Anyone who uses Francis Avenue or any of the streets crossing Francis between Division and Crestline has probably used an unusually high number of expletives in recent days. The city, in its total lack of wisdom, has reduced the number of lanes along Francis to two. Apparently, our street department has never heard about a thing called traffic mitigation. As a retired associate highway engineer, I can tell you that it is a policy that says construction or maintenance projects should have as minimal an impact on traffic as possible.
First, virtually every city across the nation of any size has adopted the practice of conducting this kind of work on its busiest streets at night when traffic volumes are at their lowest, making every attempt to open the street as much as is practical during the day. Another type of mitigation dictates that much shorter stretches be closed, with the work being completed before moving on to the next, lessening the impact.
Spokane’s failure to care about or even acknowledge these practices leaves its drivers to unnecessary traffic delays that not only test their patience, but tap their wallets as well.