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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Traffic safety vote divides Spokane Valley council

Spokane Valley is adding a second lefthand turn lane at Thierman Road onto Sprague Avenue despite warnings from traffic engineers and others that it would increase the risk of sideswipe collisions. In a 4-3 split vote, the City Council on Tuesday decided to proceed with the $14,000 plan to convert the inside northbound lane to a turn-only lane and give motorists in the outside lane the option of either making a left turn onto Sprague as well or continuing through the intersection. It’s described as a way of helping ease potential traffic buildup at the intersection and is expected to be completed later this year.

Landscaping planned along section of Sprague

Members of the Spokane Valley Business Association seemed receptive to a plan to put in stormwater swales along Sprague Avenue between Thierman and Park roads during their meeting Wednesday, but they directed pointed questions to Spokane Valley staff members about plans to reduce the street from five lanes to four and reduce the number of driveways. The road will also be repaved during construction. In addition to filtering stormwater, the swales will help beautify that stretch of road, which is home to several vacant buildings, said Spokane Valley assistant stormwater engineer Ryan Brodwater. There currently isn’t any grass or landscaping in the area. “It’s a vast expanse of asphalt and concrete,” he said.