On behalf of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, Vice President of Public Policy and Parking, Andrew Rolwes, attends the monthly Public Infrastructure, Environment, and Sustainability (PIES) update of the Spokane City Council on the fourth Monday of the month at 1:15 in the Council Briefing Center. The purpose of PIES is to build and effectively manage innovative infrastructure that supports community accessibility, mobility, and resiliency. See the most recent monthly update for projects impacting downtown below.

Urban Forestry

A goal was set to increase the canopy coverage in the City on public land to 30% by 2030. Spokane’s urban forest is 70 to 75 years-old on average and we will want to undertake efforts in the near future to replant sizable numbers of trees so that we don’t lose our urban forest with nothing coming up in its place.

Riverside Avenue Public Input

Parking was discussed and bicycle infrastructure configuration was discussed in response to public input wanting to see improved/expanded bike infrastructure. There was no decision as to what the final bike lane type will be.

Several options for parking configuration were described to Council;

  • a parallel-only approach after the Central City line is added of 117 spaces on Riverside,
  • the balanced approach of adding some angle parking stalls which brings the total to 130 spaces, and the parking-heavy approach of 144 spaces.

Feedback from the public preferred the balanced approach since it would add parking while also preserving key turning movements off of Riverside to support vehicle throughput/reduce congestion.

Seventy five percent of respondents from the general public support the project and 64% of property and business owners on Riverside support the project.

  • Breakdown of project support from various categories of respondents:
    Riverside Neighborhood residents – 87%
    Property and Business owners on Riverside – 64%
    Adjacent neighborhoods – 79%
    Rest of city – 71%

This yields overall support for the project of 75% which exceeds their target goal to pursue a street improvement project of 60%. The City is still at least two years out from delivering aspect of the project. Council did not take a formal position on the street projects. City administration staff will continue briefing Council on Riverside to provide maximum visibility to Council on the public’s reaction to the project thus far.