July 25, 2005 in City

In a hurry? A ticket will stall you

By The Spokesman-Review
 

OK. It’s clear that street construction delays are no fun.

But is saving three minutes of drive time really so essential that it’s worth endangering children and pets by speeding at 35-40 mph along residential streets?

Apparently some Spokane drivers think it is. Wonder if they’ll think that saved time is worth the price of a ticket.

Spokane Police will be conducting emphasis patrols this week along several side streets now bearing the brunt of speeders trying to avoid construction projects.

“They’re just zooming. They’re just hauling down the road,” said Rosa Licon about drivers using Fiske Street to avoid the construction on Greene Street near Spokane Community College.

Licon has a 3 1/2-year old son, and she worries that he will wander into the street and be hit.

Spokane Police Sgt. Rick Dobrow said he doesn’t even drive as fast as the 25 mph speed limit on residential streets because of the hazards.

Such streets are narrower than arterials and frequently have cars parked along both sides.

“What happens if a child runs out between a couple of parked cars?” Dobrow asked.

In addition to speeding, many drivers are failing to slow down and properly yield the right-of-way as they approach uncontrolled intersections.

Drivers who don’t care to watch out for kids on residential streets can watch out for the cops this week.

Safer to ride than drive

Recent terrorist attacks on London’s subway and bus system are causing some people to fear taking public transit.

But a newly released study by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transportation Policy Institute in British Columbia reveals that mass transit is still safer than driving an automobile, even including deaths from terrorism.

The study compares fear of transit terrorism to people’s fears of flying despite its much better safety record compared to driving. Litman says it’s the unusual nature of transit accidents and attacks, and the accompanying media coverage, that cause the fear.

Automobile accidents, because they’re more common, garner less notice.

So is he saying we shouldn’t be afraid to take the bus, but we should be afraid of driving? Judging by some drivers’ behavior, it’s difficult to disagree.

Bus changes

The Spokane Transit Authority will ramp up service starting Oct. 16.

STA’s new service plan goes into effect then, adding several new routes including one between the Spokane Valley Mall and Spokane Community College.

Other changes include extending service between downtown Spokane and Liberty Lake one hour later, and many Spokane Valley routes now operating only once an hour will be offered every half-hour.

STA will offer 11 percent more service overall.

More information is available at www.spokanetransit.com.

Also in the works is a new south Spokane park-and-ride lot at 31st Avenue and Southeast Boulevard.

Bids came in 12.6 percent higher than engineers estimated due in part to higher concrete costs and competition for construction crews from the area’s many road projects.

Still, the STA Board has approved moving forward on the park and ride. It’s scheduled to open in November.

Stevens County work

Suncrest and Felton residents get a dose of roadwork starting next week. The Stevens County Department of Public Works will repave about 20 miles of roads in those areas, beginning in Felton on Aug. 1.

In most places the work will shut down just one side of the road at a time, but cul-de-sacs will be closed entirely for about five hours when paved. Residents will be notified in advance.

Expect delays.

Slow going

Progress Road will be closed this morning and Tuesday morning between Sprague and Valley Way.

Construction continues on Third Avenue in downtown Spokane.

Government Way is under construction from Greenwood Road to Aubrey White Parkway.

The Washington state Department of Transportation is preparing to resurface Division Street and the Newport Highway from just north of Francis to Center Road. Most work will take place between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Crews are working on Ash and Maple streets north of Francis Avenue, although at least one lane will remain open on each. Ash still is closed between Francis and Wellesley Avenue.

Washington is restricted to two lanes from Eighth to Third.

Greene Street is reduced to one lane in each direction between Mission Avenue and the Spokane River bridge.

Lincoln Street repairs are under way between 21st and 29th avenues.

Regal Street is under construction from 38th Avenue south to the Palouse Highway.

“A” Street is closed between Wellesley and Hoffman.

The Palouse Highway is closed from Valley Chapel Road to Dunn Road. A detour is in place.

Fourth Avenue is closed between University and Farr Road.

Spokane County will be making chip seal repairs this week on Cheney-Plaza Road.


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