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Monday, December 28, 2009

Eagle Watchers Causing Traffic Havoc

The Idaho Transportation Department just sent out a news release saying that the Idaho State Police will issue citations to motorists who interfere with traffic along Idaho 97 when watching migrating bald eagles. The birds gather every year near Coeur d'Alene Lake, drawing hundreds of human fans to watch them, and create havoc with road conditions.

Parking areas and pullouts are available on a limited basis along Idaho 97 on the eastern shore of the lake where bird watchers can safely pull off the highway. Motorists have been stopping and blocking traffic, which has prompted the state police to step up traffic patrols and issue citations. Inattentive drivers and cars suddenly stopping create a serious safety issue on the highway.

Anyone wishing to view the bald eagles should use designated parking areas, such as Higgins Point, or identified pullout areas. And slow down and pay attention when travelling around the lake.

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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.