Monday, October 31, 2016

New Flashing 20 MPH Sign for LC

Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1, driving through the Lewis and Clark High School area when school is in session will be a much different experience.  Lights and signs for a 20 mph area when flashing school zone sign have been installed on Stevens Street near Lewis and Clark. These new signs will have flashing yellow lights to indicate a 20 mph school zone.

The lights will flash during the following specific times:
·         School opening, 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
·         Lunch time 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
·         School closing, 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Lewis and Clark is the first high school to have a 20 mph when flashing light and will be a test school for potential use at other high schools in the City. 

Tougher Parking Meter Enforcement On Tonight's City Council Agenda

The Spokane City Council is expected tonight to ask downtown parking enforcement officers to more rigorously enforce time limits.

According to the Spokesman-Review, a resolution on tonight's council agenda from council members Breean Beggs and Lori Kinnear authorizes officers to use license plate-reading technology to identify vehicles that are parking for longer than the limit at meters downtown. The city has the technology but isn’t using it for enforcement.

The recommendation follows a study by the city’s Parking Services Department showing many parkers in the two-hour spots aren't obeying time limits, which businesses say is needed to keep on-street traffic flowing downtown.

An alternative proposal would raise the on-street parking hourly rate from $1.20 to $2. An advisory committee had been considering the idea so that on-street parking would match the rate at privately owned lots and garages, and get long-term parkers off the streets.

The resolution doesn’t change any city policies on parking, instead authorizing enforcement officers to use existing technology to enforce the time-limit policy that has been the law for years.

The City Council will consider the resolution during its meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall. 

Local Road Construction Update

SPOKANE COUNTY
Country Homes (Wall to SR395)- Stormwater work in the raised islands. Traffic is one lane in each direction, side road access to and from Country Homes is restricted, expect delays, and on street parking is limited.

Centennial Trail- 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.

55th Ave, Regal, 57th Ave- Installation of new electrical poles. Lane restrictions with flaggers through late December.
        
Barker Road (11th Ave to 15th Ave)- Road work and widening. Lane restrictions, watch for flaggers.       

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

Craig Road-South of McFarlane Road- Water Main crossing, road closed.

426 E. Hastings- Utility services, changing pole. Single Lane closure.

SPOKANE VALLEY

Appleway from Park to Dishman-Mica- Reductions to two lanes at times into November for street improvement work, depending on weather.

Commercial between Sprague and 1st- Closed through Thursday, November 10 for paving, weather permitting.

Sullivan Road Bridge - The wide load restriction has been lifted; permitted oversized vehicles may now use northbound lanes on the bridge.

WSDOT
US 2/Spotted Road to I-90 Intelligent Transportation Systems- Fiber optic cable installation.  

I-90/Eastbound/Hamilton Off-Ramp-Bridge deck repairs. Eastbound drivers should expect lane restrictions on the off-ramp.  No mainline I-90 restrictions. The Second Ave. connection to northbound Hamilton will be closed during this work.


SPOKANE CITY
       1ST Ave. Et Al, Erie to Helena-  Project is substantially complete with a few punch list items remaining. This project will provide storm water conveyance to Pacific and Perry Infiltration Facility and replace old water distribution lines. The project also includes associated street construction.

37th Avenue, Regal Street to Custer Street- The next tentative final pave date is Wednesday November 2.  Work on sidewalks may winter over if weather conditions do not allow for completion.  37th Avenue from Freya to Custer Street is closed. The detour 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.

Ben Burr Trail and Connection to the Centennial Trail- 2nd Avenue and Perry Street Tunnel are now open.  When weather allows final striping will be completed. This project constructs a trail for bicyclists and pedestrian from the Centennial Trail at the Gonzaga Bridge southeast of Erie Street and continuing to Liberty Park where a connection will be made to the existing Ben Burr Trail.  The trail will then continue on the existing Ben Burr Trail to the trailhead immediately south of Underhill Park.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- Work has begun on tank walls. Summit Blvd./Bridge Ave. is closed to traffic. 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.

Broad and Ferrall Street Work- Sewer department work has Broad closed from Freya to Ferrall Street.  Ferral Street has limited access from Freya to Olympic. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Phase 2A Sherman to Erie Street- Erie Street will closed through November 4, from Front Street to Sprague Way.  Phase 2A is an extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Way from Sherman to Erie Street. This project will provide a route that eliminates several safety issues and increases capacity into and out of the downtown area. These improvements include a new asphalt pavement street, utility infrastructure, storm drainage improvements, street lighting, street trees, and re-vegetation with native species. In lieu of sidewalks, the project proposes to construct a section of the Ben Burr trail to provide pedestrian circulation. The trail will be separated from the road.

