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Friday, October 31, 2008

Be careful out there tonight...

Halloween is always a dangerous night for for the trick-or-treaters who are out walking the streets. But, this Halloween could be more dangerous for those children because it falls on a Friday night, which adds to the potential for encounters with drunken drivers. If you are planning to take the children out on a traditional trick-or-treating adventure. Please take extra care to make sure your trick-or-treaters are visible.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CDA Leaf Pick-Up Starts Soon


Coeur d'Alene's annual leaf pick-up program starts Nov. 12, but the City asks you to have your leaves raked into the street by Nov. 3, in case they get a jump on things.

Rake leaves and pine needles about one foot away from the gutter line to allow for water drainage. Due to weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, and unforeseen circumstances, city crews are unable provide a precise schedule of where leaf pick-up will take place. Pick-up will start south of Sherman Avenue and move north. Leaves will be picked up only once. Please do not put leaves in the street after city crews have completed your area. You can get additional information at (208) 769-2233.

Do:
· Have your leaves out by November 3rd- but not before.
· Please move cars off of the street if possible during leaf pick-up.
· Keep leaves about one foot off the curb line to facilitate stormwater flow.
· Be alert for leaf pick-up equipment in your neighborhood.
· Keep a safe distance away from leaf pick-up heavy equipment.

Don’t:
· Bag the leaves.
· Mix branches, rubble or other refuse in with the leaves.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Possible Insurance Savings When You Use Alternate Commute

I bumped into a former co-worker today on the bus. He said that his insurance company knocked $20 a month off his auto policy because he rides the bus! It doesn't work with every insurance company (I called mine and they go by how many miles you put on your car each year. Even riding the bus, I still make several trips across the state, putting me over the required mileage mark)but it could be worth the five minutes it takes to call your agent.

Woman Misses Cat, Hits House

It's not funny, but when I read the headline, 'Woman swerves to miss cat, crashes into house,' I admit I giggled. This got me thinking, would I have swerved that drastically to miss a cat? Defitenetly a deer or a moose or other large animal, but a cat? Guess it depends on what cat it was. Here's the story from the Shoshone News Press.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Does CDA Have Worse Drivers Than Other Cities?

Letter to the CDA Press Editor

After moving to Coeur d'Alene from Portland seven months ago, we can longer keep quiet about the arrogant, rude, and illegal drivers we encounter daily in this town. Weekly, we barely avoid eight to 10 accidents from Coeur d'Alene drivers, who don't use blinkers, cut you off at will, and run countless yellow/red lights with disregard for fellow drivers; they've even driven around us on curbs.

It is rare for us to see any Coeur d'Alene police; if they are around town, perhaps undercover, they are the most incompetent police we've ever seen. To think of all the revenue that could be generated. We must only assume that they condone this way of driving, as they do it themselves, and it must seem normal to all of you.

From an outsider who doesn't want to be here as much as you don't want us here (besides making it dangerous for us all) you look and act very ignorant.

ALY HIBBACCELLI
Coeur d'Alene


Yikes, I don't even know what to say. In my personal experience, Coeur d'Alene has the same amount of bad and rude drivers as everywhere else. Unfortunately, it's a fact of life there are always going to be bad drivers on the road. What's your opinion about CDA drivers?

NIC Considering 4-Day School Week

First it was government agencies, and businesses, now NIC is looking at a four day school week to cut down on students' commutes. Here's the story.

Economists Say Gas Prices Will Continue To Drop

Gas prices have been seen at less than $2.45 a gallon at some stations in Coeur d'Alene, and some economists say the price slashing will continue. Here's the lastest from the Coeur d'Alene Press.

You're Invited To Sand Creek Groundbreaking

Governor Otter will be the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Sand Creek Byway project in Sandpoint later this week.

You're invited to join the Governor, Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, and U.S. Rep. Bill Sali on Thursday (Oct. 30) at 2 p.m. on the site of the former Lakeside Inn in Sandpoint (106 Bridge Street), to celebrate the beginning of construction on the project.

A reception will be sponsored by the Ponderay Community Development Corporation(PCDC), at the Elks Lodge in Ponderay immediately following the ceremony.

A bypass away from downtown Sandpoint has been a topic of local interest since the 1940s. The final environmental work on the project was completed and approved by the Federal Highway Administration in May 2000. Construction is set to begin in early November.

