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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Amnesty in works for scofflaws

It might be time to clean out that stuffed glove compartment.

Spokane is considering an amnesty program for people who have parking tickets that are two or more years past due, says city Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley.

As it stands now, each 2-year-old ticket would cost the scofflaw $60 – $10 for the ticket, $20 for the delinquent court fee and $30 for the collection company.

But if the amnesty program is approved by city lawmakers, that amount would drop to $15, the cost of a parking ticket today.

Cooley said the collection agency has agreed to drop its fee on the old tickets and the courts will charge just $5.

“It’s a pretty substantial incentive and will probably appeal to some people,” said Cooley.

Still, he said, he doesn’t expect most people who have put up with the collection agency and not getting their vehicle license tabs for two years (a consequence of unpaid parking tickets) to rush to pay the tickets now.

“But it’s always good to come clean,” Cooley said.

Seat belts do save lives

Washington state still is buckling down when it comes to buckling up.

According to a statewide survey, 95.2 percent of Washingtonians use their seat belts.

State officials say that diligence has contributed to cutting the vehicle accident death rate by 50 percent over the last nine years.

Be careful

Some numskull injured a Washington state Department of Transportation worker last week in a work zone on state Highway 542 in Whatcom County.

It was the fifth work-zone incident since this year’s construction season started – and a good reminder for drivers to be careful.

If you won’t do it for the workers, how about yourself?

Traffic fines are doubled in work zones.

Tire fees get pumped up

They’ll get you coming and going.

Washington state is charging a $1 fee per tire purchase to raise funds to clean up illegal tire dumps.

The fee applies to motorized-vehicle tires. Those who use people power – bicyclists, unicyclists, wheelbarrow-loving gardeners – are spared.

Even so, the fee is expected to raise $4.4 million by the time it is to expire in 2010.

The state collected a similar fee between 1989 and 1995. Didn’t seem to solve the illegal tire-dump problem though.

It just keeps rolling on and on.

Slow going

It’s not over on Third Avenue in downtown Spokane. More paving is planned Friday.

The Washington state Department of Transportation is preparing to resurface Division Street and the Newport Highway from just north of Francis to Center Road. Most work will take place between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Two Interstate 90 interchanges west of Spokane will be affected by construction this week. Crews will be working under the Salnave Road interchange from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday. Eastbound traffic will be reduced to one lane. On Thursday, crews will make repairs on the Geiger interchange bridge. Traffic on the bridge will be reduced to one lane, with flaggers.

Crews are working on Ash and Maple streets north of Francis Avenue this week, although at least one lane will remain open on each. Ash still is completely closed between Francis and Wellesley Avenue.

Eighth Avenue is open again between McClellan and Washington streets, but Washington still is restricted to two lanes from Eighth to Third.

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

Second Avenue is reduced to one lane in the vicinity of Thor and Freya.

Lincoln Street repairs are under way between 21st and 29th avenues. Expect lane closures.

Regal Street is under construction from 38th Avenue south to the Palouse Highway, and 55th Avenue is closed from Regal Road to Altamont Court.

A Street is closed between Wellesley and Hoffman for construction of a roundabout.

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

Near Waverly, Hays Road and the Hays Road bridge are closed between Kentuck Trails Road and Prairie View Road until October.

Fourth Avenue is closed between University and Farr Road for Sherwood Forest sewer work.

Spokane County will be making chip seal repairs today on Garfield Road from Seven Mile Road south to the end of pavement; Tuesday on Wrangler Road from Buckboard Road to Surry Street, on Buckboard from Dover to the west end and on Dover from U.S. Highway 2 to Deno Road; Wednesday on Cheney-Plaza Road from the Cheney city limits to Smith Road; and Thursday on Cheney-Plaza Road from Smith to Cossalman Road.

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