Family of woman killed in car wreck wants spot to become a 4-way stop

The intersection of Keene Road and South Highlands Boulevard in West Richland is unsafe, the family of Connie Walser told the West Richland City Council on Monday.

Walser died Jan. 23 when a pickup collided with her Pontiac Grand Am as she tried to cross Keene.

Walser's daughter, Shelly Burt, told the council, "I've lived (in West Richland) 18 years. People just don't realize that people are going 50 mph on Keene, it's just way too fast.

"We need stop signs on Keene," she said.

Another family member, Cody Burt of West Richland, agreed, saying he and many of his friends are learning to drive this year and 50 mph is simply too fast.

"The intersection needs to be a four-way stop," he said.

Mayor Donna Noski sympathized, saying, "It was a tragic accident and the city is looking into the situation."

Also Monday, representatives from Charter Communications told the council the company has put more than $1 million into upgrading the fiber-optic delivery system in West Richland and Benton City.

"We've added over 200 channels and did the work in half the time it normally takes," said Marianne Jackson of Charter's Vancouver, Wash., office. "Just eight days ago we upgraded our Internet service from 8 megabytes to 12 megabytes."

On another item, Councilman Richard Bloom urged West Richland residents to use the bus system. He said he recently learned ridership was down on one of the two Ben Franklin Transit bus routes serving West Richland.

"Route 110, which goes up Keene Road and ends at Columbia Center mall, is very convenient and costs only $1.25, unless you're over 60, then it's free," Bloom said.

If the community is not using the route, the city could lose it, he said.