Change the bus plaza
If Spokane Transit Authority bus routes must converge at the downtown plaza, why not provide some useful services at this mandatory destination? Instead of a playground, where security guards baby-sit loitering hooligans, the plaza could be a place for people to pay bills, connect with agencies like Social Security and Department of Social and Health Services and Spokane Mental Health, access job training and employment opportunities, and do some shopping, or take a shower. Of course, this would involve creative thinking and community partnerships, and the plaza might still be an undesirable destination for many.
So, perhaps a better alternative is to reroute the entire system, and scrap the unnecessary downtown hub altogether. Buses could circulate through downtown without congregating at a hub, and thus be routed more quickly and directly to any destination.
Why are so many riders forced to cycle through the plaza in the first place? Is something exciting going on down there? Not yet. But, according to The Spokesman-Review, STA Chief Executive Officer Susan Meyer plans to change all that by installing an art museum at the menagerie. For reasons that should be obvious, even to Meyer, this promises to be her most entertaining proposal yet.