Thursday, October 31, 2013

Francis Avenue Bridge to Open Mid-November

Just a matter of a few weeks and traffic will be flowing over the new Francis Avenue Bridge that will go over the North Spokane Corridor.

There's been a detour at Market and Francis for the past year over the train tracks as crews worked to build the bridge and today the WSDOT announced it is about complete.

There will be a short opening ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 15th and then cars will start using it a few days after that.

The 455 foot-long Francis Avenue Bridge replaces the old 160 foot structure ,enabling future construction of the North Spokane Corridor (NSC) highway lanes, rail tracks, and pedestrian/bike trail to pass under the structure. 

Local Road Construction Update

WSDOT

SR 27/32nd Ave. to Trent Ave.- Grind out top layer of roadway and resurface with Hot Mix Asphalt.  Construct ADA sidewalk ramps.

North Spokane Corridor/Francis Avenue Bridge and Intersection Improvements- Left turn movements at the Market/Francis intersection are not allowed. Expect congestion and long delays near the Francis Avenue/Market Street intersection and the Francis Ave./Freya Street intersection. Westbound Francis drivers should be alert for flaggers near the BNSF railway crossing.  The south shoulder is designated for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

US 195/Cheney-Spokane Road Interchange- Be alert for northbound and/or southbound lane restrictions.  Northbound US 195 is reduced to one through lane in the vicinity of Cheney-Spokane Road.  That restriction may be removed when the barrier is taken out.  The northbound left turn lane remains closed.  Northbound drivers need to use Qualchan Road to access Cheney-Spokane Road.  Northbound drivers should be alert for possible congestion and slowing traffic.  The southbound off ramp to Cheney-Spokane Road is now closed so drivers will need to be alert for southbound highway traffic slowing to make right turns into Cheney-Spokane Road. This is a long-term construction configuration. 

SPOKANE VALLEY
8th Avenue just east of Wilbur Court - Closed through Tuesday, November 5 for utility work. Signs redirect traffic to 4th Ave.

Adams from Trent to Wellesley - Closed to traffic through Friday, November 8 for sidewalk improvements.  Drivers are redirected via Evergreen or Progress.

Sands Road Bridge at Chester (Plouf) Creek - Closed until 7 a.m. Monday, November 4 for maintenance work on the bridge deck.  Signs redirect traffic to Schafer Rd.

Sullivan Road at the Spokane River bridges - Reduced to one lane each direction through November.

Wellesley between St. Charles Road and Larch Road - Narrowed lanes, delays, and parking restrictions until Friday, November 8 for sidewalk updates and improvements.

SPOKANE COUNTY
Farwell Rd.- Closed from Market to the North Spokane Corridor.

Johansen Rd.- Closed from Prairie View Elementary to Northview Lane for sidewalk installation and road widening.

SPOKANE CITY
Greene St. Bridge- A project to increase the life of the Greene Street Bridge over the Spokane River means lane restrictions on the bridge and on Greene Street between South Riverton Avenue and Upriver Drive. The work will improve the bridges' load rating, allowing larger trucks and loads to use it. The project includes installing fiber-reinforced polymer to the bridge deck and floor beams. 

Spokane Falls Blvd. Closure- Spokane Falls Boulevard from Bernard Street to Washington Street will be closed beginning Wednesday, November 6 through Friday, November 15.  Detours will be in place directing traffic to Riverside Avenue and Washington.  Bernard Street from Main Avenue and Spokane Falls Boulevard northbound will be closed to thru traffic with local access only.  The work will be to add sewer and water line connections to the Convention Center Hotel under construction.

Monroe St. Lane Closure- North Monroe Street will have a southbound lane closure at Bridge Avenue November 4 to 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for street work on the Kendall Yards development.

Grant St. Closure- South Grant Street between 3rd Avenue and I-90 will be completely closed Monday, November 4 – Wednesday, November 6 for water work.

Centennial Trail Closure- Part of the Centennial Trail maintained by the Red Lion Hotel on the north side of the Spokane River from Division Street east will be closed to pedestrians November 4 – 29.  Pedestrians will be re-routed north using the sidewalk along the eastside of Division Street and through the Red Lion Hotel Property.  The work will remove and replace deck boards, fascia boards and pedestrian rails.

Main Ave. Closure- Main Avenue, just west of Monroe Street, will be closed for sewer line repair work. Vehicles enter the Peaceful Valley neighborhood from the west, and Spokane Transit Authority buses will also serve the area from the west.  The sidewalks along Main will remain open, allowing for pedestrians and cyclists to access Peaceful Valley from downtown on Main.

Liberty St. Construction- Construction to rehabilitate Liberty from Oak Street to Ash Place and Ash Place from Liberty to Dalton is beginning. 
Third Ave. from Division to Arthur- Work to rehabilitate Third Avenue from Division east to Arthur continues.  The project also includes replacing a 12-inch water main. 

Euclid Ave. Water Main Replacement- This project replaces the current 28-inch water main with a 30-inch main in Euclid Avenue.  The new main begins at Euclid & Mayfair and continue to Crestline, with a jog to the north around Gonzaga Prep High School. Euclid is closed from Nevada to Mayfair.


WA Governor Says Transportation Issues Will Cost Farmers

Governorn Inslee has been repeatedly asking the legislature to pass a transportation package in recent months, and now he says that the agriculture industry will feel the pain if we don't. Speaking in Ellensburg yesterday, Inslee said farmers trying to move their crops could be impacted by infrastructure issues and costs associated with getting their products where they're needed.

The Yakima Herald has the story.

The Only Thing This Airline Safety Video Doesn't Have is Donkeys and Celebrity Impersonators

Never thought I'd see inflight safety instructions that include autotune, break dancers and contortionists, but Virgin Airlines has surprised me once again.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kickstarter Project To Fund First "Smart" Bike Lock

Had your bike stolen due to an inferior bike lock? Well, get ready because there could soon be a new "Smart" bike lock on the market, if a Kickstarter project gains traction.

