While the road to extending Indiana Avenue may be paved with good intentions, there are plenty who live near the area who say that its configuration of one-way arterials, roundabouts and limited river access will create nothing but future problems.
For those reasons – and to attempt to come up with some solutions that could mitigate some of those concerns – the Spokane Valley City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to postpone any decision on awarding the construction bid for another two weeks. The matter will be taken up again at the April 5 council meeting.
While some area residents said they were fearful of high-speed traffic and unwieldy routes to get where they’re going, Council Members Bill Gothmann and Gary Schimmels wanted to move forward with granting the $1.05 million contract to Spokane Rock Products to do the work, which will be 80-percent paid for by a Transportation Improvement Board grant.
“The question is whether or not to grant the bid,” Gothmann said. “If we want to modify the design, we should have additional discussions.”
The work would extend Indiana Avenue east of Sullivan to Flora Road. That itself did not have area residents, particularly those living in the north Greenacres area, especially concerned; but further plans for additional development show new condominiums and other development along the new, divided roadway. Access from the existing Mission Avenue could be limited, which would affect recreationists, including kayakers from across the region, who use that trailhead to get to the whitewaters of the Spokane River.
“It’s right in your city,” said Steve Bailey, who suggested the city invest in a paved parking area at the Mission access point.
Mary Pollard of Greenacres said she was worried about children and pedestrians in the area, especially where one-way roadways are planned that will force local-access motorists to drive out of their way to turn around.
“I resent that we have to go the wrong way to go the right way,” Pollard said, adding that she is also worried about emissions and congestion at a planned roundabout at Flora and Mission.
Steve Worley, senior engineer for the city, said the city is anxious to get work on the divided parkway done, as it will improve traffic flow from the north Greenacres area to Spokane Valley mall. It will also include the construction of sidewalks, curbs, gutters, bike lanes and drainage improvements.
Beyond that, he said, everything is conceptual and could be changed in the future. Land for the extension was donated by Centennial Properties, which offered input on the configuration for future development purposes in exchange for the $1.3 million in land value.
“There will be some additional changes as the project develops,” he said. “We don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Council Member Dean Grafos said he would like to see a two-way access point be constructed near the existing Mission river access point, which could be accomplished with a change order to the work to be done.
“It’s a pretty inexpensive investment,” he said.
In other action, the council:
- unanimously passed a second and final reading of an ordinance to allow chickens – but no noisy roosters – to be permitted in all residential areas. One bird is allowed per 2,000 square feet of lot area for a total limit of 25 hens. All enclosures for the chickens must be at least 20 feet from the front property line, five feet from side property lines and 15 feet from flanking streets. Coops need to be kept 25 feet from occupied structures, and birds can’t be allowed to escape into neighbors’ yards. The new law, a copy of which can be found at www.spokanevalley.org, goes into effect next month.
- unanimously passed a second and final reading of an ordinance designed to clear up any ambiguity on how films can be viewed in adult retail establishments. Businesses with such a license will not be allowed to charge for viewings, which can only be done in adult entertainment venues. Code-enforcement officials and police intend to monitor the situation, city staff said, and the matter could be revisited later.