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Spokane

Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Mon., May 3, 2010

» On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

From our archives, 50 years ago

A Spokane Daily Chronicle editorial touched on a difficult and sensitive question: Where to route the proposed east-west freeway through downtown Spokane?

Engineers had said that the “most feasible” route seemed to be between Third and Fourth avenues.

Yet the editorial noted that many people in Spokane were frustrated over the fact that, in public hearings, “earnest minority” opinions were given insufficient consideration.

Now, word came that engineers were willing to give further consideration to some of the other options, ranging from the use of existing ground-level streets to building a “double-decker” viaduct.

The editorial was carefully noncommittal on the entire issue, but it closed with a warning.

“A freeway goes in for keeps,” it said. “And there’s no room for error in this big decision.”

And where did the freeway eventually go?

Mostly between Third and Fourth avenues.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1802: Washington, D.C., was incorporated as a city. … 1960: The Harvey Schmidt-Tom Jones musical “The Fantasticks” began a nearly 42-year run at New York’s Sullivan Street Playhouse, closing in Jan. 2002 after 17,162 performances. … 1979: Conservative Party leader Margaret Thatcher was chosen Britain’s first female prime minister as the Tories ousted the Labour government.



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