SPOKANE, Wash. -It’s one of the most frustrating places to be during rush hour in Spokane: The Hamilton corridor in the University District.
“You have to wait a long time,” said Mikki Baker, who works at Jack and Dan’s Bar and Grill. “Sometimes two-to-three lights.”
Baker is talking about the intersection right outside the bars front door: Hamilton and Sharpe. But she could also be talking about Hamilton and Mission or any of the other stoplights in the area.
“We see accidents all the time,” said Baker. We hear them all the time. You can walk out once a week and at least one persons crashed out there.”
The problem is there is no left turn signal at these intersections, just a “yield-on-green.” Drivers wait for a small window of opportunity to turn left, often resulting in going through a red light or accident.
But the City of Spokane says they’re planning on making the much-needed improvements.
Strategic Development Director for the Public Works Department, Marlene Feist, says in 2019 and 2020, the City will add left turn signals at every stoplight on Hamilton between Desmet and North Foothills.
“Any signalized intersection will get new treatment to add the additional traffic light and allow for time and movement,” said Feist. “We can't do every project in a single year so we space them out as the money becomes available.”
The project is part of the City’s Six-Year Comprehensive Street Program.