Ninety years ago, the Washington State Patrol was formed with troopers riding Indian motorcycles.
The iconic bikes were replaced in recent years with BMW motorcycles for the state’s 43 troopers that ride on two wheels.
Now, those troopers are getting new rides: the WSP is switching to Honda.
“I think it’s a little bit smoother than the BMW, especially at higher speeds,” said Trooper Jeff Sevigney, one of four motorcycle troopers in the Spokane region.
“It’s a little bit easier to ride,” he said.
The Honda ST 1300 PA is powered by a four-cylinder engine arranged in a “V” alignment with a five-speed transmission. The model was introduced in Europe in 2002. It has well-placed crash bars along the sides to protect the driver in case of a spill.
The bike will get Sevigney in and out of tight spaces and can go where a patrol car cannot. “We are less noticeable,” he said.
The 15-year veteran won’t say how fast the motorcycle will go. “Fast enough is what I tell people,” he said.
Last week, he was working traffic along U.S. Highway 195 near Cheney-Spokane Road as part of a stepped-up enforcement and safety program along that busy corridor.
It didn’t take long for him to pull over a few drivers. Within a few minutes, he nailed a semitruck driver going over the limit.
Motorcycle troopers typically ride from March to November. They retreat to cars during winter months.
A statement from WSP headquarters said, “The Honda ST 1300 PA was specifically manufactured for law enforcement use.
“The Honda was chosen over other models because of the balance, maneuverability, acceleration, overall performance, availability of service, and lower purchase and maintenance costs.”
Speeding often cited along detour
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office reports that one of its deputies has been writing a lot of speeding tickets in the vicinity of Perry Street and 54th Avenue, where traffic is being detoured around reconstruction of Hatch Road.
The work has closed Hatch from 43rd to 57th avenues, which is just inside the Spokane city limits. The tickets were being written in an area just outside the city.
Input sought for pedestrian bridge
The city of Spokane is asking the public for help in deciding what type of pedestrian bridge would be best for crossing the mainline BNSF Railway tracks at the University District.
The bridge will link the East Sprague Avenue area with the college campus to the north of the BNSF line along Spokane Falls Boulevard and a new Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Studded tire extension ends
Today is the last day in Washington that studded tires will be allowed for the season.
Lingering winter weather prompted the state Department of Transportation to postpone the removal deadline from April 1.
Street repairs bring delays
Northbound traffic on Division Street is likely to be slow again this week as the result of a repaving project between Euclid and Francis avenues.
Remember, there are plenty of other routes for north-south travel, including Getting There’s favorite – Crestline Street.
Slowdowns are also expected on Interstate 90 west of downtown where work is under way to eliminate ruts and damage largely caused by studded winter tires.
Also, work on the east side of Snoqualmie Pass is causing slowdowns and delays depending on the time of day or day of the week.
Rolling slowdowns are expected during daylight hours this week. Nighttime traffic will be restricted to one lane.
It’s a good idea to check the work schedule before departing at wsdot.wa. gov/projects/i90/whats happening.
STA board approves more bus service cuts
The Spokane Transit Authority board last week approved cuts in bus service that will amount to 7 percent of the budget. It’s the second consecutive year of service cuts as STA attempts to align its budget with revenues.
The cuts, mainly to lesser-used routes, take effect Sept. 18. For details, go to spokanetransit.com.
Open house for I-90 planning
The state DOT wants the public’s help in planning for future improvements on I-90 in the Liberty Lake and East Valley areas.
An open house will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Hope Lutheran Church, 17909 E. Broadway Ave.
“The options aim to help commuters and freight haulers get where they need to go faster and easier with added lanes and more efficient on- and off-ramp locations,” according to an announcement.