Paying to park can be a hassle, but in downtown Spokane, meter dollars are contributing to a better city experience.

In 2013, the Spokane City Council passed provisions to reinvest all net revenue from parking fund into downtown’s on-street metered parking area. A parking Advisory Committee consisting of downtown stakeholders reviews project proposals and makes recommendations to the City Council for the final distribution of funds.

Since 2014, over $1.5m in capital has been made available for a wide range of projects. On average contributing over $400k to a more vibrant downtown each year. On October 13, 2017, the City of Spokane and contributing partners cut the ribbon on an art and beautification gateway upgrade at the Lincoln Street i90 off ramp, $150k of the $200k project was made possible through the parking fund.

Other significant investments include:

  • $235,000 – Division Street Gateway
  • $410,000 – Division I-90 off-ramp and gateway
  • $150,000 – I-90 corridor landscaping and design work
  • $100,000 – Main Ave parking reconfiguration and landscaping
  • $114,000 – Four years of hanging flower baskets at Post, Main, Wall, Bernard and Brown, and Division I-90 gateway
  • $40,000 – Holiday decorations
  • $6,000 – Art wraps designed by local artists for signal boxes
  • $5,000 – Bike racks

The general guidelines for fund allocation are:

  • 50% Gateway/Special Projects
  • 20% Urban Forestry (i.e., planters, street trees, grates)
  • 20% Art/Holiday Lighting
  • 10% Wayfinding

Concepts for additional funding to be considered by the PAC for 2019 are:

  • Wayfinding implementation
  • Funding for the Urban Cultural Trail
  • Alley improvements; art, lighting, and streetscape upgrades for select alleys in the core.
  • Expanded and improved landscaping.

Additional funds have been distributed to a range of investments including improved parking payment options and long term planning initiatives including the Parking Study Update which will inform input for the 2019 Downtown Plan Update.

All of this is possible thanks to the City staff and parking services officers who manage the day-to-day operations of the on-street parking system, City Council and Mayor Condon for enacting the parking system reforms that have enabled these investments, and the current and past members of the Parking Advisory Committee.

To bring a proposal to the PAC for future projects contact the Downtown Spokane Partnership at 509.456.0580.

*This article was updated on April 23, 2018 to include allocations for 2017 and consideration for 2019 funding.