A slab of concrete along 29th Avenue designed to keep drivers from turning left onto Pittsburg Street will stay in place.
By a 6-1 vote, Spokane City Council members Monday followed the advice of the city’s transportation department, which says keeping the barrier increases the intersection’s safety.
Councilman Chris Anderson cast the dissenting vote, saying he wanted a week to study the issue. Councilman Joel Crosby was absent.
The city installed the “temporary” barrier in August 1993 after repeated complaints from residents living near Pittsburg about the intersection’s dangers.
Bruce Steele, transportation director, said the barrier needs to stay in place at least five more years - until money is found for a permanent solution such as a traffic light.
Steele also suggested the city repave Grand Boulevard, a move that might get some traffic off of Garfield Street, which has seen 600 more cars a day since the barrier’s installation.
Residents living along Garfield complain the barrier displaced drivers accustomed to using Pittsburg to avoid Grand Boulevard. Those drivers ended up on Garfield, making it unsafe for children.
Steele said accidents along Pittsburg and Garfield have decreased since the barrier went up.
Area resident Del Vander Meer said that while accidents dropped along those streets, they’ve increased throughout southeast Spokane.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo Graphic: Map of area