Monroe/Lincoln Street Couplet, 8th Avenue to 2nd Avenue- 5th Avenue is open.  Lincoln is closed from 7th Avenue to 5th Avenue with limited local access. This project reconstructs the roadway and installs storm water and water facilities.  The portion of this project that reconstructed the street from 2nd to 4th Avenues is substantially complete. 


Monroe and Lincoln Street, Main Avenue to 2nd Avenue- The next scheduled pave date is Friday, November 4. 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 (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 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.

Strong Road from Indian Trail to Nortrh Rustle Road- Closed from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for grading and maintenance Tuesday, November 1 – Wednesday November 2.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Transportation Advisory Committee Members Needed

Interested in transportation? Want to help shape local transportation policies? Join SRTC's Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)! The TAC is a citizens committee that provides transparency and a community perspective to the transportation planning process. It advises the SRTC Board on plans, programs and activities to determine consistency with policies and other activities as directed by the Board.

A diverse makeup of TAC members is desired. TAC Members represent the general public and groups including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, senior citizens, youth, the business and freight moving communities, traditional automobile users and advocates for non-motorized transportation or public transit.

There are three open TAC seats to be filled for a three year terms from 2017-2019. More information, and the application to apply, can be found on the SRTC website here. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on Friday, November 4, 2016.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More 3 Car Garages Going Up Than 1 Bedroom Apartments

Your three-car garage is almost as big as my entire house.
There's a housing shortage in America, including in Spokane- both rentals and owner-occupied. This has pushed real estate and rental prices higher.

There's no shortage of homes though for cars.
According to Bloomberg, twenty-four percent of new homes built in 2015 included a garage with room for three or more cars,. That’s the highest share since the Census Bureau started keeping track of large garages in 1992. In every year since the Census has kept track, homebuilders in the U.S. have built more three-car garages than one-bedroom apartments.

Garages appear to be what people want though. According to survey results by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, one in three house hunters said they prefer a three-car garage. That compares to 51 percent, who wanted a two-car garage, and 10 percent of respondents, who said room for one vehicle was enough.

Pete Reeb of John Burns Real Estate Consulting said they are seeing fewer millennials buying cars so parking isn't as big of an issue for them, but conversely, they are also seeing more multi-generational housing, where the kids are taking care of elderly parents or young people moving back home after college. This means there can be four cars where it might have been two before.

It sounds like many are just using their giant garages for storage though.The share of households that own three or more cars has remained comparatively flat, increasing from 17.3 percent in 1990 to just 19.7 percent in 2013, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

U-District Bridge Going Out to Bid, Neighborhood Celebrates


Local dignitaries yesterday gathered to celebrate the University District Pedestrian and Bicycle bridge, which will go out to bid soon.

On hand were Spokane City Councilwoman Amber Waldref, Mayor David Condon, Sen. Mike Baumgartner, Sen. Andy Billig and more.

About $8.8 million of the funding for the bridge comes from a 2015 state transportation package. Another $3 million comes from tax collections from the University District Revitalization Area.

The bridge over the BNSF Railway tracks features a 120-foot tall central arch. Work is scheduled to start early next spring and be complete by the fall of 2018. A public plaza is planned on the bridge’s south landing, and it will be served by a new Spokane Transit Authority shuttle from medical facilities on the lower South Hill.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Local Road Construction Update

WSDOT
US 2/Spotted Road to I-90 Intelligent Transportation Systems- Fiber optic cable installation. Day work with possible lane restrictions.

I-90/Eastbound/Hamilton Off-Ramp- Bridge deck repairs. Eastbound drivers should expect lane restrictions on the off-ramp Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 24-26, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. No mainline I-90 restrictions.


Eastern Region Intersection Signage and Striping Improvements- 
SR 904/First St. in Cheney


Striping Repair- US 395/Burroughs-Dalton. Drivers may experience some lane restrictions.

SPOKANE CITY
37th Avenue, Regal Street to Custer Street- 
Paving continues from Freya east bound towards Myrtle Street as weather allows. 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- Work has begun on tank walls.  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.


Ben Burr Trail- Paving is complete on 2nd Avenue.  Striping work will include 2nd Avenue and the Perry Street underpass.  Closures and street obstructions are in place. Crews are installing new storm crossing and new ADA ramps on 2nd Avenue, closing the street from Napa to Arthur Street. Lane restrictions are in pace on 2nd Avenue between Altamont and Napa. The freeway on ramp remains open and exit 282B has been reduced to one lane. Third Avenue has lane restrictions from Arthur to Altamont Street.  The crossing at Perry Street under the I-90 freeway is closed. 