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Alternative To Trick Or Treating In The Neighborhood

If you're not comfortable taking your little ones out trick or treating (too dark to let your kids walk along the road, too many strangers, etc.)Post Falls City Hall is inviting Trick or Treaters to City Hall on Oct. 31. City Hall Departments will be welcoming Trick or Treating from 2 - 5 p.m. City Hall is located at 408 N. Spokane St.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Access Study Environmental Impact Study Open House

The public is invited to attend an Open House for the I-90 (Greensferry) Access Study Environmental Impact Study at Post Falls City Hall from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29. Here's more information.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To Put A Little Color In Your Day...

This beauty was taken by the boss man yesterday on US95 Near the Elk Ranch. See that white stuff on the ground near the top of the picture? That's right, it's snow. Get ready.

Lower Gas Prices Not Stimulating Economy

Gas prices may be falling, but analysts say it's not doing much to boost the economy. Filling up for less than $2.50 a gallon in some places doesn't make up for widespread layoffs,sagging home prices, and the financial meltdown.Here's an article from the Spokesman-Review.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Idaho Above Average For Hitting Deer With Cars


For the love of Pete people, take it easy out there. Deer-vehicle collisions are on the rise in Idaho, according to State Farm Insurance. The state has seen a 31% increase from five years ago... compared to a 15% increase in the rest of the nation.
Here's the Coeur d'Alene Press story.

I90 On-Ramp Closure

The westbound Northwest Boulevard on-ramp on Interstate 90 will be closed through tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to remove and repair damaged guardrail. Motorists still will be able to access the Northwest Boulevard off-ramp during this time period.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Building Move Will Block Traffic

Starting tomorrow, the Independence Point Parking lot will be closed off at 4:30 a.m. and Sherman Avenue between 1st Street and the 4 -Corners area will be closed from 7:30 a.m. until approximately 11:30 a.m. to accommodate the delivery of the new public safety building to City Park. Both northbound and southbound traffic will be detoured as the crane and semi-truck make the delivery.

You are asked to please stay out of harms way as this 40,000-pound building is lifted into place.

Idaho 54 Closure At Athol

Idaho 54 at Athol will close Thursday (Oct. 23) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for replacement of the Burlington Northern railroad track just west of U.S. 95.

A detour will take motorists around the work zone, using U.S. 95, Clagstone and Brunner roads. Flaggers and other traffic control devices also will be in place.

Petition Asks City For Traffic Signal

A Coeur d'Alene man is petitioning the city to put up a traffic signal at the intersection of Kathleen Avenue and Howard Street, sooner rather than later. A signal is already slated for the intersection, but not until 2013, and that's not soon enough for some people. Here's the Coeur d'Alene Press story.

Where Have All The Hummers & H2s Gone?


A poster on the Spokesman's 'Huckleberries' blog noted that Hummer vehicles seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth, despite gas prices coming down. Have you seen one lately? Register your sighting here.

Everyone Who's Anyone Shares A Helicopter

In this time of economic hardship, many people are cutting back to make ends meet, especially when it comes to transportation. More people are riding their bikes or the bus to work, or ride-sharing, or helicopter sharing. That's right, you can now share a helicopter if you can no longer afford your own. Here's how to get in on the action.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just Curious...

What's the lowest gas price you've seen around Kootenai County recently?

Council Considers Letting Businesses Pay For Parking Spots

The city of Coeur d'Alene wants to give business owners more options when it comes to providing parking. The City Council is looking at possible parking changes to allow midtown business owners the option of paying the city for the spaces they can't provide. Here's the story from the Coeur d'Alene Press.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hmmm... Men In Black or How to Store Deicer? I Just Can't Decide.

The City of Coeur d'Alene's Street Department is getting some recognition for how they handle hazardous materials. Panhandle Health District representatives last week filmed the city's storage practices for de-icer materials to use in a video to show other agencies around the state the proper way to do so.

The footage will be put on a DVD that will be available for presentations around the state to promote public health programs. No word yet if it will be available at your local video store.

Time Travel In Rathdrum

I found this picture of the Idaho and Washington Northern Railroad Depot on the City of Rathdrum's website. I thought it was cool because it shows people travelling by trains 100 years ago, when it's still an option today (the depot was built in 1908).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Draft of KC Comp Plan Available

The "second draft" of the Kootenai County Comprehensive Plan has been posted to the County web site recently (Oct. 3). Printed copies are available for purchase at the Kootenai County Building & Planning Department or you can save yourself some money and look at it here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Public Tells Governor What They Want

The group 'Idaho Smart Growth' is asking Governor Butch Otter to fund public transportation, bikeways, and walking paths in order to give Idahoans more cost effective and safe transportation options.

