A workshop on ways to make the area transportation system friendlier to neighborhoods came up

with an interesting idea on changing the design of the southern part of the North Spokane Corridor into a boulevard rather than a freeway.

The freeway, currently under construction, is designed to be a high-speed, multilane freeway with elevated sections south of the Spokane River, with a connection to I-90.

According to the Spokesman-Review, participants at a workshop funded by an Every Place Counts Design Challenge grant (a special program of the U.S. Department of Transportation) were charged with finding ways to  “reconnect neighborhoods and improve community health, mobility and opportunity.”

Spokane was one of four cities selected to participate in the program with workshops led by the federal engineers and consultants. About 60 local officials and neighborhood leaders attended.

Besides changing the scope of the new freeway, there was also the suggestion of building a land bridge over I-90 at Liberty Park to connect the two sides of the freeway and create new recreation and opportunities linked to a trail network.Another idea was to start construction of the Children of the Sun trail planned for the North Spokane Corridor as soon as possible and use it to create small parks.

A final report from the workshop is expected in a couple weeks.

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