Work continues along the trail at 3rd Avenue and Arthur and 2nd Avenue and Perry. This is constructing a shared use trail from the Centennial Trail at the Gonzaga Bridge southeast of Erie Street to Liberty Park.  The trail will then continue on the existing Ben Burr Trail to the trailhead immediately south of Underhill Park.

Hazels Creek Stormwater Treatment Project- Work continues on Freya south of 37th Ave. to construct a stormwater treatment system with disposal ponds and stormwater piping.  This system will be an extension of the existing Hazel’s Creek Facility on 42nd Avenue.

Indiana Avenue, Dakota to Perry Streets- The project is on track to finish by Monday, October 31.
Perry St. is reduced to one  lane in each direction.  Crescent Ave. east of the Perry/Indiana intersection is closed at the intersection and railroad crossing.  Crescent Ave. east and north of the railroad tracks is open. Indiana Ave. from Ruby St. to Perry St. is closed with East-West traffic detoured to Mission Ave., Montgomery Ave. and Illinois Ave.  This project includes 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- Erie Street will closed Monday, October 24 through November 4, from Front Street to Sprague Way. This project will provide a route into and out of the downtown area while passing along the south edge of the University District. 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, the project will construct a section of the Ben Burr trail, separated from the roadway traffic and aligned parallel to the Spokane River. 

Monroe/Lincoln Street Couplet, 8th Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Wednesday, October 19 to Saturday, October 22 crews will be preparing and paving Lincoln Street from 4th Avenue to 7th Avenue. The intersection of 5th Avenue and Lincoln Street will be closed. This project reconstructs the roadway from 8th to 2nd Avenue and installs storm water and water facilities.  

      Monroe and Lincoln Street, Main Avenue to 2nd Avenue- The next scheduled pave date is Friday, November 4. Storm and sewer work continues with four-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. The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettet Driveis in service. The leg that comes off of Pettet north bound redirects 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.

     West Plains to Spokane International Airport Connection- Craig Road between McFarlane and Thorpe Road is closed until October 31. Work includes the installation of a water main.  

1st Avenue Et Al, Erie to Helena- Storm structure installations have begun at 1st and Helena. That intersection is closed with a detour in place.  Water service installations are in progress in 1st Avenue from Perry to Helena.  This project is expected to complete by the end of October.

     SPOKANE COUNTY 
     Country Homes (Wall to SR395)- Stormwater work in the raised islands. Traffic is one lane in each direction on the South side of the islands, side road access to and from Country Homes is restricted. Expect delays.
     
     Centennial Trail- Improvement of the trail, tree root removal, pavement removal and replacement, crack sealing. Portions of the trail may be closed to pedestrian traffic. 

     55th Ave, Regal, 57th Ave.- Installation of new electrical poles. Lane restrictions with flaggers until early December. 

426 E. Hastings- Utility services and power pole replacement with a single lane closure. 

      SPOKANE VALLEYAppleway from Park to Dishman-Mica - Remains reduced to two lanes around the clock through the end of October for street improvement work with sidewalk, lane, and temporary side street closures. Brief interruptions to driveway access may also be expected with those affected notified directly in advance. Local access and access to businesses will remain available.

 Pines Road at Mirabeau Parkway intersection - Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction around the clock until Tuesday, October 25. Access will remain available to Trent Elementary School and Mirabeau Chapel.

Vercler from Boone to Mission - will be closed to all but local traffic around the clock through Monday, October 24 at 5:00pm for sewer work. Detour via Pines or McDonald will be posted.

 Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project: 
·         Northbound traffic will remain reduced to one lane with vehicles restricted to ten feet wide or less. Oversized vehicles should use Barker or Pines as alternatives.
·          Turns from Indiana onto northbound Sullivan are reduced to one lane.
·          The curb lanes at the northwest corner of the Indiana/Sullivan intersection will be closed periodically during working hours Tuesday through Thursday.

·          One southbound lane will be closed at Flora Pit Rd during working hours Monday through Friday. 

We're Looking For Citizens to Help Guide the Transportation Planning Process

As we do every year at this time, SRTC is looking for new members for the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC is a citizens committee that provides transparency and a community perspective to the transportation planning process. It advises the SRTC Board on plans, programs and activities to determine consistency with policies and other activities as directed by the Board.

A diverse makeup of TAC members is desired. TAC Members represent the general public and groups including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, senior citizens, youth, the business and freight moving communities, traditional automobile users and advocates for non-motorized transportation or public transit.

There are three open TAC seats to be filled for a three year terms from 2017-2019. More information, and the application to apply, can be found on the SRTC website here. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on Friday, November 4, 2016.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spokane Valley Street Sweeping Starts Next Week

You're doing it wrong if this is how your parking
strip looks.
The annual fall street sweeping starts in Spokane Valley next week to remove, dirt, leaves and debris from roadways. Sweeping will take place weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Street sweeping helps prevent clogging of stormwater drainage systems. If drains are clogged, pooled water can be dangerous to drivers. Street sweeping also helps prevent deterioration of roads due to standing water, and improves air quality by removing dust and dirt that gets into the air.

