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Getting There: Groups will study transit growth

Mon., Sept. 17, 2012

A series of transit advisory groups will convene starting Wednesday to plan for future improvements on four major corridors in the Spokane region.

The routes are: downtown to Liberty Lake via Spokane Valley; North Division Street to downtown; Five Mile Prairie to Moran Prairie; and Cheney to downtown.

Corridor advisory panels, each with about 15 members, have been formed to study the routes and the types of services the Spokane Transit Authority might offer someday.

Susan Meyer, chief executive officer of STA, said the planning work is needed to get the transit system ready for future demand as more people seek out public transit.

The Spokane area could grow by 100,000 people over the next 20 years, the STA said. Buses currently have about 11 million boardings a year.

High-performance buses would move passengers faster and more frequently at six- to 15-minute intervals. They would use off-board ticketing, dedicated bus and business access lanes, and prioritization at traffic lights.

The Cheney route to Eastern Washington University could offer faster expresses as well, partly by limiting the number of stops.

STA currently does not have funding for the improvements, but Meyer said that better economic conditions in coming years might set the stage for transit development.

The work that begins this week follows planning for a central city line that would run from Spokane Community College to Browne’s Addition by way of Gonzaga University, Riverpoint and downtown.

Members of the public are invited to join the advisory panels.

They will meet monthly through April with the exception of December. All meetings will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The Liberty Lake and Spokane Valley group will be the first to convene on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at CenterPlace, 2426 N. Discovery Place.

The North Division panel meets Wednesday at the Quality Inn, 7919 N. Division St.

Five Mile to Moran Prairie meets on Sept. 25 at the STA headquarters, 1230 W. Boone Ave.

The Cheney group meets Sept. 26 at the Cheney Library.

For more information, go to

Cameras will track speeders on I-90

The Washington State Department of Transportation is bringing down the hammer on speeding drivers in the construction zone just east of Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90.

Enforcement cameras will record license numbers of speeding drivers with the registered owners getting citations with $137 fines. The citations are not part of a driver’s record. A citation written by a law enforcement officer would cost $400 or more and become part of a driver’s record.

Big-rig driver hits 3 million-mile mark

A Spokane Valley man has reached an amazing milestone.

Rick Primmer, a 24-year veteran of Con-way Truckload based in Joplin, Mo., has now driven 3 million miles behind the wheel of company rigs.

“Rick could not be more deserving of this honor,” Saul Gonzalez, chief operating officer of Con-way Truckload, said in a news release last week.

“I want to put his accomplishment into perspective: driving three million miles is the same as driving the circumference of Earth 120 times. This is a very impressive feat. I want to congratulate Rick and thank him for his commitment to safety and dedication to professional driving.”

Primmer, 53, passed his first million miles in 1996 and his second million in 2004.

His secret to success: “Take it easy and pay attention,” he said. “Be as safe as you can at all times and take it one day at a time.”

Primmer is married with three children and a grandson.

State’s oldest train depot featured in town festival

Dayton, Wash., is opening its doors to the public on Oct. 6 with its Dayton on Tour event.

The state’s oldest train depot, homes and a Union Pacific Railway caboose will be on this year’s historic tour. Cost is $10.

In addition, the community is hosting an outdoor festival at the corner of First and Main from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Carriage rides will be available, and sausages will be on the grill.

Artists will have their work on display at the depot courtyard from 1 to 4 p.m. A free “art crawl” will go through several historic buildings. An art and wine event will be at 4 p.m. at the Depot Gallery.

Argonne Road repaving set to begin soon

Repaving of Argonne Road just north of I-90 is expected to cause congestion as crews work from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Construction is expected to get under way during the middle of September.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Trent and Indiana avenues. Access to business driveways may be limited at times.

The cost of the job is $59,000.

Elsewhere in Spokane Valley, a construction project on Mission Avenue between Union and Pines roads has been postponed to the end of this month or early October.

I-90 pavement grinding will resume this month

Pavement grinding on I-90 from downtown Spokane to the Geiger Road interchange will resume later this month. It is part of a multiyear project to repair and rehabilitate that stretch of freeway.

When the work resumes, the speed limit will be reduced to 50 mph. At least two lanes will remain open in each direction during the work.

The grinding is needed to smooth out ruts created by studded winter tires, officials said.

Highway 395 bridge to close for night work

The Columbia River Bridge on U.S. Highway 395 just west of Kettle Falls will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following mornings.

Crews are replacing the worn bridge deck. Traffic during the closures will have to detour on Northport-Flat Creek Road and state Highway 25.

Also in that region, travel delays are possible across Sherman Pass on state Highway 20 while crews do utility work along the highway. Traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction.

In the Colfax area, construction work is going to limit traffic to a single lane guided by pilot cars on U.S. Highway 195 from Babbitt Road to Colfax.

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