Spokesman-Review Letters To The Editor
Worst on ramp ever
I’ve read that the Washington Department of Transportation will be receiving federal stimulus money, and I have a suggestion for a much needed freeway project. The population in southwestern Spokane has increased greatly in the past few years and Highway 195 is our only real option when travelling downtown, to the north side or to the Valley. Where Highway 195 intersects Interstate 90 is the most dangerous on-ramp situation that I have ever seen.
The merge is immediate. There are not even a few yards of a dedicated lane for easing into 60 mph traffic. I cannot think of another on ramp where you are sometimes forced to go from a complete stop to 60 mph.
When the road resurfacing project was in progress last year, this spot had barrels prohibiting eastbound drivers from accessing this far-right lane, and the merge was safe and seamless. Last week there was an accident at this precise spot and traffic was backed up for miles on both 195 and I-90.
Please consider a longer merge lane, reinstalling the barrels, or signage requesting eastbound drivers to move left for merging traffic. It could save a life.
Rose Kelly Rhoades
So what do you think? Do you agree with Ms. Rhoades? I’ve never had trouble with that merge-point, but the only time I’ve actually used that on-ramp is late at night coming home from a friend’s house off of 195, and there’s never any traffic at that time of night.
Yes! This onramp always worries me when I am headed into Spokane from either 195 or I-90. When on I-90, I always move over (even when it puts me behind a slow truck) because I am wary of hitting someone trying to merge. When I am coming from 195, I have to slow down to 45 to get around the bend and just can't get back up to 60 by the time I have to merge. It can be bad during rush hour, because people can't move over for traffic, and other drivers don't always slow down to let them in. Since the onramp is part of a bridge, there's no significant shoulder to drive on if you're unable to merge. It's very scary!
This could be drastically improved by just widening the bridge for a bit to allow people time to come up to speed and find a place to merge.
Thanks for the comments Rachel. Another thing I've been noticing recently, not just at that on-ramp, but at all of them, is that people won't LET you merge a lot of the time. When you see a car getting on the freeway, you're supposed to move over to allow them room. But a lot of drivers don't do that anymore and you either have to punch it to try to get past them before the merge lane ends or slow way down and wait for them to pass, which is also dangerous.
I don't think WSDOT has any improvements in mind for this on-ramp anytime soon but I'll ask.