The Lock8 has no keys to lose or combinations to remember. Instead, you unlock it using your smartphone. It also contains a motion sensor, a temperature sensor and a hot wired cable to sense any attempted tampering with the lock. And once someone does mess with it, they get a siren blasting in their ear.

But wait, there's more. You can also send a code to your friends' phones so they can unlock it and use your bike or so they can track your bike if it's tampered with and you're away. And even more cool- this lock charges itself while you ride your bike. For more information and a cool video, click here.


Texas Congressman Holds Public Meetings On Local Buses

People are SO busy these days that it's often hard to get them to a public meeting or open house to get input from them. Especially on planning topics such as SRTC deals with that typically won't be constructed for at least a couple years and possible ten to 20. So one El Paso congressman had a great idea that I may need to steal and adapt.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke wasn't satisfied that he was reaching a broad enough segment of his constituents with traditional town-hall meetings, so he took his show on the road. Literally. Now O'Rourke holds meetings on local buses in order to reach people that typically don't show up at regular meetings. And apparently transit riders have been pretty engaged.
Here's the story from the DC Streets Blog.

What We Heard At A Public Open House Last Night


SRTC hosted the first of two public open houses yesterday on our long term transportation plan, Horizon 2040. We had a good turnout with lots of people showing up before the meeting even started and got lots of great input.

With the meeting located in Cheney, a lot of people wanted to talk about highway 904 that goes from I90 into Cheney. It is currently a two lane roadway with a lot of traffic from staff and students going to Eastern Washington University. There is a project included in Horizon 2040 that recommends widening it and adding a center turn lane between 2021 and 2030. So, here's some of what we heard last night:
  • Move the proposed 904 widening project up sooner than 2021 at the earliest (heard this more than once).
  • Raise the speed limit on 904 to 60 mph and shorten the 40 mph zone in and out of Four Lakes on the south end, starting the 40 mph zone about 300 feet before 6th Street (don't worry- if you plan to make comments you don't have to be this specific)
  • Don't widen 904 as it could encourage speeding and higher accident rates. This came from a gentleman who said he'd been in one serious accident on 904 and narrowly avoided two others.
  • Build an arterial corridor from 904 to the airport so Cheney residents can access available job opportunities.
  • 904 is dangerous for garbage trucks and buses. There isn't much room to pull over to pick up people or refuse on the sides and other drivers pass at high speeds, or pass trucks and buses on the right.
  • Put up more speed limit signs in general. It's hard to tell where speeds change.
  • Build Hayford Road underground and under the new runway when Spokane International Airport builds their proposed third runway.
  • Build right turn lanes on highways like 904 and Highway 2 through Airway Heights. People trying to turn into driveways and businesses cause backups behind them.
And finally, one woman confided to me that her aunt used to purposely drive close behind semis and buses in order to inhale their fumes. She said the aunt was a little strange. I suspect that may have had something to do with all those years of sniffing fumes. I'm not sure why people tell me this kind of thing but I love hearing it, really makes my night interesting.

Don't worry, if you missed last night's meeting, there's another chance to attend a Horizon 2040 open house. We'll host another one next Wednesday, Nov. 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook, Spokane, WA 99207.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's Official- Driverless Cars Are Better Drivers Than Humans

Google carWell, you don't have to convince me as I'm the first to admit I'm not the best driver, but Google says their driverless cars are safer drivers than you or I.

Data gathered from the "robot" cars shows that they are safer and smoother when steering themselves than when a human takes the wheel. One of those analyses showed that when a human was behind the wheel, Google’s cars accelerated and braked significantly more sharply than they did when piloting themselves. Another showed that the cars’ software was much better at maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead than the human drivers were.

That makes sense to me, as the driverless cars aren't in a hurry to get where they're going, or experience road rage.

Here's more on why we're inferior to robots from the MIT Technology Review.

Commuting is Killing Your Girlish Figure

An article in the New York Times today points out that commuters are not the only people racking up ridiculous miles on their cars these days. Stay-at-home moms and dads are driving more than there commuting partners in many instances, to get kids to playdates, sports practices, school events and other activities.

This is taking away their time to do other things, such as exercising, spending quality time with family, preparing homemade meals and getting enough sleep, of all things (I solve this problem by sleeping on the bus). The results are, according to this article, a strain on our physical and mental health.

Here's how commuting, and chauffering kids around, is impacting your health. And your waistline.

Horizon 2040 Public Open House Tonight In Cheney

Tonight is the first of two open houses for Horizon 2040. Come take a look at components of the plan, ask questions and give us your input on the projects included in the plan, the financial strategy to fund the plan and anything else you want to talk about.


It's 4-6 p.m. at the Cheney Library, 610 Front St., Cheney, WA. More info on Horizon 2040 is here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Multiple Car Crash Backs Up Traffic

An accident involving multiple cars completely shut down westbound I90 near the Washington-Idaho State Line around 5:30 this morning, according to KREM 2 News.

The four-car crash is thought to be caused by icy conditions. It snarled traffic for a couple hours until lanes were reopened again at 7:20 a.m.
 
Apparently it was icy enough on the roads taht the Idaho Transportation Department have de-iced roads on their side of the state line.

Lots Happening in Transportation this Week

The new Liberty Lake roundabout is open and traffic flowing smoothly through it, finishing touches are being put on the Francis Avenue bridge just east of Market Street, and a variety of other items in this week's "Getting There" column in the Spokesman-Review.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Horizon 2040 Item for Friday


Here's your daily Horizon 2040 item. Statistics show that the average person has to hear or see something five times before they truly absorb it so I'm making sure you REALLY absorb Horizon 2040. So if you're a visual person, here's a great way to absort it; watch the fabulous video below that the nice folks at City Cable 5 put together for us.
And don't forget the public open house Tuesday, Oct. 29, 4-6 p.m. at the Cheney Library, 610 1st St., Cheney, WA.
 
