One of the largest development projects ever launched in north Spokane will generate almost 40,000 vehicle trips per day, add congestion on roads, and increase the need for stoplights and road improvements.
The project is being proposed by Harlan Douglass along Lincoln Road between Nevada and Crestline in the Calkins area, annexed by the city in 1994.
Douglass owns 185 acres of vacant land and is proposing 980 apartment units, 284 manufactured home spaces, 502,000 square feet of commercial space, and an industrial park with 586,000 square feet for manufacturing.
Most of the land is already zoned for the uses, though the proposal must still go to a public hearing before the city hearing examiner. A date for that has not been set.
But a glimpse of the project and its impacts was made available last week during a traffic meeting with a handful of area residents.
The meeting was required by the city for larger projects in an effort to resolve concerns before public hearings. Inland Pacific Engineering, which did the area transportation study, presented preliminary findings.
Among the findings are that two intersections, Lincoln/Market and Cozza/Nevada are congested even before any more development occurs.
Two other intersections fail the test when traffic from already approved projects is entered into the equation. Of the areas failing, the Cozza/Nevada intersection has the potential to be the worst with some afternoon motorists waiting as long as four minutes to make a left turn.
The traffic study also looks at the impact of two other projects planned for Calkins: the 400-home Bluegrass subdivision by Craig Condron and a plan by Rich Naccarato for 1,038 multi-family units.
Once these housing units come on line, the traffic problems will magnify.
If approved as presented, the combined projects of Douglass, Naccarato and Condron would add 2,855 housing units and one million square feet of business space.
All three developers expect the projects to be phased in over 10 years, depending on economic conditions and demand.
The proposed traffic improvements would also be phased in, with most coming in the sixth year of the projects.
Ultimately, it’s up to the city to decide which improvements to require - and find a way to pay for them. The developers would have to pay for on-site improvements, with the city picking up the rest of the work, unless impact fees can be assessed.
Among the suggestions are:
A traffic signal should be installed at Cozza Drive and Nevada.
Lincoln Road would need to be restriped at Division, widened at Nevada and at Crestline. A traffic signal would be needed at Lincoln and Crestline.
Crestline would need to be widened and restriped at Francis.
The Nevada/Francis intersection needs to be widened and reconfigured.
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