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Getting There

The Great Main Avenue Makeover

 (Courtesy City of Spokane)
(Courtesy City of Spokane)

A trendy block of Main Avenue in downtown Spokane is getting a makeover, cutting three lanes to two and adding a middle lane of parking.

As we reported last summer, the renovation of the block came from business owners on the active block between Bernard and Pine, which has been called Little Portland and the Saranac block.

When the city’s done remaking the block, it will have just two lanes of traffic and a lane of parking in the middle of the street. The corners of the nearby intersections will bulb out, a common practice city planners used to slow traffic down and create a safer environment for pedestrians. A midblock crosswalk, new trees and more lighting will also be installed, done in conjunction with the Downtown Spokane Partnership.

This week, the city released a rendering of the future street, which is the image on this post.

From the city:

A stretch of Main Avenue downtown will look very different soon. A new streetscape design has just been finished and over $160,000 will be invested on West Main Avenue between Washington and Pine Streets.

The project’s goal is to add vibrancy and expand the kinds of community uses that are possible in the busy area. Here’s a rundown of what the changes entail:

  • Restriping

  • Planted entry feature

  • Creation of a flexible multi-purpose space in the center of the street that can be used for different purposes during different times.

  • Mid-block crossing with curb extensions and planting

  • Mid-block planters and benches

  • Pay-by-Plate parking system with four kiosks

The most visible change will be the multi-purpose area in the middle of the street. On weekdays, it will be a space for diagonal car parking. During special events, the space can serve as a gathering area for people as well as parking.

For a closer look, check out the Project Overview (PDF 996 KB)

The City is getting ready to send the Main Avenue Streetscape Project to construction companies to bid on. Work could potentially start during the 2016 construction season. For more information, please see our Main Avenue Streetscape Pilot Project page.




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Nicholas Deshais
Joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He is the urban issues reporter, covering transportation, housing, development and other issues affecting the city. He also writes the Getting There transportation column and The Dirt, a roundup of construction projects, new businesses and expansions. He previously covered Spokane City Hall.

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