Valley officials ask you to please not sweep leaves  into the road. Also keep vehicles, trailers and portable basketball hoops out of the right of way while sweeping is underway.  The sweeping schedule is here.

Uber/Lyft Make Up Majority of Business Travel Transportation Now

New numbers show that Uber and Lyft have become the preferred method of transportation for business travelers. VB reports that third quarter numbers released by online travel and expense management service provider Certify, show that 52 percent of those formerly using transit for work-related purposes recently opted to use a "ride-hailing" service. This is the first time ride hailing is the majority of ground transportation expenses for business travelers.

Uber dominates the market share with 75 percent of travelers over Lyft’s 6 percent. Taxi ridership declined, dropping more than 3 percentage points.



For the most part, the average cost for business travelers also went down. Costs for Uber dropped 10 percent to $22.91, while taxis fell 9.77 percent to $35.91 in recent quarters. Conversely, average Lyft prices rose nearly 5 percent to $21.80.

San Francisco was the top city for Uber and Lyft usage, while taxis were preferred in New York City.


Click the graphic to view it full size.

Transportation Technical Committee Meeting Next Week

The monthly meeting of the Transportation Technical Committee (TTC) is next Wednesday, Oct. 26. The meeting agenda is here. Of particular interest this month is a presentation on results from the Walk Bike Bus program that was introduced in the Garland District this past spring and summer.

As always, everyone is welcome at SRTC committee meetings so feel free to attend if anything catches your interest.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Public Meeting On Alignment of Freeway Over "Black Tank" Area

You are invited to learn more about the status of North Spokane Corridor route alignment alternatives in the Hillyard area at an Oct. 27 presentation.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is analyzing possible alignments in the vicinity of Wellesley Avenue because potential environmental mitigation requirements for the “Black Tank” contaminated area may adversely affect the highway project’s Legislative construction and funding expenditure timeline.

The picture below, from a presentation made to the SRTC Board in June, shows the original design going right over the "Black Tank" area. Click the picture to see it full size.

WSDOT will present initial concepts for alignment alternatives at a public meeting, Thursday, Oct. 27. There will be a formal presentation at 6 p.m., followed by a question and answer session with project staff.

Meeting details
When: 6 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27
Where: Spokane Community College Lair (Building 6), 1810 N. Greene St., Spokane

Monday, October 17, 2016

Airlines Adding Fire Containment Bags for Exploding Cell Phones

This is what can allegedly happen if your phone battery
gets too hot.
Some airlines are taking steps in case a device powered by a lithium ion battery catches fire during flight.
According to Yahoo! Finance, at least three U.S. airlines are adding fire-suppression equipment to fleets in case a cellphone or laptop battery overheats and catches on fire.
There have been several incidents of overheating Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, including one on a Southwest Airlines flight a few weeks ago.

The Federal Aviation Administration is warning passengers not to use or charge the devices while on board or put them in checked luggage.
Alaska Airlines installed fire-containment bags on its entire fleet in May. The bags are made of a fire-resistant material and can be shut with Velcro and heavy-duty zippers that can withstand temperatures up to 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. The sell for $1,800 each but airlines are likely to have negotiated a bulk discount.

Virgin America has also installed the bags on all of its' planes. Delta Air Lines says it will also be adding the bags soon. 

American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines don't have any immediate plans for fire containment bags. 

I90 Snoqualmie Pass Work Wrapping Up

One of the busiest construction seasons on Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass is wrapping up for winter. Rock blasting closures are done for the season, a new section of roadway opened recently to traffic, and roadside work zones will be cleared by mid-November. 

Also, earlier this summer, one of two new avalanche bridges opened to traffic and the westbound wildlife overcrossing started taking shape. Since April, the Washington State Department of Transportation and contractor crews also replaced about 4 miles of deteriorating sections of roadway between the Easton and Cle Elum areas and another 15-mile section in Ellensburg, finished painting the Vantage Bridge, replaced a section of damaged bridge deck at the Stampede Pass Interchange and installed new electronic message boards and traffic cameras near Ellensburg.


Some minor finishing work remains.  Drivers could still experience some minor delays due to lane closures and rolling slowdowns at the top of the pass as well as lane closures near Cle Elum and Ellensburg.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

New Transportation Laws Proposed 100 Years Ago

An article in the Spokesman-Review today talks about transportation ordinance that were proposed 100 years ago in relation to the proliferation of automobiles.

One required all cars to be parked "parallel with the curb" downtown, which makes you wonder how people were parking before.

