December 15, 2008 in City

WSU grad’s proposal lets Cougars go their own way

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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A 2001 graduate of Washington State University said he thinks Highway 26 from Colfax to Vantage would be a great place for Cougars to get their kicks.

Tyler Morgan proposes renaming SR 26 the WSU “Cougar” Highway.

“That route really is the Cougar highway, if you will,” he said.

The Moses Lake native is gathering support from communities along the route and from Cougars in general so he can take his request to the state Transportation Commission.

According to Washington law, “For the commission to consider a naming or renaming proposal, the requesting entity or person must provide sufficient evidence, as determined by the commission, indicating community support and acceptance of the proposal.”

Morgan said he already has letters of support from two mayors, a state representative and Cougar supporters.

He is looking for volunteers to take the request to various chambers of commerce and city councils to ask for their support.

He said the east-west route across the middle of Eastern Washington typically handles students and alumni traffic going from Western or Central Washington to the Pullman campus. On football game days, most of the traffic on the highway is Cougar traffic, he said.

“It is the major east-west route running to the main Pullman campus,” he pointed out.

He said the designation would call attention to all of the contributions that the university, its staff and alumni have made to the state. He wants signs posted along the route declaring its name and significance.

“My goal is to bring notoriety to the school, the fans and the people the school has helped,” Morgan said.

He has formed a Cougar Highway Organization and set up at Web site at www.cougarhighway.com. The site has petitions that can be downloaded and an e-mail address for volunteering and registering support.

Keep it secured

The Washington State Patrol wants to remind motorists hauling loads to make sure they are properly tied down.

The warning comes after members of Bellevue High School’s football team narrowly escaped injury in a bus crash triggered when a ladder fell from an unsecured load ahead of them on Nov. 28.

The state in 2006 increased fines to a maximum of $5,000 for losing a load and causing an accident and injury. The law makes it a gross misdemeanor to cause injury and a misdemeanor if the lost load causes property damage.

Winter safety tips

With winter weather finally here, transportation officials are urging motorists to take care. Here is a list of reminders and tips from the Washington transportation department and other sources:

•Know the current conditions and weather before leaving.

Call 511 in Washington or Idaho, or (800) 695-ROAD in Washington or (888) 432-7623 in Idaho, for traveler information. On the Web, go to wsdot.wa.gov/ or itd.idaho.gov/ and follow the links. For mobile Web browsers in Idaho, try 511.idaho.gov. Washington and Idaho both have networks of traffic cameras. Real-time traffic information is available in the Spokane urban area at www.srtmc.org/.

Customized weather forecasts are available from the National Weather Service on the Web at www.wrh.noaa.gov/otx/. Point your cursor at your location on the map and click there – a custom forecast will appear.

•Be equipped with adequate traction devices.

•Make sure the vehicle has adequate coolant protection.

•Clear snow and ice from all windows before you drive.

•Don’t try to out-drive the conditions.

•Leave plenty of room for stopping.

•Leave at least 200 feet for maintenance vehicles and plows.

•Never pass a snowplow on the right. (There may be a blade extension or compressed, rolling snow.)

•Don’t get overconfident in your four-wheel drive vehicle or with studded tires.

•Watch out for slippery bridge decks, even when the rest of the road is in good condition.

•Don’t use cruise control.

•Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally would.

•Don’t follow too closely.

•Slow down.

•Carry emergency food, water, clothing, blankets, flashlight, flares or reflectors and a small supply of traction material.


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