June 26, 2014 in Washington Voices

South Side neighborhoods get united plan approved

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A coalition of five South Side neighborhoods succeeded this week in winning adoption of a joint neighborhood plan that took two years to develop.

Spokane City Council members voted unanimously on Monday in favor of the plan, which sets out a series of goals and projects to improve livability on the South Side.

“Great piece of work,” said Council President Ben Stuckart.

“I am terribly impressed,” said Councilwoman Amber Waldref.

Councilman Mike Allen said the next step is for the city to begin implementing recommendations.

The effort combined planning funds for five neighborhoods into a single pool of money that was used to hire a consultant and put together the plan.

The neighborhoods are Cliff Cannon, Comstock, Lincoln Heights, Manito/Cannon Hill and Rockwood.

They formed a South Hill Coalition for their connectivity and livability strategic plan.

Extensive public outreach efforts included six open houses.

The plan envisions that “South Hill neighborhoods, streets, parks and community destinations are safe, livable, well-connected and contribute to healthy communities and a high quality of life for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities,” according to the resolution approved on Monday.

The City Council in 2007 allocated $550,000 for neighborhood planning, which made $21,150 available for each of 26 neighborhoods.

On the South Side, the funds were combined for the coalition work.

The plan calls for a series of transportation improvements, including green ways and bike and pedestrian thoroughfares.

East-west connections are sought to link neighborhoods, including one along 21st Avenue on the west to Rockwood Boulevard on the east.

Sumner Avenue is identified as a location for an east-west bike and pedestrian link. The corridor along 33rd and 34th avenues is another one.

A north-south bike and pedestrian route is envisioned from Lewis and Clark High School to High Drive.

A second north-south connection for bikes and walkers is identified along Pittsburg Street from Rockwood to 42nd Avenue.

Grand Boulevard and 29th Street both need improvements for safety, crossings, driveway consolidations, parking, economic development and neighborhood center enhancements, according to the plan.

Among the goals, the neighborhoods want to preserve and enhance the tree canopy; develop and expand crime prevention efforts; and ensure that neighborhood business areas are designed for all types of transportation access.

A loop route that connects and showcases South Side parks is also recommended.

For more information on the plan, go to southhillcoalition.org.


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