 

Can Republicans and Democrats Come Together To Finish the North Spokane Corridor?


I get asked almost daily when the North Spokane Corridor will be finished. The answer is always "when funding becomes available." Well, Governor Jay Inslee says that funding needs to become available sooner rather than later.

An article in this week's Inlander calls to finish the freeway and challenges Democrats and Republicans to get together to make it happen. Here's that article.

Local Road Construction Report

SPOKANE CITY
Madison St. from 17th to 18th- Meals on Wheels will hold the Great Pumpkin Race, Saturday, October 26, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
o   Madison from 17th to 18th will be closed.
o   18th will have restrictions from Monroe to Jefferson.

Greene St. Bridge- A project to increase the life of the Greene Street Bridge over the Spokane River is under way.  There are lane restrictions on the bridge and Greene Street between South Riverton Avenue and Upriver Drive. The work will improve its load rating, allowing larger trucks and loads to use the bridge.  The project includes installing fiber-reinforced polymer to the bridge deck and floor beams. 

Main Ave. West of Monroe St.- Main Avenue, just west of Monroe Street is closed until November 1 for sewer line repair work. Vehicles must enter the Peaceful Valley neighborhood from the west.  The sidewalks along Main are open, allowing for pedestrians and cyclists to access Peaceful Valley from downtown on Main.

Crestline Rehabilitation Project- This project to replace the water main in Crestline from 37th to 57th avenues is substantially complete. It also rehabilitated the street curb-to-curb rehabilitation from 44th to 53rd avenues; and added bike lanes, sidewalks and stormwater swales along the 44th to 53rd avenue stretch. 

Rockwood Blvd. Rehabilitation- Paving continues on the project to rehabilitate Rockwood Blvd. from Cowley to Southeast Blvd. The project is expected to be substantially complete in the next two weeks, weather permitting. 

Traffic Calming Work- Work on a variety of improvements to promote traffic calming throughout the City is underway and continues through the end of October. The following streets are affected:



o   Illinois – Signs and striping
o   Mission, Cook and Regal – Ramps and striping
o   Manito Boulevard and 29th – Ramps and striping
o   37th from Bernard to Browne - Sidewalks
o   Maple from 8th to 9th  - Bumpouts
o   Adams Street from Montgomery to Mansfield – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Horizon Avenue and F Street – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Maple Street from Chelan to Fairview – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Ash Street from Fairview to Cleveland – Sidewalks and ADA ramps

 


Liberty St. Construction- Construction to rehabilitate Liberty from Oak Street to Ash Place and Ash Place from Liberty to Dalton is beginning.  The road is closed with local access only.
 
Downtown Bike Network- Signing and striping revisions continue for the Downtown Bike Network lanes.  Trail construction will occur on Fourth Street from Division to McClellan. Expect shoulder and partial lane closures as needed.
 
Post St. Closure- Post Street near City Hall will close for Avista work on City Hall Plaza and new crossing work between City Hall Plaza and Riverfront Park. Crews will use this closure to work on sidewalks at the southwest corner of the Post Street bridge, a new Centennial Trail connection into Riverfront Park, additional sidewalk work on the west side of Post Street and for the re-striping of Post street.
 
Fiske St. Construction- This project will pave Fiske Street from 19th to 17th avenues, install curbs, sidewalks and ADA curb ramps, where   needed, and replace current or install new stormwater drainage, where needed.  The project will place pavement between the existing curbs on Fiske from 17th to 18th and install new curbs and sidewalks, and pave on Fiske from 18th to 19th.  Fiske is closed between 17th Street and 19th Street.
 
 
Third Ave. from Division to Arthur- Work to rehabilitate Third Ave.from Division east to Arthur continues. Paving is complete, crews are working on sidewalks, signing, striping, and general project cleanup.
 
Euclid Ave. Water Main Replacement- The project will replace a 28-inch water main with a 30-inch water main in Euclid Avenue.  The new main will begin at Euclid & Mayfair and continue to Crestline, with a jog to the north around Gonzaga Prep High School.
 
SPOKANE VALLEY
8th Avenue just east of Wilbur Court- Closed through Tuesday, October 29 for utility work. Signs redirect traffic to 4th Avenue.
 
Adams from Trent to Wellesley- Closed totraffic through mid-November for sidewalk improvements.  Drivers are redirected via Evergreen or Progress.
 
Indiana between Pines Rd and Mirabeau Pkwy - Reduced to one lane each direction through October for island, curb and sidewalk construction.
 
Sands Rd Bridge at Chester (Plouf) Creek - Closed from 7 a.m. Monday, October 28 until 7 a.m. Monday, November 4 for maintenance work on the bridge deck.  Signs will redirect traffic to Schafer Rd.
 
Sprague from Park to Vista - Reduced to two lanes through Tuesday, October 29 for street resurfacing and stormwater upgrades.

 
Sullivan Road at the Spokane River bridges - Reduced to one lane each direction through November.

 
Wellesley between St. Charles Rd and Larch Rd - Narrowed lanes, delays, and parking restrictions until mid-November for sidewalk updates and improvements.
 
WSDOTI-90 Eastbound/Thor Street to Sprague Ave.- Today, Thursday, October 24, to as late as 3 p.m., eastbound I-90 between Thor Street and Sprague Avenue will be reduced to two through lanes for overhead sign repair.  All on and off ramps will be open.  Drivers should be alert for slow traffic and possible congestion.

 
I-90 Eastbound/Maple Street to Perry Street.- On Saturday evening, October 26, from about 9 p.m. until as late as 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, eastbound I-90, between Maple Street and Perry Street will be reduced to one through lane for bridge joint maintenance.  All on and off ramps will be open.  Drivers should be alert for slow traffic and possible congestion.

