehicles ten feet wide or less.  Oversized vehicles should use Barker Road or Pines Road as alternatives.
·         Turns from Indiana Avenue onto northbound Sullivan Road are reduced to one lane.
·         The Centennial Trail below the bridge is open. Expect temporary closures/detours to be announced.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Check Out the PodRide, The Four Wheel Bicycle That Looks Like A Car

If you're like a lot of people, you love to ride your bike but not so much in the rain. According to Pee Wee Herman's blog (yes, I am using Pee Wee Herman's blog as a resource), a Swedish man may have the answer with his new four-wheeled bike (quadracycle) called the PodRide.

The bike looks more like a little car. Mikael Kjellman created the vehicle as a way to stay dry, warm, and safe in harsh weather. And an added bonus- it's an electric bike so you can slack off on the peddling when you get tired. It can even pull a small trailer. Currently, the PodRide is seeking IndieGogo funding so no indication when it will be available to the general public.

Transportation Technical Committee Meeting April 27

The Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) meets for it's regularly-scheduled monthly meeting next Wednesday, April 27. The meeting agenda can be found here. Please note that the meeting will be held at SRTC's new location in the Paulsen Building at 421 W. Riverside Ave., Suite 500.

Everyone is welcome at TTC meetings so feel free to attend if anything on the agenda catches your attention.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Two Projects Proposed to be Added to Transportation Improvement Program

As we do most months, SRTC is proposing to amend the 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) by adding two new projects. 

The TIP is a document that identifies transportation projects programmed to be undertaken or constructed during the upcoming four years. It includes project names and descriptions, the jurisdiction sponsoring them, funding attached to each project, and where the funding came from (local, state or federal funds).

The TIP is updated regularly throughout the year as timelines, funding sources and plans change at SRTC’s member jurisdictions.

The amendment currently under consideration would add the following projects:

·         Barker Road/BNSF Grade Separation- A Spokane Valley project that would construct a bridge over the BNSF railroad tracks at Barker Road and SR 290.

·         I90/3rd Avenue Bridge- A Washington State Department of Transportation project to repair concrete and joints to preserve the structural integrity of the bridge and extend its life.
We're looking for your input on these projects. Please provide comments by emailing to contact.srtc@srtc.org, mailing to SRTC at 421 W. Riverside Ave., Suite 500, Spokane, WA, 99201 or by calling (509) 343-6370. All comments must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, April 29, 2016. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Beverley Hills Considering Self-Driving Cars As Public Transportation

Is this the public transit of the
future?
When you think "public transportation," do you think buses, subways, light rails- or do you think self-driving cars? In Beverly Hills, they think the latter. The city's council voted this month to create a program to use self-driving vehicles as public transportation.

According to The Verge, the council envisions self-driving vehicles providing "on-demand, point-to-point transportation," with citizens "requesting a ride using their smartphone." The city's mayor says the shuttles wouldn't replace public transportation, but augment it.

Councilmembers say Beverly Hill's temperate climate, well-maintained roads, and compact size make it perfect for using unmanned vehicles as public transportatin.

Phase one of the city council's program includes contacting companies like Tesla and Google to form potential partnerships. Sponsorships are mentioned as potential source of revenue, but so far there doesn't seem to be any actual funding for the program.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Special Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting Scheduled for April 25

A special meeting of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) will be held on Monday, April 25 at 3 p.m. at the SRTC office, 421 W. Riverside, Suite 500 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, Horizon 2040.

The TAC normally meets every other month and would not normally have a meeting in April. The meeting agenda can be found here.

Everyone is welcome at TAC meetings and there is a public comment item on the agenda.

Local Road Construction Update

WSDOT
I-90/Eastbound Monroe St. On- Ramp- Continuing through Friday, April 22, the eastbound I-90/Monroe Street On Ramp will be closed for storm water pipe installation. This closure will be in effect 24 hours per day. traffic is directed to the Division/Browne on ramp via a signed detour.

SPOKANE COUNTY
Street Sweeping- April 18-21, Eloika Lake Rd.; Montgomery Rd. and Cedar Rd. by Eloika Lake will be swept, as well as various roads in the Liberty Lake and Otis Orchards areas.
Various roads in Otis Orchards area.


Market Street (Parksmith to Farwell)- Road closed with a detour in place for sewer and fiber optic installation and road rehabilitation.

Belle Terre Ave, Evergreen Rd, 41stInstallation of sewer and a water force main and full width road reconstruction. Construction is expected to last into July.

Mullinix at the Rail Road crossing (off of SR904)- A detour is in place so crews can install track panel across Mullinix, crossing pads and replace the concrete. Mullinix is completed closed until April 17.

SPOKANE VALLEY

Indiana Parkway from Desmet Court to Steen Parkway- Closed through Thursday, June 16 at 5 p.m. for utility work. Signs redirect traffic via Mission Parkway.

