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Getting There: Summer street parties offer fitness activities

Blasting work is planned each evening at 7:30 through Thursday, forcing closure of I-90 for one hour east of Snoqualmie Pass. (Washington Department of Transportation)
Blasting work is planned each evening at 7:30 through Thursday, forcing closure of I-90 for one hour east of Snoqualmie Pass. (Washington Department of Transportation)

Spokane Summer Parkways returns to the streets later this month for the first of three celebrations of human-powered transportation.

Last year’s two inaugural events drew nearly 2,500 people, and organizers are hoping that the turnout will increase this year.

Streets are closed to all but local traffic and participants can enjoy a variety of fitness activities along the routes.

The first event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 22 on the streets between Manito and Comstock parks, including Manito Boulevard.

There is no starting or ending point, just a route with lots of things to do, said Bill Bender, one of the organizers.

“There is no start or finish. It’s a big street party no matter where you enter it,” he said.

Next week’s date was chosen to celebrate the solstice period when the sun is highest in the northern sky.

The free event is perfect for families and neighbors who want to celebrate fitness. People can walk, cycle or skate their way around the course.

A number of activities will be offered along the way, including dance, hula hoops, chalk art and exercise routines. Some activities will include instruction.

Summer Parkways is similar to events held in cities across the country, all patterned after Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia, where the concept was popularized.

Last year, both events went down Howard Street between Riverfront and Corbin parks.

The bulk of participants migrated to the residential area closer to Corbin Park, Bender said. It appeared that people enjoyed the quieter setting.

So this year, Summer Parkways is moving to residential streets exclusively, and making a tour of different neighborhoods. Neighborhood councils were consulted over the winter.

“It’ll be a way to showcase different neighborhoods,” Bender said.

On July 24, the event will be held along a route running from Clark Park on the south to Franklin and Ruth parks on the north.

On Aug. 14, the season’s final event will be held between Audubon Park on the south and Albi Stadium and park facilities on the north. It will include a stop at the small Webster Park near Northwest Boulevard.

Bender said the stadium will be opened and activities set up on the field.

The July and August events will both be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In all three events, streets will be blocked off to provide participants full use of the blacktop and sidewalks. Park paths will be included in the routes. However, park driveways will not be closed to vehicles.

Volunteers are going to be at intersections and will allow vehicle access to residents living along the route.

More volunteers are being sought.

To volunteer and for more information, go to

Road reopening delayed

Reopening of Spokane Falls Boulevard from Hamilton to Division streets has been delayed until June 20. Workers building a new Martin Luther King Jr. Way through the University District ran into complications that delayed the expected reopening, city officials said.

The project involves a new intersection to control traffic on Spokane Falls.

Workers tackle new section of Second

Another section of Second Avenue is set to undergo reconstruction starting today.

Workers had planned to finish paving Second from Howard Street to Sunset Boulevard over the weekend, and then turn their attention to the segment between Browne Street and Howard.

Second will be reduced to a single lane of traffic from Browne to Howard during the work.

Detour may cause North Side delays

A contractor on the North Spokane Corridor is planning to shift traffic for U.S. Highway 395 to a set of new lanes beneath the new freeway bridges just north of Wandermere.

The transition is expected sometime this week, weather permitting. During the switch, highway traffic will be rerouted onto Wandermere Road.

Congestion and delays are likely, especially during morning and evening commute periods.

Work will narrow I-90 at night

Paving along a new Washington port-of-entry facility on Interstate 90 at Stateline will cause traffic restrictions tonight and Tuesday night.

Westbound traffic will be channeled onto a single lane from 7 p.m. to about 6 a.m. each day.

Snoqualmie stretch closing for blasting

Rock blasting on I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass is planned for today through Thursday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Traffic will be stopped in both directions during the blasting work, part of a major freeway expansion east of the pass.

This version corrects an error identifying last year’s route from Corbin to Riverfront parks.