There has been a shift in the planning world to an emphasis on “non-motorized” transportation and “neighborhood centers.” The south Perry District is a good example of this- an area of small businesses surrounded by neighborhoods within easy walking distance. Now the City of Spokane is struggling with a byproduct of Perry’s popularity- parking.
According to the “Getting There” column in today’s Spokesman-Review, City Planners are looking at three ideas to bring more parking to the neighborhood. None of the three options is funded or scheduled at this time.
One idea adds 23 angled parking spots along 11th Avenue. Another would double the size of the current parking lot on the east side of Grant Park near 10th and Perry. The third would triple the size of the lot, taking some land from the park and force relocation of the baseball diamond.
In the day of streetcars, Perry was a busy area with a streetcar line bringing customers. By the late 1900s thought the neighborhood was a little worse for wear. The City included it in it’s Centers and Corridors project to revitalize promising neighborhoods that had retail, business and residential all in one area where walking or biking to services was possible. That opened the area up to grant money and relaxed zoning and parking rules.
This brought streetscape improvements, new businesses and a farmers market. That brought more people too, many who come by vehicle. While adding parking is generally frowned upon with the Centers and Corridors program, business owners worry customers will quit coming if parking is a hassle.
More information on the City’s three ideas to relieve parking congestion are available at my.spokanecity.org. You can make comments there too.