April 15, 2010 in Washington Voices

Study finds Glenrose ballparks would create traffic congestion

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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At a glance

The traffic study that was commissioned by The Glenrose Neighborhood Association can be viewed here online at www. glenrosecommunity.org.

The Glenrose Neighborhood Association recently paid for a traffic study in an effort to illuminate the traffic impact of a proposed Spokane South Little League baseball complex, proposed for the southeast corner of Glenrose Road and 37th Avenue.

The 20-acre site is owned by Morning Star Boys Ranch, which entered into a working agreement with Spokane South Little League in February 2009 in order to develop the park.

Some neighbors in the area are opposed to the development, which they say will congest the rural roads and be a source of light and noise pollution.

On Jan. 8, the Spokane County Hearing Examiner issued a ruling that approved parts of the appeal brought by the Glenrose Community Association and denied parts of the appeal.

Among other things, Hearing Examiner Mike Dempsey required further environmental analysis of the noise and light impact, and some additional traffic study.

Peter Ice, president of Glenrose Community Association, said there were no big surprises among the findings of the traffic study.

“We live here, we know the circumstances around that intersection,” Ice said. “We didn’t really understand how much of an impact the actual design of the parking lot will have on congestion. If traffic backs up inside the lot or on the road, it will make maneuvering very difficult.”

The study, which was conducted by Robert Bernstein, a consulting transportation engineer based in Seattle, shows that congestion will be a major issue on Glenrose and 37th Avenue, especially during tournaments held at the complex. This may create safety hazards and also encourage drivers to use neighborhood streets in an effort to avoid the intersection at Glenrose and 37th.

Ice said the study has been forwarded to South Side Little League, but he has not heard back from the group. The study was also sent to Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard and to the county’s engineering department which monitors whether new developments follow traffic requirements.

County Engineer Scott Engelhard said he commends the neighborhood for being proactive, but would like to remind people that there are no building applications filed.

“We have not heard anything from the project’s sponsor,” said Engelhard, adding that Glenrose residents have called the engineering department with very specific traffic-related questions.

“For instance, people have asked if there will be turn lanes and how long they will be,” said Engelhard. “That’s not a question we can answer until we have an actual application for a project so we know specifically what they are planning to build.”

Ice said the community association is in a wait-and-see position.

Brian Gosline, field coordinator for Spokane South Little League and a spokesperson for the project, said he received a copy of the traffic study and forwarded it to the $4.5 million project’s engineers.

“We are just moving forward as we have been,” Gosline said. “We are still fundraising, and we’re hoping to see this come to fruition.”


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