The city of Spokane Valley is poised to go one more extra mile in making the intersection of McDonald Road and Eighth Avenue a bit safer.
Since last year, many residents living near the formerly accident-prone intersection had complained that more needed to be done – even going as far as suggesting a four-way stop – to reduce the number of T-bone crashes at the spot. While east-west motorists are required to stop at the signs on Eighth, McDonald travelers are free to continue through at 35 mph.
Many of the drivers stopped at the sign but misjudged the speed of the north-south traffic. But over the summer, flashing beacons were put in place and vegetation was cleared away from signage.
The improvements have made a big difference, John Hohman, assistant city manager, told the City Council on Tuesday.
“We haven’t had any reported crashes since our last report in June,” Hohman said.
Still, it was felt more could be done, and an engineering study was conducted to measure existing prevailing speeds on Eighth between Pines and Sullivan, which includes McDonald. Results showed that the average speed measured between 30 and 32 mph – below the current 35 mph limit. What’s more, the street is designated a “Safe Route to School,” which means there is plenty of pedestrians, as well.
For those reasons, Hohman suggests the speed limit in that area be dropped to 30 mph on Eighth. The council agreed, and the issue is scheduled to come up for a formal vote Nov. 14.
Hohman said a similar study will be done on Eighth west of Pines, where portions of the roadway are as low as 25 mph due to curvature.
Council Member Ed Pace said he hopes the city will hold a community meeting to get citizen input before any final decisions are made to changing speed limits in that area.