If you’re tired of traffic crashes and speeding drivers you’re not alone Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray is also concerned. Last week Murray wrote a letter to the community talking about a number of challenges the department is facing and ways the department is addressing the challenges. In the letter the chief emphasized the ongoing traffic problems in Yakima. The Yakima City Council is holding a study session with the chief Tuesday to talk about traffic and safety concerns on city streets. The chief says as of August 1, 2022, the city has experienced 12 traffic fatalities. Murray says that’s the highest in Yakima history and there’s a quarter of the year left.
Despite the lack of a traffic unit police have been busy
Murray says in 2021, 60% of the traffic fatalities involved impaired drivers and officers made 335 DUI arrests. The chief says the department is slowly building back the traffic unit that was canceled last year and more traffic emphasis is planned in the future. In the letter Murray wrote “we do not relish writing citations and more often than not issue warnings” but he says “the culture of anything goes on Yakima streets must change.”
The council is also talking about crosswalk safety on 16th Avenue
Along with talking about traffic in general the council will also talk about the safety of pedestrians crossing South 16th Avenue from Chuck Austin Place on Tahoma Avenue. City officials are looking to improve the safety in the area by creating more sidewalks on the west side of 16th Avenue and a crosswalk near Chuck Austin Place.
The council will also hear a presentation from the Yakima County Development Association.
You can attend in person or watch online
The meeting starts at 5:00 p.m.
The meeting will be conducted in person, live streamed at www.yakimawa.gov and telecast live on Y-PAC, Spectrum Cable Channel 194 or you may call in and participate by dialing 1-253-215-8782 or 1-971-247-1195, enter meeting ID 967 1910 0073#, participant ID # and meeting password 140360#. Public comment may be made in person or by phone.
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