 
SR 290-Trent Ave./Sullivan Road Bridge- Through today, Thursday, October 24, until as late at 5:30 p.m., westbound SR 290 will be reduced to one through lane in the vicinity of the Sullivan Road bridge for bridge girder repair.  You may experience slow traffic. 

 
SR 27/32nd Ave. to Trent Ave.- Grind out top layer of roadway and resurface with Hot Mix Asphalt.  Construct ADA sidewalk ramps.

 
North Spokane Corridor/Francis Avenue Bridge and Intersection Improvements- Today, Thursday October 24th until as late as 3 p.m. the contractor will be striping for the upcoming traffic switch that will take place later this month or early in November. The striping will occur mostly within the existing work zones but will also include the intersections of Francis / Market and Francis / Freya. This work will occur between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm and will result in each of the intersection(s) being flagger controlled with the traffic signal being turned off for an hour or so, at separate times, during this timeframe. This will create long backups, delays, and for 20 – 30 minutes all through movements at the Francis / Freya intersection (except westbound Francis) will be prohibited while the dotted extension line dries. Traffic is strongly encouraged to find alternate routes to their destinations.
 
US 195/Cheney-Spokane Road Interchange- Be alert for northbound and/or southbound lane restrictions.  Northbound US 195 is reduced to one lane in the vicinity of Cheney-Spokane Road.  That restriction may be removed when the barrier is taken out.  The northbound left turn lane remains closed.  Northbound drivers need to use Qualchan Road to access Cheney-Spokane Road.  Northbound drivers should be alert for possible congestion and slowing traffic.  The southbound off ramp to Cheney-Spokane Road is now closed so drivers will need to be alert for southbound highway traffic slowing to make right turns into Cheney-Spokane Road. This is a long-term construction configuration.  The US 195/Inland Empire Way intersection is closed.  Inland Empire Way traffic is directed to the Thorpe Road intersection.  This is a permanent closure to accommodate the new northbound Cheney-Spokane Road on ramp. 
 
SPOKANE COUNTY
Farwell Road- Farwell Rd. is closed from Market to the North Spokane Corridor.
 
Johansen Road- Closed from Prairie View Elementary school to Northview Lane for sidewalk installation and road widening.

 






Thursday, October 24, 2013

Horizon 2040 Public Open House Next Tuesday


Day six of the public comment period for SRTC's Horizon 2040 Plan. Don't forget, on day 11 (Tuesday, Oct. 29) we're hosting a public open house so folks like yourself can get a chance to talk to staff one-on-one about the plan. Or if you don't want to talk to staff, it gives you a chance to view the maps and other materials full-size in a setting where you can take your time and absorb them. Or you can just hangout. It's your public meeting so do what you want.
 
So here are the details:
 
When: Tuesday, Oct. 29 4-6 p.m.
Where: Cheney Library, 610 Front St., Cheney, WA
Why: To talk about Horizon 2040! Are you not listening??
Who: You! Get your happy self to this meeting. At least it would make me happy if you did...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Volunteers Sought For Spokane City Citizen's Transportation Advisory Board

The City of Spokane is looking to fill a vacant spot on the Citizens's Transportation Advisory Board (CTAB), a group that helps determine priorities for Transportation Benefit District funding.

The Transportation Benefit District is an independent taxing district created to help the City better maintain its street system and pedestrian infrastructure. The Spokane City Council serves as the TBD governing board separately from their Council duties.

Money raised through a $20 vehicle registration fee pays for street maintenance and pedestrian improvements outlined in the City’s Six-Year Pavement Maintenance Program. The fee raises about $2.6 million annually.

The CTAB includes seven members—one member from each of the City’s three City Council Districts, one at-large member, and one member from each of the following committees:

· The Citizens Street Advisory Committee (CSAC), which oversees spending of the funds generated by the 2004 10-Year Street Bond.

· The Pedestrian, Traffic & Transportation (PETT) Committee of the Community Assembly.

· The Bicycle Advisory Board (BAB).
 
The open position will represent Council District 1 (Northeast Spokane).

Watch For Animals On The Road

Thanks to Charles for sending this to me. It's that time of year again where it's dark in the morning when a lot of us are heading to work and getting dark when some of  us are driving home (is that a sign that you're working too much perhaps?). That means you have a better chance of not seeing an animal crossing the road. I've been seeing a ton of roadkill lately, and not just in the outlying areas. I saw a deer crossing the road at 29th and Freya the other day!

So slow down and be observant when watching. A wild animal can put a big dent in your car, let alone kill you or it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October SRTC Newsletter Available Now

Like many people, I bet you've been thinking lately "I wonder what those folks at SRTC have been up to lately..." Well wonder no more because the October issue of the SRTC newsletter is now available. What have we been doing the past couple months? What do we have coming up before the end of the year? It's all right here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Local Construction Update

WSDOT
I90 and SR 904 Congestion:  On Saturday, October 19, expect congestion on Interstate 90 and SR 904 between Spokane and Cheney as fans travel to and from the EWU Eagle football game.  

SR 290-Trent Ave./Sullivan Road Bridge- Monday through Thursday, October 21-24, from about 7 a.m. until as late at 5: 30 p.m., westbound SR 290 will be reduced to one lane in the vicinity of the Sullivan Road bridge for a repair to a bridge girder. Expect slow traffic. 

SR 27/32nd Ave. to Trent Ave.- Grind out top layer of roadway and resurface with Hot Mix Asphalt.  Construct ADA sidewalk ramps.

SR 291/Division Street to the Stevens County Line- Grind out top layer of roadway and resurface with Hot Mix Asphalt.  Construct ADA sidewalk ramps.

North Spokane Corridor/Francis Avenue Bridge and Intersection Improvements- Expect congestion and long delays near the Francis Avenue/Market Street intersection and the Francis Ave./Freya Street intersection, especially during the morning and afternoon commute hours. Be alert for flaggers directing traffic near the BNSF railway crossing. 