Southbound Sullivan Road Bridge across the Spokane River- Closed until Summer 2016 for bridge demolition and replacement work:

  • Traffic remains reduced to one lane northbound and two lanes southbound. 
  • Northbound traffic is restricted to vehicles ten feet wide or less.  Oversized vehicles should use Barker Road or Pines Road as alternatives. 
  • Turns from Indiana Avenue onto northbound Sullivan Road are reduced to one lane. 
  • Expect construction vehicles and flaggers in the work area weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  
  • The Centennial Trail below the bridge is reopened as of Saturday, April 16 at 11:00am. 
  • The Spokane River between the Old Mission Avenue trail/river access and 500 feet downstream (west) of the Sullivan Bridge remains closed until further notice for safety reasons due to high river levels and partially submerged obstructions in the river.
SPOKANE CITY
1ST Avenue from Erie Street to Altamont Street- Remaining work on this project has resumed on 1st Avenue from Helena to Altamont Street. This project is a pavement preservation project with ADA ramps, striping, and pavement work.
Addison/Standard Bicycle/Pedestrian Corridor from Buckeye to Holland- Work to install signs and striping layout has begun on Lincoln and Standard heading north to Magnesium. This work will be for sidewalk and driveway installation. This project will complete a major bicycle and pedestrian corridor. It will add new bike lanes and sidewalks along the entire corridor and make improvements to existing bike lanes.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street Combined Sewer Overflow- Work begins Monday, April 18. This project will construct a Combined Sewer Overflow Tank (CSO) tank and the necessary piping for the Cleaner River Faster Program.

Bridge Inspection Work- Freya Way Bridge will be inspected on April 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.   Lane restrictions will occur starting south bound with the curb lane then moving to the north bound curb lane.

Hartson Avenue from Altamont Street to Fiske Street- Work has begun between Smith Street and Altamont Street.  Access is limited. This project includes full depth roadway reconstruction, filling sidewalk gaps, replacing curbing where needed and installing ADA curb ramps. The project will also include replacement of water lines.

Havana Street Improvement from Glenrose Road to 37th Avenue- This project includes permeable bike lanes, swales and roadside restoration. Improvements include full width pavement replacement, completing sidewalk gaps and pilot project porous asphalt bicycle lanes.
High Drive and Hatch Road Combined Sewer Overflow- 43rd Avenue is closed from Scott to Garfield Street.This project will construct a storage facility at 43rd Avenue and Garfield Street. This work is part of the Combined Sewer Overflow program for a Cleaner River Faster Integrated Approach to Street Repair. 

Indiana Avenue from Dakota to Perry Street- The water department is conducting pre-construction work along this project. Indiana will have temporary closures at times with a detour route during this scheduled work. This project will include curb ramps, storm swales, new curb, waterline replacement, signal installation work and some parking removal.

Monroe/Lincoln Street Couplet, 8th Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Work on Monroe Street from 4th Ave. south to 8th Ave. has begun.  Monroe Street is closed.
o   The on ramp for eastbound traffic at Monroe will be closed April 11 – 22 for pipe installation work.
o   Traffic exiting Maple Street eastbound will be detoured off of 4th at Jefferson Street.
o   The alternative route during the Lincoln Monroe Project is the converted two-way traffic on Lincoln. This is for local access and access to businesses. 
o   The official detour route is Stevens and is clearly marked
o   Alternative routes are not clearly marked as they are local and business access routes
o   Due to some work in 4th Ave at the start of the project Lincoln will be inaccessible from Monroe on 4th during the first few weeks.  
o   During that phase, Lincoln will be accessible via 3rd to Wall then back from the east on either 4th or 5th.  This will be during the work in the Monroe/4th intersection and 4th Ave. which should last about 3 weeks. 

This project reconstructs the roadway from 8th to 2nd Avenue and installs storm water and water facilities.  The portion of this project that reconstructed the street from 2nd to 4th Avenues is substantially complete.

Northwest Boulevard and Columbia Circle Combined Sewer Overflow- This project includes the installation of a 900,000 gallon tank. New water mains will be added at H Street, Glass Avenue and Columbia Circle these lines will be connected to the new main along Columbia Circle. Columbia Circle, H Street and Glass Avenue will be repaved and sidewalk repairs will happen in select areas. Many driveways will be replaced to match the new street grade.

Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow Project- Pettit Drive under TJ Meenach Bridge is closed for initial work on the combined sewer overflow tank project that is scheduled in that area.The Centennial Trail is open.The traffic control plans are as follows:
  • Northbound traffic entering the project on Pettet Dr. will be detoured to northbound TJ Meenach Dr. (This is the only movement allowed)
  • Eastbound traffic entering the project on Downriver Dr. will be detoured to southbound TJ Meenach Dr. (This is the only movement allowed)
  • Northbound traffic entering the project on TJ Meenach will be forced to continue north on TJ Meenach Dr. (The portion of the clover leaf that allows traffic to access Pettet Dr. and Downriver Dr. will be closed)
  • Southbound traffic entering the project on TJ Meenach will be allowed to proceed south on TJ Meenach or proceed west on Downriver Dr. (Access to southbound Pettet will not be allowed)

Qualchan Force Main on Meadowlane Replacement Project- Work on this project has begun and will last approximately 30 days. Meadowlane is restricted to one lane. 
Qualchan Golf Course entrance will also be restricted to one lane for approximately one week.This project will install an iron force main from Hwy 195 to Qualchan Park Drive

Rowan Avenue Improvements fromn Driscoll Boulevard to Alberta Street- Rowan Avenue is closed from Driscoll Boulevard to “A” St. This closure will last approximately through May.

Rowan will be closed from Alberta Street to Monroe Street beginning April 18.  The intersection of Alberta, Belt, Ash, and Maple will remain open to north and southbound traffic. This project is for reconstruction work from Driscoll Blvd. to Monroe Street. The project also includes installation of bike lanes, filling sidewalk gaps and replacing water lines.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spokane Valley Seeking Grants to Separate Trains from Traffic- Again

The intersection at Barker Road and Trent Avenue.
Spokane Valley is hoping the third time will be the charm when it comes to obtaining federal funds
for two busy railroad crossings. Increased rail traffic and train horns spurred the City Council to try again to get federal grants that would fund a portion of grade-separation projects at Barker and Pines roads.

The cost to build an overpass at Barker Road just south of Trent is about $29.2 million. The city has already received some funding, and, if received, federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds would cover up to 80 percent of the total cost.

Another possible grant source – Fastlane, from the U.S. Department of Transportation – targets high-freight areas, which the crossings at Barker and Pines roads could  potentially be eligible for. The amount funded is 60 percent, which would leave the City paying for $2.22 million for Barker and $6.38 million for the Pines underpass, if approved.

The aim of the grants is to reduce congestion and improve areas of expansion on the nation’s highways. The projects would also reduce the blowing of train horns and they would no longer be required.

ID Driver License Test Now Asks About Pedestrians, Bicyclists

Getting an Idaho driver’s license now requires some knowledge of who you are sharing the road with.
The Idaho Statesman reports that since January, anyone taking the driver’s license test has had to answer two questions on pedestrian and bicycle safety.

The 40-question test is randomly generated from a total of 88 possible questions on all topics. There are 11 possible bicycle and pedestrian questions, with two guaranteed to be on the test.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spokane City Will Ask Voters for Transit Tax if STA Doesn't

Spokane's city council last night voted to allow the city to use sales taxes and vehicle licensing fees to fund public transportation in addition to streets and pedestrian infrastructure. And there plan is to put the Central City Line on the November ballot if STA doesn't.

According to the Spokesman-Review, the move was spurred by the council’s support for the Central City Line that would connect Browne’s Addition to the University District and Spokane Community College. STA’s board hasn't decided on whether it will ask voters for a tax to support it. Last month, it postponed a decision to put a measure on the ballot asking for a 0.2 percent sales tax increase. A similar transit measure was narrowly defeated in April 2015.

Not everyone agrees that it is the City's place to force a vote. Councilman Mike Fagan, who voted against the proposal, said it could take money from road repairs and opens the door for increased vehicle licensing fees.

Conversely, Spokane Valley Councilman and STA board member Ed Pace said he supports the change because the Central City Line is Spokane City-based, and he doesn't feel Spokane Valley taxpayers should pay for something that doesn't benefit them.

If STA puts the measure on the ballot, they will ask for a 0.2 percent tax increase. If the City does it, it would also be 0.2 percent, but City Council President Ben Stuckart said the city’s current vehicle licensing fee of $20 could be removed thanks to increased tax revenue.

It would cost $4 million per year to operate the line. That funding would have to come from a local source.
The proposed route of Spokane Transit's Central City Line (click to view full size)

Train Station Stays Open Extra Year To Take Girl To School

Talk about customer services; a train station in a remote Japanese village stayed open for an extra
year after being slated to close down- for the sole purpose of getting a teenage girl to school every day.

According to the Huffington Post, 18-year-old Kana Harada would have had to walk a 73-minute trek every morning to catch a 9 a.m. express train in a neighboring town if the station hadn't continued to operate.

When station operaters learned of Harada’s commute, it delayed plans to close to the station by until she graduated. It finally closed at the end of March this year.

“I got on and off this train for the last three years, and this station’s presence has become something I have taken for granted,” Harada told Reuters in January. “I do feel sad to think it will disappear.”
Harada wasn’t alone in her sorrow. According to Rocket News, local residents came out on March 25 to see the last train ever stop at the station as a way of paying tribute.

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.