Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: Parking downtown switches from angled to parallel parking

The new rules for parking in Spokane said that cars had to be parked parallel to the curb, and no more than a foot away, The Spokesman-Review reported on June 1, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane still was struggling with one of the thorniest issues in the new automobile age: How to provide enough parking.

Spokane was launching a new system of parallel parking in the downtown districts, instead of the old system of diagonal parking.

The new rules said that cars had to be parked parallel to the curb, and no more than a foot away. Instead of the old rule allowing cars to stay parked for three hours, they would now be permitted to stand for only one hour.

Yet the city also was trying one more experiment: parking in the center of the street. It was authorized on several downtown streets, including Brown, Bernard and Madison.

From the school beat: A total of 2,000 children, all wearing white, stood in unison to recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the Spokane elementary school annual field day.

Make that 1,999 children wearing white shirts.

Spokesman-Review writer Hannah Hinsdale noted that one little girl, being raised by her father, had to wear a black-and-white striped shirt because she spilled ink on her white dress.

In any case, the flag salute evoked tears from the parents looking on.

The field day included many different sports demonstrations, including dodge ball, calisthenics, wand club exercises, Indian club exercises and something called “zig-zag ball.”

Hinsdale wrote that the “falls roared in their glory, the spray effervescing into all the colors of an opal,” at the riverside stadium.