I-90/ Geiger Blvd.to Sullivan Road in Metro Spokane area- Through today, Thursday, October 17,  to as late as 3 p.m., drivers on eastbound and/or westbound I-90 in the Spokane area should be alert for left or right lane and/or shoulder closures with possible congestion and slower traffic. Crews are inspecting overhead signs.

I-90/Division Street to Liberty Park- Replace conduit, poles, wiring, and light fixtures including installing luminaires on I-90 from Latah Creek to the Hamilton Interchange.

US 195/Cheney-Spokane Road Interchange- Northbound and/or southbound lane restrictions during evening and overnight hours. Northbound US 195 is reduced to one lane in the vicinity of Cheney-Spokane Road.  Northbound drivers need to use Qualchan Road to access Cheney-Spokane Road.  Northbound drivers should be alert for possible congestion and slowing traffic.  The southbound off ramp to Cheney-Spokane Road is now closed so drivers will need to be alert for southbound highway traffic slowing to make right turns into Cheney-Spokane Road. This is a long-term construction configuration.  The US 195/Inland Empire Way intersection is closed.  Inland Empire Way traffic is directed to the Thorpe Road intersection. 

SPOKANE VALLEY
14th Ave from Custer to Carnahan - Lane restrictions from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until Monday, October 21 for a stormwater upgrade project. 

Adams from Trent to Wellesley - Closed around the clock until the end of October for sidewalk improvements.  Drivers are redirected via Evergreen or Progress.

Indiana between Pines Rd and Mirabeau Pkwy - Reduced to one lane each direction until late-October for street resurfacing.

Sprague from Park to Vista - Reduced to two lanes through the end of October for street resurfacing and stormwater upgrades.

Sullivan Road at the Spokane River bridges - Reduced to one lane each direction until late October.

Sullivan-Trent Overpass - Westbound side of the road will be reduced to one lane from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. starting Monday, October 21 until Thursday, October 24 for bridge work.

Wellesley between St. Charles Rd and Larch Rd - Narrowed lanes, delays, and parking restrictions around the clock until the end of October for sidewalk updates and improvements.

SPOKANE CITY
Greene St. Bridge Work- A project to increase the life of the Greene Street Bridge over the Spokane River is under way. Anticipate lane restrictions on the bridge and on Greene Street between South Riverton Avenue and Upriver Drive. The work on the bridge will improve its load rating, allowing larger trucks and loads to use the bridge.  The project includes installing fiber-reinforced polymer to the bridge deck and floor beams.  Additionally, utility conduit will be installed along the underside of the bridge and other related work will be completed.

Main Ave. Closure- Main Avenue, just west of Monroe Street, will be closed for three weeks October 14 to November 1 for sewer line repair work.Vehicles will need to enter the Peaceful Valley neighborhood from the west.  The sidewalks along Main will remain open, allowing for pedestrians and cyclists to access Peaceful Valley from downtown on Main.

Rockwood Blvd. Rehabilitation- This project will be substantially complete in the next two weeks, weather permitting. A project to rehabilitate Rockwood Boulevard from Cowley to Southeast Boulevard and Upper Terrace Road from Rockwood Boulevard to 17th Avenue continues. Drainage pipe installation work is occurring at the intersection of 10th Avenue, Sumner and Rockwood.  Paving is anticipated Mid week.

Traffic Calming Work- Work on a variety of improvements to promote traffic calming throughout the City has begun and will continue through the end of October. The following streets will be affected:

o   Illinois – Signs and striping
o   Mission, Cook and Regal – Ramps and striping
o   Manito Boulevard and 29th – Ramps and striping
o   37th from Bernard to Browne - Sidewalks
o   Maple from 8th to 9th  - Bumpouts
o   Adams Street from Montgomery to Mansfield – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Horizon Avenue and F Street – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Maple Street from Chelan to Fairview – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Ash Street from Fairview to Cleveland – Sidewalks and ADA ramps

Liberty St. Construction- Construction to rehabilitate Liberty from Oak Street to Ash Place and Ash Place from Liberty to Dalton is beginning.  The road is closed with local access only.

Downtown Bike Network- Signing and striping revisions continue for the Downtown Bike Network lanes.  Trail construction will occur on Fourth Street from Division to McClellan.  Drivers should expect shoulder and partial lane closures as needed.

Post St. Closures- Post Street near City Hall will close for Avista work on City Hall Plaza and new crossing work between City Hall Plaza and Riverfront Park.  Crews will use this closure to work on sidewalks at the southwest corner of the Post Street bridge, a new Centennial Trail connection into Riverfront Park, additional sidewalk work on the west side of Post Street and for the re-striping of Post street.

Fiske St. Construction- This project will pave Fiske Street from 19th to 17th avenues, install curbs, sidewalks and ADA curb ramps, where   needed, and replace current or install new stormwater drainage, where needed.  The project will place pavement between the existing curbs on Fiske from 17th to 18th and install new curbs and sidewalks, and pave on Fiske from 18th to 19th.  

Third Ave. Work- Work to rehabilitate Third Avenue from Division east to Arthur continues.  The project also includes replacing a water main. Work will continue into October.

Euclid Ave. Water Main Replacement- The project will replace the current 28-inch water main with a 30-inch water main in Euclid Avenue.  The new main will begin at Euclid & Mayfair and continue to Crestline, with a jog to the north around Gonzaga Prep High School.

 

 

A Little of This, A Little of That

Spokane County Commissioners say they're unsure about opening county roads to all terrain vehicles, the Spokane Regional Health District has updated their walking and hiking map, and some construction updates in this week's "Getting There" column from the Spokesman-Review.

