Every year, the City solicits applications from the neighborhood councils for its Traffic Calming Program. According to the City’s website traffic calming is, “a self-enforcing traffic management approach that forces motorists to alter their speed or direction of travel. The purpose of traffic calming is to improve safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, and to improve the environment or “livability” of streets for residents and visitors.” The funding for this program comes from the City’s red light traffic cameras.
Southgate Neighborhood Council is allowed to submit two applications, one for a proposed arterial street and one for a residential street. Examples of past projects include the cross walk and refuge island on Palouse Highway behind Target and the addition of street tress along 42nd Avenue by Hazel’s Creek.
The 2018 applications are due on March 1st and so we will be discussing this topic at our neighborhood council meeting on Wednesday, February 7th. At our January meeting, attendees suggested a number of possible projects for consideration and we will be voting on these options next week. They are:
Clearly marking the pedestrian crossing at 39th & Regal to improve visibility
Make the right lane at 44th and Regal heading southbound right turn only to make the through traffic merge earlier and not back up into the intersection
Infill sidewalks on Thurston Street between Cook and Regal (or further if we can)
City requested flashing lights at schools zones near Ferris HS on 37th (SNC members suggest that the city use their funds from red lights at schools)
These are all arterial projects. Not every neighborhood application gets approved. Our applications two years ago were rejected.
The City has a website about the program and “toolbox” to provide some ideas for traffic calming solutions. Take a look and see if there are places in our neighborhood that could benefit from some traffic calming. Come to our meeting next week to discuss!
Tomorrow night, June 19th, the City Council will hold a hearing about the update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. This update includes the development of a project called the Ray Street Crossover. This is an auto-oriented traffic capacity project that will run traffic across the east side of Ferris High School’s campus to connect Ray and Freya and send traffic our towards the County.
For those of you who can make it down in person, personal testimony at the hearing has a big impact Council members. The meeting is tomorrow night at 6pm at Council Chambers in City Hall.
The deletion of this project from the Comp Plan update will go a long way to maintaining the vision set forth in our neighborhood connectivity plan where we make a our neighborhood a place that encourages people to use multiple modes of transportation to move around and does not promote the development of sprawl and other features (like high-speed auto routes) that will make our neighborhood less walkable, less safe, and less livable.
The KXLY Development in the Southgate District Center has two different review deadlines coming up this week.
On Wednesday, March 22nd the City’s Design Review Board will hold a “recommendation meeting” of the project at 5:30pm at City Hall where the developers will present their responses to the initial design review back in February. You can see the updated design here (warning: large 150MB file). The biggest changes are enhanced pedestrian connections between the development and the park, inclusion of infrastructure for STA’s new High Performance Transit stops along Regal, addition of a mid-block pedestrian crossing on Regal between the new development and the Target site, and better screening of the south side of the proposed grocery store. Feel free to take a look and send your comments in to Julie Neff at the City Planing Department.
On Thursday, March 23rd the agency comment period for the KXLY project SEPA Application closes. The SEPA Application is where we can comment on issues like traffic impacts and stormwater management. The SEPA Application references a Traffic Operation Study submitted to the City in December that covers trip generation and Level of Service (LOS) for roads around Southgate before and after the project. The traffic study says the project will add 12,625 ADT to Regal Street bringing the total trips on that section of Regal up to 28,525 ADT when added together with existing trips from the City of Spokane Traffic Volume Map. That total doesn’t include trips generated by the new Maverik gas station or the proposed Regal Commons project. The SEPA application also covers potential stormwater impacts, so you can review that information as well. You can submit your comments on this SEPA Application to John Halsey at the City of Spokane Planning Department.
This SEPA comment period is the agency comment period for this project. There will be another public comment period after the developer responds to the agency comments. Recent updates to the Spokane Municipal Code for neighborhood notification means that neighborhoods now get notified during the agency comment period instead of having to wait for the public comment period, but you can comment in both.
Things are moving fast with the weather improving. Make yourself heard before it’s too late.
The Village at Regal Pond will soon have a new sushi restaurant. Izumi Sushi has pulled permits for an interior remodel and new sign for the former Wheat Montana/West Wing/Cafe Italiano restaurant location.
Building permits issued by the City last month show that Mr. Douglass is moving the stand across the intersection of 44th and Reagl to the northeast corner of the parking lot of the Ace Hardware shopping center where the Spokane Boys fruit and Christmas tree lots are located seasonally.
Mr. Douglass owns both the Ace shopping center and the open land at 44th and Regal where the gas station will be built. None of the submitted documents include a timeline for the building of either the espresso stand or the gas station. We will update you when we hear more.