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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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City’s Notification Efforts Criticized

The city sent out 1,200 fliers last week to Spokane residents living near a traffic barrier at 29th Avenue and Pittsburg Street.

The fliers alert residents to tonight’s City Council hearing on a petition designed to put the barrier to a public vote.

Some of the barrier’s chief opponents - who live within a few blocks - say they too should have been included in the notification process.

Judi Grubb, who lives on Garfield Street, said she and her neighbors “have been active and adamant about the livability of our street.

“We should have been notified.”

Bruce Steele, the city’s transportation director, said notices were sent to homes roughly within two blocks of Pittsburg between Rockwood Boulevard and 44th Avenue.

This is the same area notified of traffic meetings held in 1993 to discuss installation of the barrier, Steele said.

He added that the council asked him last week to notify the Pittsburg neighborhood about the hearing.

“They were concerned that the immediate neighborhood find out what was going on,” Steele said.

Garfield residents say the barrier pushed drivers trying to avoid Grand Boulevard onto their street, making it unsafe for children and increasing accidents.

“Ever since the barrier went up, more and more people buzz up and down the street,” said Kelly Garst, who lives on Garfield.

Garst and her husband, Joe, said they understand Pittsburg residents’ concerns about traffic, but they wish the city would find a solution safer for everyone - not just for one area.

Dal Vander Meer, who lives more than a mile from the barrier at E3004 18th, is asking the city for permission to circulate a petition that could put the 29th Avenue traffic barrier’s future to a public vote.

Tonight’s hearing centers on whether the petition’s wording “fairly states the matter proposed to voters,” said City Attorney Jim Sloane.

This is not a hearing on the merits of the barrier, he added.

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