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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Getting There: Electric, hybrid cars get their day

Open-to-public events highlight power, variety

Electric and hybrid vehicle owners are going to show off their rides during a pair of events this month.

On Saturday, a group of Inland Northwest owners will be rallying at the top of Mount Spokane.

The electric vehicles are expected to arrive at the summit as early as 6:30 a.m. for coffee and doughnuts. The public is welcome.

“The drive up the mountain will display the confident hill-climbing torque of an electric motor,” organizers said in a news release.

Jaremko Nissan is a sponsor of the event.

On Sept. 19, the public is invited to the CorkHouse at 1400 N. Meadowwood Lane in Liberty Lake, where more than 20 vehicles will be on display from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The two events are part of National Drive Electric Week that starts Saturday.

In Liberty Lake on Sept. 19, organizers expect to have Tesla, BMW, Nissan and THINK among the show vehicles. Gas-to-electric conversions and a “zero motorcycle” will also be there.

Members of the public may be lucky enough to hitch a ride in an electric vehicle or even get a chance to drive one.

Jorgen Rasmussen, an electrical engineer, will be among the experts at the event.

David Klenda, of Spokane Valley, said he bought a used Nissan Leaf earlier this year and has become attached to the all-electric vehicle. He expresses an enthusiasm common among electric vehicle owners.

“I happen to love that car,” he said. “It responds so much faster. The torque and horsepower are there. It is a blast to drive.”

In addition, it’s easier on the environment, he said.

“Fossil fuels do not need to be the backbone of transportation. The technology exists to put long-range, practical and affordable zero-emissions vehicles in every garage,” Klenda said in a separate news release.

For more information, go to the Facebook page of the Inland Northwest EV PV Group.

School safety

In Coeur d’Alene, police and firefighters are teaming up to get kids to and from school safely this week. The new school year starts Tuesday.

Police officers will patrol school speed zones and crosswalks while firefighters will be stationed at schools to help students use marked crosswalks.

Officers will enforce all traffic laws with a “zero tolerance” policy, according to a police news release.

Speeding and failure to stop at crosswalks will be their biggest targets. Speeding in a school zone could result in a $156.50 fine.

Spokane projects

Work will start this week to repair pavement on Ray Street from 17th to 29th avenues in Spokane.

Ray will be closed to through traffic during the work, which will include improvements to sidewalk ramps.

Work to pave a portion of Erie Street from First Avenue to the BNSF Railway overpass will begin Sept. 14.

The city says 43rd Avenue from Garfield to Perry streets will be closed to through traffic until late this month. The closure is needed to install stormwater facilities.

Also, work on High Drive from Bernard Street to Grand Boulevard will continue through the fall. The work is a combination of roadway improvements and stormwater facilities.

Work continues on Havana Street from 37th Avenue to Glenrose Road.

Indiana Avenue from Division to Dakota streets remains closed for reconstruction.

Highway work

On state highways, work continues on southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 195 from Interstate 90 to Excelsior Road to repair broken concrete pavement panels.

The paving project on state Highway 290 from Sullivan Road to the Idaho state line will continue this week, causing traffic restrictions during work hours from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Single-lane traffic will be guided by pilot cars.

Workers are finishing installation of striping, rumble strips and guide posts.

State Highway 291 in Stevens County from Swenson to Jergens roads will be under pavement construction Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A single lane of traffic will be guided by pilot cars.

On Tuesday, U.S. Highway 395 from the Little Pend Oreille River Bridge to Arden will be reduced to a single lane guided by pilot cars to make room for pavement patching.

Finishing work on U.S. 195 from Plaza to Cornwall Road could result in traffic delays.

Around the Valley

In Spokane Valley, 32nd Avenue and Collins Road will have traffic restrictions Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

At Argonne Road and Valleyway, work will result in lane closures starting Wednesday.

On Indiana Avenue at Spokane Valley Mall, one lane in each direction will be closed starting Wednesday at 7 a.m. for construction of a mall entrance.