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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Autos Bill Love

MONDAY, JULY 14, 2014

Some laws to bike by

I’ve had numerous written and personal discussions that involve the intermixing of bicycles and motor vehicles on our roadways. Usually, those discussions involve the rights and responsibilities of motorists and bicyclists. Recent reader inquiries on the subject run the gamut, so it’s a timely moment…

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MONDAY, JULY 7, 2014

The lure of the road

After I recounted a recent road trip in this spot two weeks ago, emails from readers supported my enthusiasm. I’ve always touted a road trip as a freedom to cherish: something that could feasibly become restricted or prohibited in the future. From journeys with demanding…

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Blowing your horn

I reprinted a Washington law (RCW 46.61.245) in a recent column concerning the mix of motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists on our roadways. A segment of that code requires that drivers, “…shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and…

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MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014

Readers pass test

Two weeks ago, my column promoted the need for heightened seasonal driver awareness of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Therein, I included a hidden pop quiz to test reader awareness of traffic laws. A few of you wrote in, passing the test. Within the previous column,…

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MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014

Making their cases

I like giving readers the opportunity to express their opinions and ideas whenever possible. Recent topics have generated some feedback containing some of their questions, thoughts and theories. R.T. wonders why 5 mile per hour variances are so necessary for speed limits around his (or…

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MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014

Motorcycle awareness season

Motorcycle awareness month (May) is nearly over, but the sentiment is valid all year. In climates (like ours) with a winter that generally prohibits motorcycle riding, the pent-up demand creates a dense “motorcycle season” during spring, summer, and fall. Please keep in mind that motorcyclists…

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THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014

Peeves that bind

What can unite caring drivers? Driving peeves. When I relayed some pet peeves of a retired Washington State Patrol Trooper earlier this month, reader feedback indicated that those peeves and others bind conscientious drivers together with a commonality. Mostly, it seems to be thoughtful, caring…

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THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014

Setting speed limits

I think we have all experienced speed limits that seem unreasonably low (45 mph “forever” leaving south Colfax, for example). On the other hand, I occasionally encounter a limit high enough to make achieving it a challenge, and unsafe if you do (75 mph through…

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MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014

Legitimate pet peeves

The more one is exposed to driving, the more one has to accommodate drivers who are oblivious and/or inept. At times, I wonder if I’m overly critical, but then recall the inherent dangers of that sloppy driving and continue my criticism. And when a former…

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MONDAY, MAY 5, 2014

More on merging

The topic of the short ramp and merge point at Highway 195 and eastbound I-90 generated a flood of reader feedback and even a response from the Washington State Department of Transportation. That ramp can’t be improved right now due to higher priorities and shortness…

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MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2014

Crossing double yellow lines

Double yellow painted lines: We see them on highways, arterials, and city streets. Their main purpose is to separate lanes of traffic travelling in opposite directions. If there are both solid and dashed yellow lines between lanes of traffic, one may not pass if the…

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MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014

WSDOT response

A column about the too-short-chute that leads to eastbound I 90 at the entrance ramp from U.S. 195 touched off some lively reader dialog. After a follow-up column exposed drivers’ conflict, consternation and fright experienced there, an official response arrived. That response came from the…

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MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014

Emerging pedestrians

When driveway shoveling gives way to lawn mowing, winter is over. I just witnessed the latter taking place on my block yesterday, so it’s now official. Amid that uptick in yard work, other things emerge besides tree buds and flower blooms. There is also an…

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Target Zero Team watching you

You should always reconsider your choice if you are tempted to drive after consuming alcohol. Besides being a major cause of vehicle accidents and death, your odds of being caught in the act have recently risen around here. There’s a new “sheriff” in town in…

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MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

We are not alone

Two weeks back, I wrote of the concerns drivers have expressed to me about the freeway entrance ramp to I-90 eastbound from U.S. 195 northbound. That column elicited enough responses to demonstrate that those of us with concerns about that merge point are far from…

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MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014

Crunching the numbers

As far as I know, all states have statutes requiring collision reports for vehicular incidents involving fatalities, injuries, or property damage of a certain threshold amount. Additionally, it’s required that these reports are compiled in annual summaries. Evidently, that compilation is tedious, as the 2012…

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MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014

As winter wanes

As winter wanes, I am glad for many things. My apologies to those who love winter, but I am markedly joyous when we register the first 50-degree-plus temperatures around this juncture of winter. While it may be the only time of year that 50 degrees…

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MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

The dreaded short chute

Many readers have expressed concern over the entrance ramp to I-90 eastbound from U.S. 195 northbound. A nanosecond after drivers have negotiated the curve on the ramp there, they are in the right-hand lane of I-90, usually in the midst of freeway traffic. It’s a…

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Another take on distraction

A decade ago, driving distraction involved ill-advised behavior like rubbernecking at roadside happenings, reading, shaving or applying makeup. While those and many other driver “don’ts” are undoubtedly still in play, distracted driving has now become synonymous with talking, texting and fooling with distracting vehicle technology.…

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MONDAY, FEB. 24, 2014

Two-lane havoc

A recent column concerning crossroads on a portion of U.S. Highway 395 north of Spokane elicited a wealth of reader feedback. Some thanked me for clarifying rules of the road, but many spoke of general safety concerns there. Those safety concerns are a result of…

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MONDAY, FEB. 17, 2014

Thoughts on winter

Even though this winter has been mild when historically considered, it’s presented plenty of challenges for area drivers. And while wintry conditions are waning, they will continue to affect us for awhile. Maybe drivers would get more accustomed to snow and ice if we had…

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MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2014

Who goes first?

Certain driving situations create quandaries, and resolution often entails driver confusion and/or self-appointed traffic direction. B.M. described an example near Loon Lake that frustrates him, writing, “With State Road 292 approaching US 395 from the West and Garden Spot Road approaching US 395 from the…

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MONDAY, FEB. 3, 2014

Lane rights and fights

There has been much discussion here over roadway conflicts between vehicles of varying types, sizes and speeds, and how aggravation can result. Bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, small trucks and large trucks must all share the same roads despite their differing configuration, mass and maneuverability. Without some…

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MONDAY, JAN. 27, 2014

Revisiting Maple at Francis

After several emails challenged my advice, I checked out the northbound left turn lanes on Maple Street leading to westbound Francis Avenue in person. For starters, my advice to make left turns “into the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same…

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Turns and street markings

Following a column that addressed two adjacent turn lanes, I received a reader response that exemplifies why there is sometimes confusion and conflict at such locations. C.K. wrote, “This morning your column ended with a paragraph exhorting us to stay in our lanes in double…

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