In July, the Downtown Spokane Partnership, Greater Spokane Incorporated and Visit Spokane were granted an opportunity by the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) Board of Directors to provide input on the proposed six million dollar remodel project of the downtown STA Plaza.

The three organizations have formed an ad hoc committee and are now engaged in an extensive information-gathering process:

  • With individuals and organizations who have a vested interest in the future of downtown transit services;
  • With STA staff, board and project team;
  • With organizations representing the homeless, mentally ill, youth, courts, and law enforcement.

These conversations (together with independent research and information requested from STA) will inform the group in providing a thoughtful and thorough set of recommendations to the STA Board, due by November 15th. 

The committee formed by DSP, GSI and Visit Spokane is grateful for the opportunity to be heard. The committee, and each organization making up the committee, reaffirms the objective of these efforts, which includes sharing the purpose adopted and stated by the STA Board of Directors:

[increase ridership with enhanced customer service, foster and enhanced safety and security, improve functionality and efficiency of the Plaza for transit customers and the Spokane community, reduce loitering opportunities/increase purposeful behavior, consider overall return on investment and overall community benefit, and ensure design and uses are complementary to adjacent properties.]

Furthermore, the participating organizations are unanimous in support of STA’s commitment to providing a strong public transportation system that serves both the downtown core and the greater region.

Given the high profile of the space occupied by the STA Plaza, and its importance to this community, the committee is also working to formalize a position on how that space might best be utilized with the understanding that ultimately the next course of action will be decided on by the STA Board.

DSP, GSI and Visit Spokane are extremely grateful for the time afforded to them by the STA Board so the committee can meet, conduct research, weigh options and prepare the final report. In light of the time constraints, and to protect the relationship with our STA partners, the members of the committee and official representatives of the respective organizations look forward to discussing the final recommendations when the report is complete and will refrain from further comment regarding the plaza remodel until that time.

View a PDF of this statement here.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Key concerns

  1. Long lines for busses that block sidewalks and impede pedestrian traffic.
  2. The number and length of time busses idle.
  3. Reducing the number of incidents and arrests at the Plaza.
  4. The use of the Plaza as a hang out and shelter for non bus riders. Finding other options.
  5. Is the plan for the remodel the best use of public funds in the long term? How might the six million be best used to serve riders and address other challenges?

Representatives from downtown business, city leadership and the Spokane Transit Authority met yesterday to start a discussion about the STA’s proposed plan for remodeling the STA Plaza.

In late July the STA Board was asked by the Downtown Spokane Partnership, Greater Spokane Incorporated and Visit Spokane to pause with moving forward on renovation plans for the downtown Plaza. With nearly six million dollars on the table, the partner organizations had concerns if the results of the renovation would adequately address challenges in and around the Plaza while improving accessibility for riders. In addition, representatives were also concerned about changes in the renovation plan approved without public input. 

Following the STA Board’s decision, the DSP was charged to form a task force that would provide a unified voice and a solid recommendation from downtown to the STA Board. Members of the task force will be discussing the merits of a variety of options to recommend to the board, and hope to come to a compromise that will be in the best interests of everyone affected.

The deliverables of the task force include:

  • Study of the final proposed renovation plans.
  • Identify and evaluate solutions to key concerns.
  • Provide the STA Board with a report on the findings of the task force.

Leading the meeting was a facilitator hired by the DSP to ensure the conversation would move forward in a timely manner. The first of five meetings, the task force is on a tight timeline to prepare their final recommendation by November 15.

The DSP will provide updates on the process as it moves forward.