The second ordinance set a time limit for cars to park downtown- one hour- and the third was an anti-jaywalking law for safety reasons.

US 395 Intersection Open House

The Washington State Department of Transportation is holding a meeting to fill people in on the design and project status for several key US 395 intersections in the Deer Park area between Colville and Spokane. 

Because US 395 is an important route to Stevens County and northeast Washington, WSDOT staff will showcase designs for the Short/Main and Monroe/Crawford intersections during an open house in Colville on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 4-7 p.m. in the SCC Gym at 985 S. Elm.

As part of this project, a partial closure of the Burroughs/Dalton intersection and paving Short Road on the west side of US 395 is planned. More information can be viewed in advance on the Deer Park Intersection Improvement study website.


Appleway Trail Open House

The completed section of the Appleway Trail near University.
An open house on the Appleway Trail is focused on the section of the trail between Sullivan and Corbin. The open house is Wednesday, October 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Commons room at Greenacres Middle School, 17409 E. Sprague Avenue. An overview presentation will be made at 7 p.m. with the remainder of the meeting focused on answering questions and gathering input on the project.

Construction of this section of the Appleway Trail is planned for Spring/Summer of 2017, with the section from Pines to Evergreen also anticipated for construction in 2017.  Design and construction of the section from Evergreen to Sullivan is currently scheduled for 2019/2020.

Eventually, the trail will be extended westward from University to connect with the new City Hall and Balfour Park.  When completed, the length of the Appleway Trail will be approximately five and a half miles, and will connect all the way to Liberty Lake.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Sun Powers This Glow-In-The-Dark Bike Path

I am truly giddy about this. Anyone who knows me knows that I geek out over anything that lights up, changes color or glows in the dark. So I'm moving to Poland. That's where a new concept in bike paths is being tried, according to the Huffington Post.

Yes, glow in the dark bike paths!! The asphalt contains synthetic particles called “luminophores,” that emit power captured from sunlight at night, creating an electric blue color that lasts up to 10 hours. During the day, the path is a pretty blue color.

Apparently a lot of pedestrians and bicyclists are out at night in Poland and have a lot of accidents, especially in areas farther from cities. Right now only one path has these glow-in-the-dark powers but if they work well, more will follow.

Most Drivers Don't Use Their On-Board GPS Systems

Got a car with a built-in navigation system? But do you actually use it? CNN Money reports that almost two-thirds of new car owners with on-board GPS reported using their smartphone or a portable navigation device to find their way at least some of the time.

The market research firm J.D. Power and Associates surveyed owners of new vehicles after the first 90 days of ownership. While they were relatively satisfied with the technology in their cars, navigation systems were the item they rated worst as far as satisfaction.

Survey results say nearly a third of those with built-in navigation used it for less than two weeks before giving up on it and using their phone or another portable device. And more than half never used them at all.

The biggest cause for dissatisfaction was entering a destination. With many cars, drivers have to go through tedious menus to enter an address or deal with confusing "point of interest" search menus that don't include a lot of destinations. When users tried voice commands, they said they are often misunderstood.

To make matters worse, most systems lock drivers out from being able to manually enter a destination while the car is moving. That's understandable for safety reasons, but they won't even allow a passenger to do the entering.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Build Your Own Bamboo Bicycle

High-end bamboo bikes aren't new, but building your own? That's new. According to KXLY News, you can do it in London at the Bamboo Bicycle Club, where experts are teaching people to build their own bikes entirely from bamboo. London too far to go for a cool bike? You can also buy a home-build kit to be shipped anywhere in the world.

Not only is bamboo sustainable, it also offers a superior ride according to some bicycle aficionados, because it is light, durable, and has natural shock-absorbing qualities.


Kits range rom $360 to $460, and come in various designs, including road bikes, mountain bikes and even tandems. Not mechanically gifted or having trouble figuring out your kit? The team at the Bamboo Bicycle Club even offers Skype chats, where they give kit buyers advice on assembling the bikes.

Friday, October 7, 2016

SRTC Board Meeting Next Thursday, Oct. 13

It's time for an SRTC Board meeting again. The Board will meet for their regularly-scheduled monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at the SRTC office, 421 W. Riverside, suite 500 (the Paulsen Building).

The meeting agenda is here. If anything on it catches your eye, feel free to attend. There is a time at each meeting for members of the public to share their thoughts.

Local Road Construction Update

WSDOT
SR 290 Westbound/Trent Bridge- On Monday, Oct. 10, westbound Trent Avenue will be reduced to one lane near the Spokane River (just east of Hamilton) from 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m. for tree trimming.