Health Organization Confirms Air Pollution Causes Cancer


Here's yet another reason to find ways to travel more efficiently- the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) last week announced what's long been suspected; that air pollution causes lung cancer.

The IARC says it considers air pollution to be the most important environmental carcinogen, ahead of second-hand smoke. It includes gases and particulate matter that can be deposited deep in the lungs.

The main sources of pollution include transportation, power plants and industrial and agricultural emissions. Here's more from the Seattle PI.

Transportation Advisory Committee Meeting Next Monday, Oct. 28

Okay, is it just me or are months only about two weeks long anymore? Because they go so fast. Next Monday is the monthly Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting. Again. Already. Seems like we just finish one up, I get the minutes typed up and it's time for another!

So, mark your calendar for Monday, Oct. 28. The meeting starts at 3 p.m. While it's close to Halloween, there's nothing spooky on our agenda. Here's a look if you don't believe me. As always, everyone is welcome to attend so feel free to come check it out.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm Going To Take It Personal If You Don't Have Something To Say About Horizon 2040


I can die happy now. After two years, a final draft of SRTC's Horizon 2040 plan is finally complete and out to an official 30-day public comment period.

Horizon 2040 is a long-term “blueprint” that guides how the regional transportation system will grow and develop through the year 2040. It is based on projections for growth in population, housing and jobs and takes into consideration every mode of transportation, such as private vehicles, public transit, bicycling, walking, freight movement, rail and air travel. Horizon 2040 includes:

  • The projected demand expected to be placed on the regional transportation system between 2014 and 2040;
  • the condition of existing transportation facilities;
  • strategies to operate and maintain regional transportation facilities and manage congestion;
  • assessments of area pedestrian and bicycle facilities;
  • a list of transportation projects and programs to be constructed or completed by 2040; and
  • a financial plan to carry out all of the above activities.
So, we've done our part. Now it's time to do yours. We're giving you 30 days to review the plan, plus two open houses if you want to come talk to us about it in person, and submit comments. Here are the details on the open houses:
  • Tuesday, October 29 from 4-6 p.m. at the Cheney Library at 610 First Street, Cheney, WA
  • Wednesday, November 6, 2013 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St. Spokane, WA, in the Assembly Room
Horizon 2040 is available for review and comment before then at http://www.srtc.org/mtp_2040.html. Hard copies can be viewed at the SRTC office at 221 W. First Ave., Suite 310, Spokane, WA. Comments can be submitted by emailing contact.srtc@srtc.org, mailing to SRTC or by calling (509) 343-6370. The public comment period for Horizon 2040 runs from October 18 to November 16, 2013.

Transportation Commission Looking For People To Take Upcoming Survey

The Washington State Transportation Commission is looking for people to take an upcoming statewide survey on transportation taxes, investment options, and priorities. If you're interested in this, go to this website:
www.voiceofwashingtonsurvey.org and register your email address so you get the survey when it comes out in the next couple weeks.

Transportation Technical Committee Meets Next Wednesday

The October Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) meeting is coming right up. It's next Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Here's the agenda. Check it out and if there's anything you're interested in, feel free to attend. There's always a time for public comment on the agenda too if you'd like to share any thoughts.

SRTC Planner Volunteers Time for Bike/Pedestrian Counts


SRTC Transportation Planner Mallory Atkinson recently joined with a lot of other volunteers to help out the Cascade Bicycle Club and the Washington State Department of Transportation gather data for the Washington State Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project.

For the past three years, Mallory has volunteered her time to help count bicyclists and pedestrians in downtown Spokane to track Washington's goal of getting more people out of cars and into other modes of transportation. This year, a reporter from the Inlander joined her and wrote an article about it.  You can read it here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Governor Calls for New Transportation Bill While On Tour of Spokane

Gov. Jay Inslee was in Spokane today today tour our transportation facilties and urge lawmakers to write a new transportation bill that would include money for the North Spokane Corridor.
He even said a deadline for such a package- by the Apple Cup on November 29.
Inslee also said he's open to suggestions about ways to save money on transportation costs.

Washington State Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson was also here, along with several other elected officials such as Andy Billig and Marcus Richelli.

SRTC's Exectuive Director, Kevin Wallace, also went on the bus tour to demonstate some of our transportation needs to the governor, such as the North Spokane Corridor.

The Spokesman-Review has more.

TV Show Puts Roundabouts to the Test

I don't watch a lot of TV but here's an episode of the popular show Mythbusters that I would have watched. In this episode, the Mythbusters put the roundabout up against 4-way stops. Are roundabouts really more efficient at moving traffic through an intersection? And if so, by how much? Let's take a look.

Pedestrian Traffic Icons Around the World


Apparently the stick figure crossing the road on pedestrian traffic lights isn't a global symbol. In some parts of the world, that figure is just lighted dots. In one area of the Netherlands, it's a woman with heels and a ponytail. And in Cannes, France, it's a dapper man in a suit and hat.

A New York artist has a display right now of her "Walking Men Worldwide" project, made up of photographs from all over the world of the icons used around the globe to signal people that it's time to cross the street.

The Wall Street Journal has the story.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Bus Service Lets YOU Plan the Route

This is pretty cool and actually someone at the Perry Street Fair this summer suggested it to me. While I thought it was a cool concept, at the time I didn't see how it could actually be implemented in a feasible way that is affordable to the user and provider. Looks like those crazy folks in Finland have found a way.

They're now providing a new service that lets users personalize their service to a certain degree; using a smart phone app to arrange where and when they want to be picked up and dropped off. A computer program determines the most direct route for the passenger's requested ride and groups together passengers headed the same direction.

Here's more about the Kutsuplus program from Treehugger.

APA Announces Annual "Great Places In America"

The American Planning Association has released its 2013 list of Great Places in America and Vancouver, WA made the list for having a "great public space."

The Great Places program celebrates places of exemplary character, quality, and planning. Places are selected annually and represent the gold standard in terms of having a true sense of place, cultural and historical interest, community involvement, and a vision for tomorrow.
 
