February 16, 2009 in City

Bill would add turn lane at U.S. 195 intersection

By The Spokesman-Review

OLYMPIA – Three weeks after a teenage girl was killed trying to cross U.S. 195 from Cheney-Spokane Road, two local lawmakers on Monday introduced legislation to pay for work to improve the intersection.

“With the community coming together to support this,” I think we can address this clear safety hazard,” Rep. John Driscoll, D-Spokane, said in a statement announcing the legislation.

House Bill 2225 would pay for a new right-turn lane at the intersection for cars turning from the highway onto Cheney Spokane Road. That, the lawmakers say, would allow more visibility for vehicles turning left onto the highway.

Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, said that more extensive work is needed at the site, “but we need a solution now to prevent future accidents.”

Last year, state Sen. Chris Marr, D-Spokane, had asked transportation budget writers for $12.5 million to revamp that section of road. He said Monday that he will make the same request this year.

In five years, there have been 27 collisions at the intersection, lawmakers said. Both Parker and Driscoll went to Cheney last Tuesday to attend an emotional public meeting about the problem.

“I’ve been using this intersection since I’ve been driving,” Driscoll said, “and have seen just how dangerous it’s become over time.”

A public hearing on the House proposal is slated for March 16.

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