US 395-NSC/Freya & Wellesley Intersection Roundabout- The roundabout at Freya and Wellesley is expected to be complete and open to traffic late on Monday, Oct. 10. Until then, the intersection is closed and a detour in place.



Signing Installation Locations:
SR 27/Palouse Hwy at Valleyford
SR 27/Pullman-Albion Rd. (10/13)
US 195/Cheney-Spangle Rd.
US 195/SR 27 (10/14)
US 195/Paradise Rd.
SR 902/Craig Rd.
SR 904/Lance Hill Rd.


At selected intersections on these highways, Monday through Thursday, from about 6 p.m. until as late as 6 a.m. the following morning, drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes with flaggers and/or pilot cars directing single-lane alternating traffic during intersection striping. Striping work will be underway seven days per week. Striping work requires dry weather.  The schedule is subject to change. Sign installation work will be underway during evening and overnight hours Monday’s through Thursday’s. Expect short delays.


SPOKANE VALLEY
Appleway from Park to Dishman-Mica- Reduced to two lanes through the end of October for street improvement work.  Anticipate full closures to side streets and driveways on the north side of Appleway on Thursday, October 13 for a few hours throughout the day while asphalt is placed.  

McDonald from Sprague to Mission- Closed until Wednesday, October 12. Signs detour traffic via Pines or Evergreen. Expect sidewalk closures with signs to mark pedestrian detour routes.

Pines Road at Mirabeau Parkway intersection- Southbound traffic reduced to one lane from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 14 - 15, with reductions to one lane in each direction during overnight hours from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. 

Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project- Northbound traffic reduced to one lane with vehicles restricted to ten feet wide or less. Turns from Indiana onto northbound Sullivan are reduced to one lane. One southbound lane will be closed at Flora Pit Rd during working hours Monday to Friday.

SPOKANE CITY

1st Avenue, Et Al, Erie to Helena- Paving on Perry Street begins Sunday, October 9, from Sprague to 2nd Avenue.  Monday, October 10, work begins on 1st Avenue from Perry to Helena StreetThis project will provide storm water conveyance to the Pacific and Perry Infiltration Facility and replace old water distribution lines. The project also includes associated street construction.

37th Avenue, Regal to Custer- 37th Avenue from Freya to Custer Street is closed. The detour route is Glenrose to Palouse Highway to Regal Street. Base lift paving is scheduled on 37th Avenue from Freya to Myrtle Street Thursday, October 13. This work is to reconstruct the road, include pavement replacement, curbs, sidewalk, bike lanes, stormwater piping, and a 36 inch water main.


Ben Burr Trail- Weather permitting, paving will occur on 2nd Avenue Tuesday, October 11.

Crews are installing new storm crossing and ADA ramps on 2nd Avenue, closing the street from Napa to Arthur. Lane restrictions are in pace on 2nd Avenue between Altamont and Napa. The freeway on ramp remains open and exit 282B has been reduced to one lane. Third Avenue has lane restrictions from Arthur to Altamont.  The crossing at Perry under the freeway is closed. This project will construct a paved trail connection for bicyclists and pedestrian from the Centennial Trail at the Gonzaga Bridge southeast of Erie Street and continuing to Liberty Park to the existing Ben Burr Trail.  The trail will then continue on the existing Ben Burr Trail to the trailhead immediately south of Underhill Park.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- Work has begun on tank walls. 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.

Greene Street Bridge InspectionThe Greene Street Bridge inspection that started this week will continue on Thursday, October 13 at 9 a.m. First the north bound curb lane will be inspected before crews switch to the south bound lane. The inspection is expected to last into Friday, Oct. 14.

Hazels Creek Stormwater Treatment Project- Work continues on Freya south of 37th Ave. on a stormwater treatment system with disposal ponds and stormwater piping. This system will be an extension of the existing Hazel’s Creek Facility on 42nd Avenue.

Indiana Avenue from Dakota to Perry Streets- The next paving date is Tuesday, Oct. 18. Remaining work includes pouring curb supports, landscaping, installing electrical, installing signs and pavement markings throughout the project. The project is on track to finish by Monday, October 31.

Perry St. is reduced to one lane in each direction to perform work within and near the Perry/Indiana intersection.  Crescent Ave. will be closed at the intersection and railroad crossing. This project includes curb ramps, storm swales, new curb, waterline replacement, signal installation work and some parking removal.

Main Avenue Restriping Project- Striping work continues on the block between Division and Pine.  Weather may cause delays as the asphalt must be dry for adhesion. In addition to restriping, the project includes amenities such as  planted entry feature, a flexible multi-purpose space in the center of the street that can be used for parking or events, mid-block crossing with curb extensions and planting, pay-by-Plate parking system with four kiosks.


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, 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. 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, the project will construct a section of the Ben Burr trail. 


