The city of Spokane wants to leave a better first impression on visitors through its interstate exits. Julie Happy, a city spokeswoman, has heard stories of people avoiding the I-90 Division Street exit. Marked by cement and piles of rocks, some residents of Spokane wanted to keep visitors, tourists and business travelers from having the eyesore be their first introduction to the Lilac City.
But all that's changed with that exit, and there are more changes on their way.
The city recently gave a $600,000 face-lift to the Division Street exit that includes a metal statue by local artist Virgil "Smoker" Marchand depicting an Indian spearing a fish, along with pedestrian lighting, ADA-approved ramps, new sidewalks, basalt and trees. The entire project is intended to reflect Spokane's relationship with the river that runs through it.
According to Happy, the city is planning on fixing up other exits as well, starting with the eastbound Monroe Street exit. The improvements to the exit, part of a broader $3.8 million package of enhancements to the Lincoln-Monroe corridor, will include stormwater facilities, a replaced curb and added vegetation, such as barberry plants. The project should be completed by October, she says, and the city is considering doing work on other exits.
Most Dangerous Intersections
In 2014, there were 1,367 vehicle collisions in the city of Spokane. Some were minor fender-benders. Some involved pedestrians. Some didn't. And some resulted in serious bodily injury or even death.
So what are the most dangerous intersections in Spokane?
According to 2014 numbers from the Washington State Department of Transportation, the intersection at Assembly Street and Independence Drive saw five accidents resulting in injury, the most of any for the entire year. However, all those accidents were classified as non-disabling injuries (i.e., an abrasion or broken toe), but fell short of being classified as "severe injuries," which are much more serious.
Other intersections saw more serious accidents. There were three fatal accidents that occurred at Mission Avenue and South Riverton Avenue, North Ash Street and West Sharp Avenue, and West Wellesley Avenue and North Belt Street.
Across the border in Coeur d'Alene, there were 297 collisions in 2013 (the Idaho Department of Transportation was still determining numbers for 2014).
Coeur D' Alene
Hanley Ave. and US 95 | Accidents: 23 | Injuries: 12
Appleway Ave. and Lincoln Way | Accidents: 22 | Injuries: 19
Kathleen Ave. and US 95 | Accidents: 21 | Injuries: 10
Appleway Ave. and Govt. Way | Accidents: 17 | Injuries: 8
Hanley Ave. and Ramsey Rd. | Accidents: 17 | Injuries: 4
E. Third Ave. and S. Scott St. | Serious Injuries: 3
E. Boone Ave. and N. Magnolia St. | Serious Injuries: 3
E. Bridgeport Ave. and N. Helena St. | Serious Injuries: 3
E. Bridgeport Ave. and N. Ralph St. | Serious Injuries: 3