Friday, January 27, 2017

Monroe Street Project Draw Business Opposition

Map courtesy of the Spokesman-Review.
A City of Spokane project to reconstruct  North Monroe Street with fewer travel lanes drew opposition at a public meeting last night, according to the Spokesman-Review.

The $7 million project would reduce Monroe from four to two lanes north of Indiana Avenue to the base of the North Hill to allow more space for a wider center turn lane and curb parking.

The business community in that area is worried that the configuration will discourage traffic and that the extended timeframe will drive away customers.

One business owner last night handed out fliers from the North Monroe Business Association at the meeting explaining these concerns about the project.

City officials have concerns as well; about safety on Monroe. A five year old girl was killed while crossing the street in 2013. Planners say planned curb extensions at the intersections would shorten crossing distances for pedestrians and increase safety.

One complaint City staff heard repeatedly was that buses would stop in the travel lanes to load and unload, blocking traffic.The plan has three bus stops affected, and creates bus pullouts at northbound stops at Montgomery and Dalton avenues. At Montgomery, buses would have a traffic light behind them to create gaps for merging back into traffic. At Dalton, an extra climbing lane up the Monroe hill would let buses to re-enter traffic.

Construction would start in 2018. 

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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.