Speeders on Country Homes Boulevard have really done it now - they’ve upset the cops.
Spokane County sheriff’s deputies regularly ticket cars for traveling 10 or 15 miles per hour over the 30 mph speed limit along the commuter route just north of the city limits.
But so many cars have been speeding on the broad, tree-lined street, deputies have been having a hard time picking out individual violators.
“I’ve seen six to 10 cars grouping together, and it’s very difficult to select the correct car that is speeding,” said Cpl. Jim Speaks of the sheriff’s traffic unit. “It’s frustrating.”
Neighborhood complaints and concerns about children’s safety - Linwood Elementary students walk to and from school along the road - prompted Speaks to step up patrols on Country Homes Boulevard between Maple and Wall streets.
“This is our neighborhood, our home. This is not Division or Interstate 90,” said Shellie Hisaw, a mother of four who lives on Country Homes Boulevard. “We want people to treat our neighborhood with respect.”
Four deputies, rather than the usual two, are now gunning for speeders. Deputy Brent Garrett said he ticketed two drivers for going 44 mph in a half-hour Tuesday morning.
“I shouldn’t tell where, or people will know where we are,” said Garrett, laughing.
If cars are closer than two car lengths, deputies have a hard time getting the radar gun to register the speed of a specific car. More expensive laser-sighted guns could pick cars out, but the sheriff doesn’t have them.
It is hardest to ticket speeders during rush hours, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., Speaks said.
The added patrols have paid off for the sheriff. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 29, deputies issued 11 tickets on Country Homes. In the first week of the stepped up patrols, deputies gave 12 tickets.
Speaks also plans to reinstate a citizen-run speeder board - an electronic reader board that shows drivers how fast they are going. Neighborhood residents ran the board in October and have volunteered to run it again.
He is also wants to post a “Patrolled by Radar” sign, which would require approval of the planning department.
The sheriff’s department decided to focus on the area because of the nearby Linwood Elementary, Linwood Park and the high concentration of homes, Speaks said.
Hisaw insists on driving her children - ages 7, 5, 3 and 1 - to the park even though it is just one block away.
“We are tired of this being the Country Homes raceway,” Hisaw said.
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MEMO: Meeting on speeding The Spokane County Sheriff will hold a community meeting April 11 at 7 p.m. at Linwood Elementary, 906 W. Weile, to discuss speeding on Country Homes Boulevard.