Some Red Light Projects Face Delay - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Some Red Light Projects Face Delay; Bids Might Not Start Until Spring

SPOKANE, Wash. – It could be next summer before a series of traffic projects funded by Spokane's red light cameras start construction. City staffers say several project proposals are being analyzed and studied before the bidding process can be opened for contractors.

City officials started collecting fines from drivers caught running red lights in the fall of 2008. City ordinance mandates the $124 fine collected from infractions be spent on traffic calming measures such as radar speed signs and crosswalk markings.

Jonathan Mallahan from the Neighborhood Services Department told council members at Monday's Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee that bids for construction could go out next spring with construction not starting until the summer of 2011.

Mallahan told the committee that several projects required legal analysis, some required study by engineers and staffers were trying to determine whether it would be more cost effective to bid each project individually or all of them collectively.

The news was disappointing to those on the Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee who hoped construction would start sooner rather than later.

"I'm frustrated because I understand there's a lot of things that have to be considered to make sure we get these projects done right, but we're trying really hard to get something done in 2010," said city councilman Jon Snyder who chairs the committee.

"That said, If we have the opportunity to delay them a little bit to get more bang for our buck, well then we should do that (delay them) but if not, we should just push forward," said Snyder.

Neighborhood councils submitted more than 50 project proposals to City engineers earlier this year and members of the council hoped to approve and start construction on some of them this year.

Mallahan said staffers are currently pricing speed signs that alert drivers to their current speed and the speed limit in the area. He said several of those signs could be installed in neighborhoods this year, but snowy weather could also delay installation of those signs.

KHQ Local News Reporter Anthony Gomes contributed to this report.

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