May 23, 2010 in City

Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

» On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history
By The Spokesman-Review
 

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was waging war against two relatively new problems on the streets: Speeding auto drivers and illegal bicycle riders.

Autos were no longer a novelty by 1910. They were beginning to crowd the downtown streets, and the problem reached crisis point after a Spokane man was killed by a speeding “taxicab chauffeur.”

The police chief angrily said the majority of auto drivers “have absolutely no respect for our speed ordinances.” He instituted extra patrols at strategic points throughout the city, in what may have been the first true speed traps in Spokane history.

The problem with the “wheelmen” as the paper called bicyclists, was that they were “encroaching upon pedestrian territory.” In other words, they were zipping up and down the sidewalks.

Police officers walking a beat couldn’t catch them. So Spokane police started a mounted bicycle patrol. On the first day, they nabbed two riders, a merchant and a bicycle messenger boy.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1788: South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution. … 1960: Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announced the capture of former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann, who’d been hiding in Argentina.


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