The group organized a postcard campaign, asking Idaho residents to send their transportation concerns to the governor. Over 500 people did so, from 70 different cities across the state.

Several 'themes' appeared repeatedly, such as rising fuel prices, the influence of transportation choices on preserving the quality of life in Idaho, making public transportation more plentiful, and safety on the roads.

For more information on the campaign, here's a link to the Idaho Smart Growth website.

Big Difference In Gas Prices Between WA & ID

A growing number of people are driving to Idaho from Washington to gas up. That's because the difference in gas prices between the two states is now averaging 40 cents a gallon! Here's the story from KXLY.

Have you made the trip to Idaho to buy gas?

Monday, October 13, 2008

10-Year Anniversary Of Giant Mud Slide

It's been ten years since a huge mudslide took out U.S. Highway 95 north of Bonners Ferry, along with a section of railroad track. The Coeur d'Alene Press takes a look back at the aftermath.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Public Transportation Roundtable Meeting Oct. 14

KMPO is holding a Public Transportation Roundtable meeting next Tuesday, Oct. 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 720 E. Front St.

The Public Transportation Roundtable is made up of staff members from transit providers, social service agencies, and other agencies and jurisdictions involved with public transportation, and citizens at-large. The objective of the Roundtable is to serve in an advisory capacity to the KMPO, providing recommendations on public transportation services and system improvements.

On the Roundtable meeting agenda: discussion of a possible location for a Citylink Transit Center, the possibility of implementing advertising on Citylink buses, and a discussion of paratransit funding issues in Kootenai County.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Monday Holiday Closures

- Kootenai County offices will be closed Monday, Oct. 13 for the Columbus Day holiday.

- Coeur d'Alene City offices and services will all be open Monday.

- Post Falls City offices and services will all be open Monday.

At Least the Bigwigs Are Doing Their Part For Safety


University of Idaho Interim President Steven Daley-Laursen, right, and Moscow Mayor Nancy Cheney, second to left, help pedestrians cross the Moscow-Pullman Highway on Wednesday. Two students have been injured after being struck by vehicles while crossing the dangerous crosswalk, including one from Coeur d'Alene. Picture courtesy of the Spokesman's 'Huckleberries' blog.

What's your experience with the Moscow-Pullman Highway?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

As If Slow Traffic Weren't Bad Enough

Stolen from the Spokesman's 'Huckleberries' blog.

Train Conductor Sues, Saying Crossing Not Up To Standard

The conductor driving a train that killed a Rathdrum man last year is filing a lawsuit, saying the Hayden Avenue crossing doesn't meet industry or government standards. He alleges that the angle of the highway makes the crossing dangerous.
Here's the rest of the story.

I have heard of other people having near-misses at this crossing. What's your experience there?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gas Prices Still Falling

Gas prices continue to drop- to as low as $2.99 in Coeur d'Alene! At some stations, prices are dropping by an average of ten cents a day.

Spokane drivers are still paying more though... around $3.50 a gallon average because of Washington's higher gas tax. Here's what's driving the dramatic drop in prices.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ethanol Content Changing Boat Winterizing

The addition of more ethanol in the gas we use could cause changes to the way you winterize your boats, lawnmowers, generators, etc. this year. That's because alcohol attracts moisture from the air, which collects in your gas tank and can expand when it freezes. Here's how some experts recommend you change your winterizing habits.

Gas Prices Are Falling!

Gas is at $3.09 this morning in Coeur d'Alene, and one blogger on the Spokesman's 'Huckleberries' blog reported seeing it at $3.06 at the Albertson's on Ironwood!

Kootenai County Schools Taking Part In Walk To School Month

Thanks to the Kootenai County schools promoting October’s “I Walk to School” month. Lakes Middle School, Sorensen Magnet School, and Bryan Elementary all found ways to promote October's walk (and bike) to school month such as having education booths with walking and biking flyers at area events, hosting a “Share the Road” campaign with removable bumper stickers, and walking/biking punch cards with prize incentives to encourage the participation of young people.

More information on October – International Walk to School month can be found here.

