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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gas prices won’t deter vacationers

One last chance for that summer minitrip – and a lot of Americans are grabbing it.

AAA is predicting 34.5 million of us will travel over the Labor Day holiday weekend – most by car, truck or SUV.

High gas prices haven’t deterred summer travel.

At a nationwide average of about $2.60 per gallon for regular unleaded gas, prices are about 75 cents higher than at this time last year.

The average price in Spokane on Friday was $2.66 a gallon.

If you’re heading east for the holiday weekend, you might want to fill up after you’ve crossed the state line. Prices in Coeur d’Alene were averaging $2.56 per gallon on Friday.

School is back

Though Spokane Public Schools won’t reopen until after Labor Day, some other local school districts are starting classes this week, including the East Valley schools.

AAA warns drivers to be on the lookout for children walking to and from school and waiting at bus stops.

It’s sobering to learn that one-fifth of children under age 14 who are killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians.

And remember: When the stop-sign arm is activated on a school bus, traffic in both directions must stop.

They deserve protection

It’s alarming that the same nation that is mandating ever-increasing levels of safety restraints for infants and toddlers in motor vehicles won’t do anything to protect them in the air.

The Federal Aviation Administration has refused again to require children under 2 years old to be buckled into approved restraints on planes.

Many of the same parents who would never dream of letting their children ride in a car outside a car seat will hold their children in their laps to save money on airfares. They’ll stow the safety seat in the belly of the plane for the car ride from the airport.

The FAA argued last week that its decision will save lives because the extra cost of buying plane tickets for young children would cause many families to drive instead of fly. And driving is more dangerous than flying.

“Getting There” doesn’t buy it.

Many airlines offer half-price tickets for toddlers and babies.

Just one image of the Air France plane that recently overshot a Toronto runway should be enough to convince parents to buy their little ones plane seats that they can be strapped into for safety. Three unsecured infants did survive the Toronto crash, but why take the chance?

Light rail forum

People interested in learning more about the Spokane Transit Authority’s light rail plans should mark Tuesday evening on their calendars.

The League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area will hold a forum on light rail from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Spokane City Council chambers.

The live call-in show will feature STA’s light rail project manager K.C. Traver, Liberty Lake city Councilman and Light Rail Steering Committee member Brian Sayrs and Citizens’ Advisory Committee member Yvonne Lopez Morton.

The show will air on CityCable 5.

Slow going

First the good news: Washington Street paving is done. So is major work on the Thor/Freya street couplet.

Interstate 90 survey work from Maple to Browne streets will reduce eastbound traffic to two lanes from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and westbound traffic to two lanes from noon to 3 p.m.

Stevens Street will be paved Monday through Wednesday south of downtown.

Division and Ruby streets are being resurfaced from the Spokane River to Euclid Avenue. Most work will take place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Business access will remain open.

Washington state Department of Transportation is resurfacing Division and the Newport Highway from just north of Francis Avenue to Center Road. Most work will occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Work on the U.S. Highway 2 detour at Shady Slope Road could cause delays.

Farwell Road will be closed and a detour will be in place today from Market to Fairview.

Work to install fiber-optic cable and traffic cameras for Interstate 90 will affect Jefferson and Maple streets from Third Avenue to I-90. Expect lane restrictions and sidewalk closures.

Roundabout construction at Bruce Road and Mount Spokane Park Drive is causing up to 30-minute delays. Traffic can cross the intersection in only one direction at a time. Tractor-trailers may not be able to make it through at all because of the limited space.

Post Street parking is unavailable from Broadway to Mallon in order to keep one lane of traffic open in each direction during construction of the Upper Falls Condominiums.

Trent Avenue sewer work could affect traffic between Barker and Flora roads.

Expect lane closures on the Argonne Bridge. There’s a detour in place at Argonne Road from Old Argonne Road to Bigelow Gulch.

Maple Street is closed from Francis to Wellesley avenues. Traffic is being detoured to Monroe Street.

Country Homes Boulevard is under construction from Cedar to Division. Expect detours.

Greene Street is reduced to one lane in each direction between Mission Avenue and the Spokane River bridge.

Regal Street is under construction from 38th Avenue south to the Palouse Highway.

A Street is closed between Wellesley and Hoffman.

Spokane/Cheney Road will be repaired this week from Qualchan to Cedar.

Patching on Southeast Boulevard between 18th and 29th avenues could cause some delays.

The intersection of Monroe and Mallon will feature a four-way stop through Wednesday because of traffic-signal changes there.

Park Road is under construction from Second to Eighth avenues.

The Palouse Highway is closed from Valley Chapel Road to Dunn Road. A detour is in place.

Government Way is under construction from Greenwood Road to Aubrey White Parkway. Expect delays.

Mullinix Road will be closed today at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing.

Spokane County is making repairs to these roads this week: Monday, Anther Road from Spotted Road to Monroe, Oregon from Stevens County to Spotted Road, Short from Oregon to Mason; Tuesday, Short from Mason to Deer Park, Montgomery from Stevens County to Grove; Wednesday, Montgomery from Grove to Sherman, Heglar from Kronquit to state Highway 206; and Thursday, Melvern and Strong roads from Morris to the dead end and Rambo from Craig to U.S. Highway 2.

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