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Narrower Walkway Tested On Browne Street Viaduct

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 3:52 p.m.

City crews began installing fencing this week on the sidewalks that run through the Browne Street viaduct as a health and safety measure.

Regular cleaning of the area has proven difficult to keep up with the litter and other debris discarded in that stretch. Fencing was installed on the east sidewalk Tuesday to narrow the area that will require cleaning while leaving space for pedestrians to pass through. It is being installed to day on the west sidewalk.

“Keeping the Browne Street viaduct clean prioritizes the health and safety of everyone who uses downtown,” Mayor Nadine Woodward said. “Fencing is being tried as an alternative safety measure to keep the space clean and usable.”

This is the latest in a series of resource enhancements to make downtown a welcoming environment. Over the past several months, the City and its partners have added co-ed overnight and day-use space, more space for women and families, a dedicated location for young adults, a service-intensive bridge housing program, and extended contracts beyond traditional seasonal agreements for space. Extra litter crews have also been added to clean high-traffic areas.

Additional space is still required to meet specific night-by-night areas of need. A search is underway for a temporary location to meet emergent sheltering needs related to weather, smoke, and other considerations, and separately for a solution that would add more permanent space to the system. Programming for each is anticipated to include supports to help transition individuals to appropriate resources and out of the shelter system.