New stop sign on Spokane’s South Hill confusing some drivers

Driving on Spokane’s South Hill neighborhood, you’ll notice traffic’s being brought to a stop on 43rd and Grand Boulevard.

The City of Spokane added a stop sign on Grand. In the past, Grand had the right-of-way and drivers on 43rd would have to wait.

Some 4 News Now viewers messaged us saying instead of helping traffic, it’s actually causing congestion. Many are asking why the City did this, and why now. The City said they added the stop sign as a way to be fair to all drivers. ​

“Slightly more congestion. There’s… there’ll be kind of a line of people where there used to not be,” said Teegan Glines, barista at Rocket Market.

Glines said from her work station, she gets a front-row view of the congestion on East High Drive and Grand Boulevard.

“It goes to probably about the stop sign there on Scott and 43rd. It moves quickly, but it’s definitely more noticeable now that the stop sign is up than previously,” Glines said.

Previously, drivers on Grand had the right of way. Now, it’s a three-way stop.

“If the traffic volume in the arterials is more than the other, you would put the stop signs on the arterial with the smaller traffic volume,” said Marlene Feist, City of Spokane.

The intersection at High and Grand doesn’t fit that mold.

“The traffic volumes on 43rd and Grand are about equal,” Feist said.

The traffic revision has helped some drivers shave time off their commute.

“When I drive back down high drive, normally I wait at the stop sign for several minutes, because when traffic is slowing down grand, it’s just a big flow,” said Andrew Hansen, wine & beer manager at Rocket Market.

Now with a three-way stop, it gives everyone a chance to go.

“It wasn’t like, terrible – but with a stop sign in now, it definitely going that direction is a lot faster,” Hansen said.

Which is what the city wanted.

“Here’s a case of two arterials meeting. Traffic volumes are about the same, so it makes sense not to give one arterial priority over the other,” Feist said.

“It’s a few extra minutes, it seems like. And then it starts running smoothly again. And it seems to only be that morning commute rush time, between eight and nine,” Glines said.