Last night, the City of Richland held a public hearing during the city council meeting to address a proposal from Kadlec Regional Medical Center.
As part of their campus master plan, Kadlec has proposed that part of the Goethals Drive ROW be vacated. The ROW would be used to expand the hospital’s campus by adding 14 acres east of Goethals Drive to the current 11 acres, though nothing would be built over it as the city would still retain the utility easement. Below is a map of Kadlec’s proposal for the future campus. (Note that this is a screen capture I took with my iPhone during the live broadcast of the meeting, so clarity is a bit of a issue.)
One thing that’s important to note is that Kadlec would mitigate the closure of Goethals Drive with a new connector road running between Jadwin Ave and Gilmore Ave. In the original proposal, Kadlec was requesting the ROW of Goethals Drive from 535ft north of Swift Blvd to the intersection of Carondelet Drive. However, that was revised to only go to approximately the southern edge of an acupuncturist located at the corner of Goethals Drive and Gribble Ave after multiple citizens submitted comments addressing impacted access to the office.
You’ve heard of “rail to trail” before. What if we did the same thing with an irrigation canal?
In the years before WWII and the Manhattan Project, the three cities that make up the Tri-Cities – Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland – were small towns with heavy agricultural roots. In Kennewick, there were many orchards strewn all across the area, (some of which can still be found in scattered pockets through the city today), largely thanks to the higher quality soil that was deposited as a result of the historic Lake Missoula floods. However, that soil was useless to growers unless they could water their plants. Though the Columbia River was literally right there, there was no mechanism to get that water away from the river and up to the orchards and crop fields. That’s where the canals came in. With the first one built in 1893 by the predecessors of the Columbia Irrigation District (the Kennewick Irrigation District started building their network in 1917), water was brought to the growers and profits flourished.
After WWII was ended (partly thanks to the efforts undertaken at Hanford, which produced the plutonium for the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki), the population of Kennewick and the rest of the Tri-Cities started to grow rapidly. Land once used as orchards and crop land were dug up and bulldozed over to make room for multiple subdivisions. All the while, the canals remained, and even today continue to remain in use. However, the demographics of the irrigation canal customers have changed in the modern age, as nearly the entirety of the land in both districts is residential in nature. They still remain in business, as most residences in the districts use the irrigation water to keep their yards as green as possible, while city water is used for everything else.
(Spoiler alert: It’s a pretty one-sided affair.)
Just in the last two days here in the Tri-Cities, there have been not one but two separate incidents of a car striking pedestrian(s).
Yesterday, a student walking home from Pasco High School was struck by a car at the corner of 12th Avenue and Sylvester Street. Initial reports indicate he may have been jaywalking, but there has been nothing to confirm that as of posting this.
Today, two students were struck while in a crosswalk immediately in front of Park Middle School (in Kennewick). The driver reportedly had been running late and thus had failed to adequately remove frost/ice from his windshield, so he was cited for “second-degree negligent driving.”
In yesterday’s incident, the student was transported to the hospital, but there was no indication if he suffered any serious injuries. The students from this morning’s incident had minor bruising but no major injuries.
The thing I really, really want to know is this: Why are these incidents still happening?