Celebration Tomorrow For Idaho's First ' Safe Routes To Schools' Project

Students, teachers, and parents will celebrate Idaho’s first Safe Routes to Schools project tomorrow– the completion of 930 lineal feet of new sidewalks.

The City of Coeur d’Alene was awarded $101,600 from the Safe Routes to Schools grant program to build sidewalks and to promote October’s “I Walk to School” month. The new sidewalks will connect the neighborhoods in the northeast corner of town to Lakes Middle School, Sorenson Elementary, Fernan Elementary, North Idaho Head Start, and Person Field. They will connect neighborhoods in the southeast corner of town to Cherry Hill Park, Sunset Field, North Pines Park, Canfield Natural Area, Canfield Sports Complex, and Canfield Park.

A celebration will be held at noon tomorrow (October 8th), at the Lakes Middle School courtyard.

Safe Routes to School (SR2S) is a federal, state, and local effort to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle to school - and to make walking and bicycling to school safer and more routine.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What to do with Mullan and Selitice in PF?

It looks like the City of Post Falls is going to revisit the traffic issues primarily along Mullan Avenue as it relates to traffic on Seltice Way. The city has looked at the issue in the past and considered developing a couplet, similar to Third and Fourth streets in Cd'A where each street is designated a one-way. Plans for the couplet were not well received, so the city is looking at other alternatives to calm traffic in the area. You can read the Post Falls Press article here.

Planes, trains and automobiles: Which is the most cost effective for Seattle get away.

The Spokesman Review analyzed the cost of travel from Spokane to Seattle using three different modes of travel (four if you consider the difference between a hybrid and a gas fueled automobile). They looked at planes, trains and automobiles. The published results are in a table format here.

I decided to calculated what it would cost to drive my Blazer to Seattle using Google Map's estimate of a 608-mile round trip from Post Falls, and I added 20 miles for cruising around downtown Seattle for a total of 628 miles. I came up with a trip cost of $105.27. Because I live in Post Falls, I also used $3.19 a gallon instead of the $3.65 the SR used.

Using the SR's gas price, my trip would cost $120.45, but the real cost is going to be slightly higher because I would have to gas up in Seattle. So if it were just me traveling, the cost of train and air travel would fairly competitive -- especially when time is a consideration.

How much would it cost to drive your car to Seattle? For those who are story-problem challenged, just divide 628 (for Post Falls residents) or 644 miles (For Cd'A residents) by the miles per gallon your car consumes and then multiply that answer by the price per gallon you pay. Have fun!

New survey shows tremendous support for light rail -- in Spokane.

Apparently WSU conducted a new scientific poll in Spokane to gauge support for construction of a new light rail system. The results are somewhat surprising. Check them out here. If a light rail was built between downtown Spokane and Liberty Lake, how often would you use it? I live in Post Falls and work in downtown Spokane, so I would definitely use it to commute on the days that I don't need my car. Rail is always much faster that bus or auto travel. Whenever I am in a large city, I use the light rail system. If our neighbors in Spokane build a light rail system, would you favor a North Idaho connection? Would you be willing to pay $5 a month to build it?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hybrids Can Be 'Silent Killers' Of Visually Impaired People

Apparently, hybrid cars aren't as good for everyone as we thought. Because they can be nearly silent, hybrids pose a serious threat of injury and death to blind and visually impaired people, says the American Council of the Blind. Here's the story.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

United Arab Emirates Contact KMPO About Crosswalks


I received some very interesting correspondence today. A while back I blogged about the 'Virtual Wall' crosswalk; a crosswalk that projects laser beams across the street, depicting pedestrians walking. This gives drivers the idea that walkers are in the crosswalk, and they shouldn't drive through it for fear of either hitting a pedestrian or damaging their car with the laser beams.

Well, today I got an email from someone allegedly working at a government agency in the United Arab Emirates. They had questions about the Virtual Wall and wanted to know if I could provide more information, because they actually want to install some of these at their busier intersections!

Cool! I say let them be the guinea pigs, then we can all follow if it works (and if we can afford it. We're not exactly United Arab Emirates-rich around here).

NIC Automotive Students Learn To Work On Electric Cars

It makes sense when you think of it; electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular, but who fixes them if they break down? Your regular mechanic probably isn't an authority when it comes to electric cars.

That's why some electric vehicle enthusiasts shared their cars with North Idaho College automotive technology students this week; to familiarize them with alternative engines.Here's the story.
Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.