Monroe/Lincoln Street Couplet, 8th Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Top lift paving begins the week of October 10. Striping and cleanup follows October 15 – 22. Lincoln is scheduled to open late day Friday, October 22. This project reconstructed the roadway from 8th to 2nd Avenue and installs storm water and water facilities.  


Monore and Lincoln Street, Main Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Riverside will be closed Oct. 10 – 20 between Lincoln and Monroe while work for asphalt removal, underground installations, and preparation for paving occurs in the intersections of Lincoln and Riverside; and Monroe and Riverside. October 10 – 14 work will be in the east side of the intersections of Lincoln and Riverside; and Monroe and Riverside. October 15 – 20 work will be in the west side of the intersections of Lincoln and Riverside; and Monroe and Riverside. Paving will occur Friday, October 14. Storm and sewer work continues with 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. 


Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO 12) Project- Pettet Drive is closed. 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. The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettit Drive 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.


Street Maintenance Residential Crack SealingCrews are working in Rosewood bounded by Catherine to Royal et al continuing Crack sealing on Rosewood from Catherine to Royal and Lyons to Rosewood and Hartley to Royal and Oxford Dr. to Francis. Work is also continuing on Ridgecrest and Comanche Dr. to Moore and Shawnee to Ridgecrest.



      West Plains to Spokane International Airport Connection- The project boundaries are as follows: Craig Road and McFarlane Road to Hayford Road and McFarlane Road. Work includes the installation of 12 inch ductile iron water main. The new line will provide a connection between two pressure zones including the west plains and Spokane International Airport.  The work will also provide new circulation connections at existing dead end points.  The alignment of the new water main will follow the alignment of the existing sewer main.

SPOKANE COUNTY
Seven Mile Bridge & Seven Mile RoadBridge approach work, Road work tie-ins, look for loose gravel. The bridge is now open although there is no centerline stripe and a temporary speed limit of 25 mph. 

Hawthorne Road West (Waikiki to US 395)- Completion of road, stormwater reconstruction, signal improvement, bike lane, striping. Open with temporary lane restrictions for cleanup work. Use alternate route to avoid delays. 

Hawthorne Road East (US 395 to US 2)Road reconstruction, stormwater upgrades, curb, signal, bike, striping; paving operations have begun look for additional road access restrictions. Road is open to traffic, lane restrictions for some cleanup work.

Argonne Road (Spokane River to Wellesley)- Road reconstruction, stormwater retrofit, paving, open to two lanes each way. There may be occasional lane restrictions for cleanup work.

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

Local Road Construction Update

WSDOT
SR 290 Westbound/Trent Bridge- On Monday, Oct. 10, westbound Trent Avenue will be reduced to one lane near the Spokane River (just east of Hamilton) from 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m. for tree trimming.

US 395-NSC/Freya & Wellesley Intersection Roundabout- The roundabout at Freya and Wellesley is expected to be complete and open to traffic late on Monday, Oct. 10. Until then, the intersection is closed and a detour in place.



Signing Installation Locations:
SR 27/Palouse Hwy at Valleyford
SR 27/Pullman-Albion Rd. (10/13)
US 195/Cheney-Spangle Rd.
US 195/SR 27 (10/14)
US 195/Paradise Rd.
SR 902/Craig Rd.
SR 904/Lance Hill Rd.


At selected intersections on these highways, Monday through Thursday, from about 6 p.m. until as late as 6 a.m. the following morning, drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes with flaggers and/or pilot cars directing single-lane alternating traffic during intersection striping. Striping work will be underway seven days per week. Striping work requires dry weather.  The schedule is subject to change. Sign installation work will be underway during evening and overnight hours Monday’s through Thursday’s. Expect short delays.


SPOKANE VALLEY
Appleway from Park to Dishman-Mica- Reduced to two lanes through the end of October for street improvement work.  Anticipate full closures to side streets and driveways on the north side of Appleway on Thursday, October 13 for a few hours throughout the day while asphalt is placed.  

McDonald from Sprague to Mission- Closed until Wednesday, October 12. Signs detour traffic via Pines or Evergreen. Expect sidewalk closures with signs to mark pedestrian detour routes.

Pines Road at Mirabeau Parkway intersection- Southbound traffic reduced to one lane from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 14 - 15, with reductions to one lane in each direction during overnight hours from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. 

Sullivan Road Bridge Replacement Project- Northbound traffic reduced to one lane with vehicles restricted to ten feet wide or less. Turns from Indiana onto northbound Sullivan are reduced to one lane. One southbound lane will be closed at Flora Pit Rd during working hours Monday to Friday.

