SPOKANE, Wash.--Police said road construction along the North-South freeway corridor is doing more than forcing drivers to take detours. Authorities said more drivers are taking risky and often illegal routes to avoid traffic near Francis and Market.
The biggest issue is drivers making left turns where they should not be according to officers. The detour prohibits drivers from taking left hand turns at the intersection.
Police began watching drivers on Monday and giving tickets to anyone making illegal left turns at the intersection.
Business owners told KREM 2 News that the police presence is a welcome addition bear Francis and Market.
“It's a comfort thing,” business owner MJ Halverson “They've been through it so many times; they think no one's watching, so they're going to take it.”
Officers said the illegal left-hand turns create a dangerous combination of traffic and back-up and already congested roadway. Halverson said the congestion blocks his business.
“At times, We've got traffic backed up all the way down to Queen, which is eleven blocks away, just because one driver wants to make a left turn,” said Lt. Kevin King.
Officers said they are not giving warnings. A violation is an automatic ticket according to police.
Construction in the area is expected to be complete next year.