Here's the entire list of great neighborhoods, great streets and great public spaces.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gov. Inslee In Town Wednesday To Hear Your Transportation Thoughts


Governor Inslee will be in town this week and he's asking for your input on policies to meet Washington's greenhouse gas emission limits.
 
On Wednesday, October 16, Inslee and his "Climate Workshop" are holding one of three statewide hearings here in Spokane. This is your chance to encourage them to invest in better land use planning and transportation choices, as climate change from vehicle pollution and responsible planning go hand in hand.

The hearing is from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Music Building Auditorium (Building 15, Room 110) at Spokane Falls Community College. Here's the agenda and how the whole thing will work in case you're interested.


King Co. Resident Proposes New Twist On Public Transit

Update our transportation systemThe folks over the mountains in King County have found a new platform to let citizens participate in decision-making and brainstorming at the local level. They offer a website that's a lot like a blog where people can share their thoughts and ideas in response to the question "What is your BIG idea for King County's future?" Others can view the idea, comment on it and rate them. Well, one gentleman had an idea for getting people around in a more green mode by using personalized monorails that look like amusement rides. Check it out here. And be sure to read the comments for another idea on swimming to work. Although I'm not sure what you'd do in the winter...
 

Spokesman Article Summarizes Horizon 2040


So do you believe me now? About the future of population growth and the impacts on our transportation system, I mean? Because it's in the newspaper, I mean. Sometimes, like with my dad, I can talk until I'm blue in the face about something and no one absorbs it. Two days later though I'll get a call saying, "So I saw in the newspaper that there's supposed to be an increase in vehicle travel in our area by 2040..." Really, dad? That's facinating.
 
Anyway, our Horizon 2040 plan is the subject of the bulk of the Spokesman-Review's "Getting There" column today, so if you haven't looked through our actual plan, you can read   
 
There's also the option of watching the cool video on Horizon 2040 that City Cable 5 put together for us...
 

STA Plaza Could House Museum Exhibits


The second floor of the dowtown Spokane Transit Authority Plaza may be getting a new use. After a consultant study and a lot of opinions from the public as to what to do with the little-used space, it's now being looked at for exhibit space for the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.

The Spokesman-Review has the story.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Local Construction Update

SPOKANE VALLEY
14th Ave. from Custer to Carnahan - Lane restrictions from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until October 21 for a stormwater upgrade project.
Adams from Trent to Wellesley - Closed to traffic until the end of October for sidewalk improvements.  Drivers will be redirected via Evergreen or Progress.
Indiana between Pines Rd. and Mirabeau Pkwy. - Reduced to one lane each direction until late-October for street resurfacing.
Sullivan Rd. at the Spokane River bridges - Reduced to one lane each direction until late October.
Wellesley between St. Charles Rd. and Larch Rd. - Narrowed lanes, delays, and parking restrictions until the end of October for sidewalk updates and improvements.

WSDOT
US 195 and SR 27 Congestion- On Saturday, October 12, 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 football game. 

US 2/Vicinity of Deer Heights Road- Monday through Wednesday, October 14-16, from 7 p.m. in the evening until as late as 6:30 a.m. the following morning, US 2 will be reduced to one lane in each direction in the vicinity of Deer Heights Road to install a new water line.  Deer Heights Road access on the south of US 2 will be limited to right turn in/right turn out from eastbound lanes.  Westbound access to and from Deer Heights Road will be via Lucas Drive
 
SR 27/32nd Ave. to Trent Ave.- Grind out top layer of roadway and resurface with Hot Mix Asphalt.  Construct ADA sidewalk ramps.

SR 291/Division Street to the Stevens County Line- Grind out top layer of roadway and resurface with Hot Mix Asphalt.  Construct ADA sidewalk ramps.

North Spokane Corridor/Francis Avenue Bridge and Intersection Improvements- Expect congestion and long delays near the Francis Avenue/Market Street intersection and the Francis Ave./Freya Street intersection, especially during morning and afternoon commute hours. Westbound drivers on Francis should be alert for flaggers directing traffic near the BNSF railway crossing. 

I-90/ Geiger Blvd.to Sullivan Road in Metro Spokane area- Monday through Thursday, October 14-17, from about 9 a.m. to as late as 3 p.m., drivers on eastbound and/or westbound I-90 in the Spokane area should be alert for left or right lane and/or shoulder closures with possible congestion and slower traffic. Crews will be insptecting overhead sign structures.

I-90/Division Street to Liberty Park- Replace conduit, poles, wiring, and light fixtures including installing luminaires on I-90 from Latah Creek to the Hamilton Interchange.

I-90 Westbound/Liberty Lake-Harvard Road Interchange Roundabout- I-90 westbound drivers exiting at Liberty Lake should be alert for congestion, traffic backups, and delays on the westbound off ramp.  Drivers on Harvard Road should be alert for lane restrictions, slow traffic, and congestion with possible delays. 

US 195/Cheney-Spokane Road Interchange- Drivers should be alert for northbound and/or southbound lane restrictions during evening and overnight hours. Northbound US 195 is reduced to one through lane in the vicinity of Cheney-Spokane Road.  Northbound drivers need to use Qualchan Road to access Cheney-Spokane Road.  Northbound drivers should be alert for possible congestion and slowing traffic.  The southbound off ramp to Cheney-Spokane Road is now closed so drivers will need to be alert for southbound highway traffic slowing to make right turns into Cheney-Spokane Road. This is a long-term construction configuration. 

SPOKANE CITY
Lewis and Clark Band Car Wash-
Lewis and Clark High School will host a car wash to raise money Saturday, October 12.  Fifth Avenue will be closed between Washington and Stevens Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the event.

