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

Repaving is cause for a party

Finding a smooth street in Spokane is so unusual that it appears parties are in order for repaving jobs.

Spokane Mayor Jim West and other dignitaries are celebrating today the reopening of the Ash-Maple corridor from Wellesley to Cedar. The party will be at 11 a.m. outside the Ash and Rowan Shopping Center, 1624 W. Rowan.

Maintaining streets is supposed to be a basic function of city government, not a special occasion.

Local taxpayers footed the $3 million bill with 2004 street bond dollars because the city couldn’t afford it with its regular budget. It’s the first of $117 million worth of such bond projects.

The Ash-Maple couplet work was completed one month ahead of schedule but probably 100 or more wheel alignments too late. The entire corridor has been a mess of potholes and grooves for years from the Maple Street Bridge north.

Celebrations will be in order when the entire couplet and most other city streets are in good repair.

Patience for cyclists

Most drivers are probably unaware of a new Washington state traffic law designed to protect bicyclists.

The new law prohibits using the left-hand side of the road to pass vehicles if bicyclists are approaching from the opposite direction.

It was created in response to a tragic 2004 incident in which a Walla Walla woman was killed by a driver passing a cattle truck and another vehicle. Traveling at 65 mph, the driver came within 18 inches of Ann Weatherill and seven other cyclists on the shoulder, causing her to fall off her bicycle into the path of the car.

The driver wasn’t charged, but the new law prohibits that kind of maneuver.

Beautiful fall driving

If you can afford the high gas prices, get behind the wheel and check out the fall colors on one of three newly designated federal scenic byways in Washington state.

Two of the byways – the International Selkirk Loop and the Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway – are at least in part in our neck of the woods.

The International Selkirk Loop runs from Newport over to Priest River and Sandpoint, up into Creston and Nelson in Canada and back down through Metaline Falls to Newport.

The Coulee Corridor spans 150 miles of Highway 17 and Highway 155 from Othello to Omak.

And the last new byway, the Stevens Pass Greenway, travels along Highway 2 between Monroe and Peshastin.

More information on all of them is available at


Just a few minutes of your time spent on cell phone programming can help law enforcement and medical personnel if you are ever injured in an automobile accident.

The Washington State Patrol recommends that people add an “ICE” listing to their cell phone contact list. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency.

Emergency responders often check people’s cell phones to find contacts for victims’ family and friends. They look for the ICE listing first, so if you add it to the list with names and numbers of those to contact in an emergency, you’ll help them more quickly reach your loved ones, and potentially live-saving information.

Free winter driving class

The Idaho State Police are offering a free safe driving class. Its purpose is to help people prepare for winter driving and react to winter driving conditions as well as aggressive drivers, drunken drivers and other situations.

The two-hour class will be offered at 1 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Region 1 office, 602 W. Prairie Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

Call (208) 772-6055 to reserve a space.

Slow going

The list is getting shorter folks.

Interstate 90 between Argonne and Sullivan continues to travel along two lanes in each direction at 50 mph, but the end is in sight. Crews need to finish the median barrier and lane changes before the project to add a lane in each direction is finished in November.

Crestline Street will be closed this week between Brooklyn and Eddy avenues for work on a fuel line.

Southbound Southeast Boulevard will be closed near 29th Avenue from 7-11 a.m. today. Traffic will be detoured to Regal Street.

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

Greene Street is restricted near Spokane Community College, but work there is expected to be completed this week.

West Chattaroy Road is closed from North Road to Perry Road.

Regal Street is still under construction from 38th Avenue to the Palouse Highway, but the portion inside the city limits of Spokane is expected to open on Tuesday or Wednesday.

McDonald Road will be closed today through Wednesday from Sprague to Fourth for utility work.

Montgomery Avenue striping from University to Pines may cause some delays Wednesday through Friday.

A detour is in place at Argonne Road from Old Argonne Road to Bigelow Gulch.

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

Hays Road Bridge between Kentuck Trails Road and Prairie View will be closed until next summer.

Thierman Road is closed from Sprague to the north for sewer work.

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