SPOKANE CITY

1st Avenue, Et Al, Erie to Helena- Paving on Perry Street begins Sunday, October 9, from Sprague to 2nd Avenue.  Monday, October 10, work begins on 1st Avenue from Perry to Helena StreetThis project will provide storm water conveyance to the Pacific and Perry Infiltration Facility and replace old water distribution lines. The project also includes associated street construction.

37th Avenue, Regal to Custer- 37th Avenue from Freya to Custer Street is closed. The detour route is Glenrose to Palouse Highway to Regal Street. Base lift paving is scheduled on 37th Avenue from Freya to Myrtle Street Thursday, October 13. This work is to reconstruct the road, include pavement replacement, curbs, sidewalk, bike lanes, stormwater piping, and a 36 inch water main.


Ben Burr Trail- Weather permitting, paving will occur on 2nd Avenue Tuesday, October 11.

Crews are installing new storm crossing and ADA ramps on 2nd Avenue, closing the street from Napa to Arthur. Lane restrictions are in pace on 2nd Avenue between Altamont and Napa. The freeway on ramp remains open and exit 282B has been reduced to one lane. Third Avenue has lane restrictions from Arthur to Altamont.  The crossing at Perry under the freeway is closed. This project will construct a paved trail connection for bicyclists and pedestrian from the Centennial Trail at the Gonzaga Bridge southeast of Erie Street and continuing to Liberty Park to the existing Ben Burr Trail.  The trail will then continue on the existing Ben Burr Trail to the trailhead immediately south of Underhill Park.

Bridge Avenue and Monroe Street CSO Work- Work has begun on tank walls. 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.

Greene Street Bridge InspectionThe Greene Street Bridge inspection that started this week will continue on Thursday, October 13 at 9 a.m. First the north bound curb lane will be inspected before crews switch to the south bound lane. The inspection is expected to last into Friday, Oct. 14.

Hazels Creek Stormwater Treatment Project- Work continues on Freya south of 37th Ave. on a stormwater treatment system with disposal ponds and stormwater piping. This system will be an extension of the existing Hazel’s Creek Facility on 42nd Avenue.

Indiana Avenue from Dakota to Perry Streets- The next paving date is Tuesday, Oct. 18. Remaining work includes pouring curb supports, landscaping, installing electrical, installing signs and pavement markings throughout the project. The project is on track to finish by Monday, October 31.

Perry St. is reduced to one lane in each direction to perform work within and near the Perry/Indiana intersection.  Crescent Ave. will be closed at the intersection and railroad crossing. This project includes curb ramps, storm swales, new curb, waterline replacement, signal installation work and some parking removal.

Main Avenue Restriping Project- Striping work continues on the block between Division and Pine.  Weather may cause delays as the asphalt must be dry for adhesion. In addition to restriping, the project includes amenities such as  planted entry feature, a flexible multi-purpose space in the center of the street that can be used for parking or events, mid-block crossing with curb extensions and planting, pay-by-Plate parking system with four kiosks.


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, 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. 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, the project will construct a section of the Ben Burr trail. 


Monroe/Lincoln Street Couplet, 8th Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Top lift paving begins the week of October 10. Striping and cleanup follows October 15 – 22. Lincoln is scheduled to open late day Friday, October 22. This project reconstructed the roadway from 8th to 2nd Avenue and installs storm water and water facilities.  


Monore and Lincoln Street, Main Avenue to 2nd Avenue- Riverside will be closed Oct. 10 – 20 between Lincoln and Monroe while work for asphalt removal, underground installations, and preparation for paving occurs in the intersections of Lincoln and Riverside; and Monroe and Riverside. October 10 – 14 work will be in the east side of the intersections of Lincoln and Riverside; and Monroe and Riverside. October 15 – 20 work will be in the west side of the intersections of Lincoln and Riverside; and Monroe and Riverside. Paving will occur Friday, October 14. Storm and sewer work continues with 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. 


Pettet Drive/TJ Meenach Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO 12) Project- Pettet Drive is closed. 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. The clover leaf that services TJ Meenach, Down River and Pettit Drive 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.


Street Maintenance Residential Crack SealingCrews are working in Rosewood bounded by Catherine to Royal et al continuing Crack sealing on Rosewood from Catherine to Royal and Lyons to Rosewood and Hartley to Royal and Oxford Dr. to Francis. Work is also continuing on Ridgecrest and Comanche Dr. to Moore and Shawnee to Ridgecrest.



      West Plains to Spokane International Airport Connection- The project boundaries are as follows: Craig Road and McFarlane Road to Hayford Road and McFarlane Road. Work includes the installation of 12 inch ductile iron water main. The new line will provide a connection between two pressure zones including the west plains and Spokane International Airport.  The work will also provide new circulation connections at existing dead end points.  The alignment of the new water main will follow the alignment of the existing sewer main.

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.