Main Street Yoga Street Event- Main Street Yoga will be hosting an opening event from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, October 12. Main Street will be closed from Post to Wall. Post will be closed northbound from Riverside to Main Street. Parking will NOT be allowed at meters along that stretch.
 
Spokane Marathon, Sunday, Oct. 13-
 o   6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.- Spokane Falls Boulevard will be closed from Stevens to Post, Howard and Wall Street will be closed from Main to Spokane Falls.

o   7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.- temporary closures of Lincoln and Monroe Street from Bridge Avenue to Main Street, temporary closures of Riverside at Cedar, the right hand lane at Sunset and Government way westbound will be closed.

o   8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.- There will be times when traffic is momentarily held up for runners to cross at
§  Government/Ft. Wright
§  Pettit/TJ Meenach
§  Boone/Summit
§  College./Monroe
§  Broadway/Lincoln

Greene St. Bridge Work- A project to increase the life of the Greene Street Bridge over the Spokane River is under way. Anticipate lane restrictions on the bridge and on Greene Street between South Riverton Avenue and Upriver Drive. The work on the bridge will improve its load rating, allowing larger trucks and loads to use the bridge.  The project includes installing fiber-reinforced polymer to the bridge deck and floor beams. On Sunday October 12th two-way traffic will be moved from the southbound to the northbound lanes.

Maple St. Bridge Work Starts- Work on installing an Impact Attenuator (a device intended to reduce the damage to structures, vehicles, and motorists resulting from a motor vehicle collision) begins in the southbound lane of the Maple Street Bridge, Tuesday, October 15 at 9 a.m. 

Fourth Ave. Work- Fourth Avenue between Lincoln and Wall Street will be completely closed Wednesday, October 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for crane work on private property.

Stevens Street Avista Work- Stevens Street between Main Avenue and Riverside Avenue will have two southbound lanes closed 24 hours a day through October 14 for Avista work.

Habitat for Humanity Projects-East 22nd Avenue between Freya Street and Thor Street will be completely closed Monday, October 14 through October 24 for two Habitat for Humanity projects.  The roadway will be completely closed to thru traffic with local access provided.  The sidewalk on the south side of the street will remain open and the detour will be in place using East 23rd Avenue.

WSU Parking Lot Intersection Work-100 East Spokane Falls Boulevard at WSU’s south parking lot intersection will be completely closed Friday, October 11 – 24 for installation of a new concrete intersection. East Martin Luther King Way will be the detour route.

Crestline Rehabilitation Project Nearly Finished- Paving is currently underway.  This project will replace the water main in Crestline from 37th to 57th avenues; provide curb-to-curb rehabilitation of the street from 44th to 53rd avenues; and add bike lanes, sidewalks and stormwater swales along the 44th to 53rd avenue stretch. 

Rockwood Blvd. Rehabilitation- Paving begins next week with the project being substantially complete in the next two weeks, weather permitting.  A project to rehabilitate Rockwood Boulevard from Cowley to Southeast Boulevard and Upper Terrace Road from Rockwood Boulevard to 17th Avenue continues. Drainage pipe installation work is occurring at the intersection of 10th Avenue, Sumner and Rockwood.  Sewer line work will begin, October 11 in the intersection as well.

Traffic Calming Work Continues-Work on a variety of improvements to promote traffic calming throughout the City has begun and will continue through the end of October. The following streets will be affected:

o   Illinois – Signs and striping
o   Mission, Cook and Regal – Ramps and striping
o   Manito Boulevard and 29th – Ramps and striping
o   37th from Bernard to Browne - Sidewalks
o   Maple from 8th to 9th  - Bumpouts
o   Adams Street from Montgomery to Mansfield – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Horizon Avenue and F Street – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Maple Street from Chelan to Fairview – Sidewalks and ADA ramps
o   Ash Street from Fairview to Cleveland – Sidewalks and ADA ramps

 Sewer Tank Construction- Construction on a 1 million gallon tank to reduce overflows from combined sanitary and stormwater sewers on the west side of Ray Street at 21st Avenue is underway.
On Wednesday October 16th from 9AM to 3PM southbound Ray Street will be reduced to one lane from 19th Avenue to 22nd Avenue.  Parkwood Drive will be closed from Green Street to Ray Street. 

Liberty St. Construction- Construction to rehabilitate Liberty from Oak Street to Ash Place and Ash Place from Liberty to Dalton is beginning.  The road is closed with local access only.

Post Street Closure- Post Street near City Hall is closed for Avista work on City Hall Plaza and new crossing work between City Hall Plaza and Riverfront Park.  Crews will use this closure to work on sidewalks at the southwest corner of the Post Street bridge, a new Centennial Trail connection into Riverfront Park, additional sidewalk work on the west side of Post Street and for the re-striping of Post street.

Fiske St. Construction- This project will pave Fiske Street from 19th to 17th avenues, install curbs, sidewalks and ADA curb ramps, where needed, and replace current or install new stormwater drainage, where needed.  The project will place pavement between the existing curbs on Fiske from 17th to 18th and install new curbs and sidewalks, and pave on Fiske from 18th to 19th.  Full road closure on Fiske between 17th Street and 19th Street.

Third Ave. Division to Arthur- Work to rehabilitate Third Avenue from Division east to Arthur continues.  The project also includes replacing a 12-inch water main.  Local access to businesses will be maintained.  Work will continue into October. Arthur and Sherman continue to be the detour routes with periodic closures on one or the other street as needed.Paving the final lift on the north half for Third Ave. is expected to take place the week of October 14th.

SPOKANE COUNTY
Bruce Road- Work expected to be complete by or on October 11.

Cheney Plaza Bridge- This bridge, located off Nealy Rd., is closed with a one lane bypass open. Expect delays.

Pittsburg Road- Pittsburg Rd. off U.S. 2 is closed for sewer work.

Johansen Road- Road closed from Prairie View Elementary School to Northview Lane for sidewalk installation and road widening.

 

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.