December 30, 2010 in City

Slippery roads vex drivers, responders

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Several slide-offs and accidents clogged roads and kept local law enforcement busy as they struggled to keep up with the high number of incidents Wednesday.

Washington State Patrol responded to more than 150 slide-offs and collisions between Cheney and the Idaho state line from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening, a WSP dispatcher said. The biggest problem area was Interstate 90 just west of Spokane, he said.

Two people were injured in an accident when one was driving too fast for conditions, according to WSP. Rebecca D. Coon, 32, was southbound on U.S. 195 when her Kia Sedona crossed into the northbound lane and struck a northbound Chevrolet pickup driven by Ryan D. Nauer, 33. Coon and Nauer’s passenger, Jason A. Olson, 34, were taken to a Spokane hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash.

A multiple-vehicle accident blocked all but one lane of westbound traffic near the Latah Bridge on I-90 just west of downtown at 3:30 p.m.

The slushy, icy Argonne Road hill was closed periodically after several cars and trucks failed to make it to the top, and westbound I-90 was closed at the height of the evening commute near the Harvard exit after a semitruck crashed.

Idaho State Police cleared 56 accidents in the Coeur d’Alene area Wednesday.

The city of Spokane declared a stage 2 snow emergency on Wednesday evening and will work around the clock to clear roads. They have hired private contractors to help with the snow removal effort.

Those in residential hill routes were required to move their cars to the even side of the street by 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Those in all other residential areas were required to move their cars to the even side of the street by 4:30 this morning.

Parking is restricted downtown between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. during a stage 2 emergency to facilitate plowing, and no parked cars are allowed on arterials or fixed bus routes. The city will announce Browne’s Addition parking restrictions separately. The city also is asking residents to remove snow from parked cars, fire hydrants, storm drains and mail boxes.

Residential parking restrictions are in place in an area until plows have passed through that area.

“Restricting parking during snow emergencies allows plow drivers to clear away more snow, widening the area available for vehicles and generally improving drivability,” a city news release said.


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