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There’s plenty of parking in downtown Spokane

Soaring architectural style of nine-story Parkade with its sweeping columns, flaring cornices, spiral ramp and lofty elevator tower catches and holds the eye, even from afar. This picture was taken from the roof of the Chronicle Building. 1967 photo.  (Photo Archive/The Spokesman-Review. )
Soaring architectural style of nine-story Parkade with its sweeping columns, flaring cornices, spiral ramp and lofty elevator tower catches and holds the eye, even from afar. This picture was taken from the roof of the Chronicle Building. 1967 photo. (Photo Archive/The Spokesman-Review. )

Here at Getting There, we focus on transportation. That is, how we get there. But what do you do once you arrive? 

Park your vehicle. (Or deboard or continue walking.)

The urban-focused blog Spokane Rising has crunched some numbers and came up with some surprising results: There is plenty of parking in downtown Spokane

From the blog:

There are 295 acres of surface parking in Spokane’s urban core.

There are only 1,250 acres of land in the urban core.

That means that 23.6% of all of the land in Spokane’s urban core is occupied solely by the temporary storage of motor vehicles.

Yep. Nearly a quarter of downtown's land is dedicated to parking.

It should be noted that Spokane Rising, and its prime author and founder Anthony Gill, has railed against the parking situation in the city's core before. He was upset about "all that space devoted to the temproary storage of vehicles." He listed the "seven most egregious parking design flaws" (while rightfully praising the Parkade). He asked, "What's the deal with downtown and parking," and called for a unified parking authority to manage all parking.

But back to the current post, Gill said action is necessary:

Either way, it’s clear that 23.6% of Spokane’s core being occupied by surface parking is a ridiculous figure, unbecoming of a “city of choice.” We must work aggressively to find solutions and redevelop these sites. We must work carefully with neighbors and stakeholders, as well as the broader Spokane community, to build up, instead of out. And instead of more suburban apartment complexes on the fringe, let’s build urban lofts and apartments downtown.

What do you think? Are there too many surface parking lots and not enough parking structures? Is there a surplus of parking? Does it even matter because soon we'll all have self-driving cars and parking will become a relic of the past like water troughs for the horses that pull our wagons?




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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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