City to pilot six-week lane reduction on three-block segment of Sprague Avenue
The city is planning a stormwater and crosswalk project along westbound Sprague Avenue between University Road and Herald Road, a three-block segment. As part of the project, the City is proposing to reduce Sprague from five to three lanes in this segment. The City will evaluate the impacts of reducing lanes by doing a pilot study from Sept. 19 to Oct. 28, 2022. Sprague Avenue east of University Road also consists of three lanes in each direction.
Preliminary traffic evaluations comparing three-lane and four-lane alternatives indicate that three-lanes will provide ample capacity during peak traffic hours and accommodate traffic volumes through 2040 based on traffic models. Additionally, the three-lane alternative provides more room for stormwater treatment and a shorter pedestrian crossing, resulting in three seconds of reduced exposure to vehicular traffic during the crossing as compared to the four-lane alternative. The pilot project is being conducted to verify these results and update them, if necessary.

Traffic control devices will be in place for approximately six weeks to observe driver behavior, measure actual vehicle speeds, and evaluate performance of the section with reduced lanes. 

This project is expected to reduce excessive speeding on this segment of Sprague. Studies indicate this segment experiences high driving speeds and has relatively low traffic volumes. Over 60% of drivers were shown to exceed the posted speed limit with over 120 drivers exceeding 50 mph on a typical day. Volumes on this segment only utilize approximately 20 percent of existing capacity of the current lane configuration. As a result, vehicles travel at high speeds, leading to unsafe pedestrian conditions. Of all fatal and serious injury crashes in the city, the most prominent contributing factor is excessive speeds.  

If adopted permanently, the proposed lane reduction would also allow for the placement of new stormwater facilities and a safe pedestrian crossing. Learn more about these projects below.
The city is asking residents to provide feedback on this project via a survey at; the survey will be available Sept. 19 through Nov. 4.
Stormwater improvement
Stormwater runoff is directly discharge to drywells located within the road which infiltrate into the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie (SVRP) Aquifer without treatment. The SVRP Aquifer is the sole source of drinking water for most people in Spokane County, Washington and Kootenai County, Idaho. The city proposes to treat stormwater drainage in this section of Sprague by constructing bio-infiltration swales in the southern and northern lanes similar to the recently completed Appleway Boulevard project between Farr and University Roads. Those swales are outside of the existing curb line, but still within the existing public right-of-way. Due to existing street trees, substantial underground utilities and limited right-of-way along Sprague, this project will use the two outside lanes for the new stormwater swales, essentially providing additional "green space" and a narrower roadway.
New crosswalk and bus stop
The city proposes to install a signalized crosswalk between City Hall and Balfour Park, providing a connection from the Appleway Trail and City Hall to the new Spokane Valley Public Library (under construction). In addition, a STA bus stop would be located just west of the crosswalk at Balfour Park. Reduced lanes would create a shorter distance for pedestrians to cross, improving safety and reducing vehicle delays.
For more information, contact Traffic Engineering Manager Jerremy Clark at [email protected] or visit

City of Spokane Valley
10210 E. Sprague Ave. Spokane Valley, WA 99206
509.720.5000 |