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Safety on Ninth Street a topic of concern

A semi truck drives down Ninth Street/Highway 125 in Walla Walla. Photo via Google Maps.

WALLA WALLA, Washington — There have been some issues with Ninth Street in Walla Walla. Two major accidents took place within two weeks, recently: a fatal bike versus semi accident, and an three-vehicle accident with major injuries which included a Valley Transit bus.

Walla Walla Police Chief Scott Bieber says that Ninth Street is still part of Washington Highway 125, and that he would like to see the amount of semi-trucks on that road dwindle. He says, “moving them off of Ninth would be a good thing, eventually.”

According to Bieber, the state has allocated funds to the capital budget for the reconstruction of the intersection at Plaza Way and Ninth Street/Highway 125. They’re trying to work out a design that mitigates the issues of the Tietan Avenue and Plaza Way intersection being so close to that intersection. The forecast is to try and move the truck route out onto Myra Road, which would be better suited for large trucks. According to Bieber there was some significant work done on the cresting of Myra Road by Fort Walla Walla Park to accommodate trucks. 

Bieber also says that all drivers need to be more careful driving on Ninth Street.

“One thing that people need to understand is that Ninth is a surface street,” says Bieber. “And even though it’s technically still a state highway, it’s 35 miles an hour with a significant number of lights and traffic signals along the way and a lot of driveways in and out.” 

Bieber says people need to be cognizant of that and drive safely through that corridor.

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