Downtown Changes Coming Soon to Spokane

By Paige Browning

Spokane leaders have constructed a plan for downtown that could revamp the overall feel and livability of the city core. At news conference Friday, City Council President Ben Stuckart presented the Downtown Livability Initiative.
What’s acceptable downtown and what’s not could change Monday night, when Ben Stuckart expects his city council to pass seven downtown ordinances. Said simply, the changes would allow police to give citations more often. They could cite people for vehicle prowling before a break-in has occurred, skateboarding on sidewalks, calling 911 for any reason other than emergency, or for being a disturbance at medical facilities or on city busses. But Stuckart says you can’t look at the problems as just enforcement problems.
Stuckart: “You have to talk about it in both ways, which is how do we prevent these actions in the first place. And, what do we do to grow our economy, what do we do to invest in non-profits that are serving outreach to these people, in addition to the enforcement.”
That’s where another element comes in. Downtown leaders are crafting an anti-panhandling PR campaign, that would teach Spokane residents not to give money to panhandlers. Stuckart says that money is better spent towards non-profits.
The downtown livability initiative has become a collaborative effort by city officials, the downtown Spokane partnership, and downtown businesses.
Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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