Among those lobbying Spokane City Council members to begin using cameras to catch red-light violators was an advocacy group financed by two companies vying for the contract to operate the program. The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running is a nonprofit organization financed by three firms that contract with local governments to run camera enforcement programs.
Three homes, a downtown business building and a Tudor revival apartment building all were voted onto the Spokane Register of Historic Places on Monday. The City Council approved nominations for the properties in Browne's Addition, the lower South Hill, downtown and the West Central neighborhood.
As more and more people find their way to downtown Spokane, the city is going to have to consider ways to accommodate larger numbers of pedestrians. Ron Wells, a downtown business leader, says there are plenty of wide arterial streets but not enough pedestrian amenities: benches, green spaces, improved sidewalks, planters, drinking fountains, extended sidewalks at some intersections.
Driving along Division Street could be safer, and more expensive for some, if the city proceeds with plans to install red-light cameras at intersections to catch traffic violators. Spokane is compiling bids from companies that offer the "Photo Red" technology, which takes photos and videos of people when they run a red light. Members of the city's public safety committee agreed last month that putting cameras at dangerous intersections would benefit the city and the motoring public, but the rest of the City Council has yet to weigh in on the program. Police said it would not only help with public safety but more than pay for itself. Officials said it would only take about two paid violations per day to make enough money to pay for the system. Public safety officials hope to target as many high-collision intersections as possible.
The Spokane City Council on Monday voted to spend part of its community development money to preserve the Carlyle Care Center as affordable housing for as many as 138 residents with severe medical and mental health disabilities. The council voted 6-1 to spend $3.2 million to purchase a note held by C'est La Vie Inc., of Minneapolis, in lieu of foreclosure on the Carlyle, 206 S. Post St. The purchase price is being discounted $1.5 million by the lender.
A Spokane developer plans to build a $50 million, 14-story condominium tower on the YMCA property at the edge of Riverfront Park, overlooking the Spokane River. Mark Pinch, who has offered the YMCA $5.3 million for the property, said the new building would be 150 feet high with up to 80 residential units and two levels of parking. The condominiums would start in the $300,000 range, he said.