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

Fuel not oxygenated this winter

It’s the end of an era.

No more oxygenated fuel at Spokane pumps.

It’s good news on two fronts. First, it means our air is cleaner. And second, it means that gas prices won’t get the small, oxygenated-related boost they have each winter since 1992.

The Spokane County Air Pollution Control Authority says oxygenated fuel is no longer necessary now that Spokane County meets federal air quality standards.

Spokanites have been paying extra each winter – Oct. 1-Feb. 29 – for the fuel, which contains 10 percent ethanol. It was designed to reduce carbon monoxide emissions.

Saving money on gas

What you’ll save on oxygenated fuel will be more than made up for, however, with increased prices related to hurricane-damaged Gulf states’ pipelines and refineries.

Local businesses are touting everything from special devices to vacuuming out engines as ways to improve gas mileage.

But the experts say such steps aren’t necessary. Smaller measures can be more effective and less expensive: consolidate trips, empty out the trunk or truck bed to lighten your load, drive slower and maintain proper tire pressure. Even using cruise control on long trips helps.

Not as exciting as engine vacuuming.

Car buyers beware

Hmm. That car looks so good, and the price is great, but it smells a bit musty.

Be careful. AAA and other driver and consumer advocacy groups are warning that flood-damaged cars from the Gulf states may be arriving in Spokane and other areas soon.

They may look all right, but they can have serious long-term problems. The water and dirt will seep into every cranny and can damage the transmission and electrical systems.

Make sure you have any used car you’re looking at examined by a mechanic you trust.

Pay up

Here’s your opportunity to get rid of those pesky parking tickets that have been clogging the glove box.

The city of Spokane is offering a parking ticket amnesty program in October for tickets issued before Oct. 1, 2003.

You’ll still have to pay the ticket and a $15 penalty, but interest and other collection fees will be waived.

If you have old tickets to clear up, call Valley Empire Collections at 928-4611 or pay at City Hall.

Those who illegally parked in disabled spots, though, are out of luck. The program doesn’t apply to those tickets. And it shouldn’t.

Northeast Spokane traffic

The Spokane Regional Transportation Council is hosting a public meeting Wednesday as part of its Northeast Transportation Study.

The study is examining travel demand and possible improvements in the area north of Interstate 90 and east of Division Street.

At this meeting, participants will be asked to map the routes they take from home to work, errands and their top five most frequent destinations.

The meeting is Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at the Spokane Streets Department building, 901 N. Nelson.

People who can’t attend can also give input at www.srtc.org/nets.htm.

Slow going

Snoqualmie Pass is still a bear heading west. Crews continue to work on shoring up the rock wall there to prevent slides. An additional shoulder lane has been added, however, and should help some.

The Wellesley and “A” Street roundabout is now open. Take care as people learn how to use it.

The 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 8 a.m.

Motorists could experience delays at Highway 2 and Nevada while traffic signal work is under way.

Country Homes Boulevard is under construction from Cedar to Division. Expect detours as crews complete the pavement overlay.

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

East Chattaroy Road is closed to all but local traffic from Regal to Perry.

The Bruce Road/Highway 206 roundabout is paved, but signing, striping and other work will be under way this week. Expect delays.

Regal Street is still under construction from 38th Avenue to the Palouse Highway. Expect delays.

A detour is in place at Argonne Road from Old Argonne Road to Bigelow Gulch, and delays are substantial, sometimes 30 minutes.

Park Road is closed from Second to Eighth avenues as construction there winds down. There is a detour.

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.

Expect lane closures on the Cheney-Spokane Road from Cedar to Marshall Road when crews are patching it this week.

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