Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.622.5868
Friday, June 11, 2021 at 2:29 p.m.
As downtown Spokane wakes up from its COVID coma, Mayor Nadine Woodward wants to speed up the business district’s recovery with a new focus on litter and graffiti.
“We’re going to be opening up our economy very soon. Businesses will be back to 100 percent. People will be returning to their jobs downtown and we want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable,” announced Woodward at a recent news conference.
The mayor says she knows a lot of people dont’ feel comfortable walking through downtown viaducts. Now, she’s determined to make these important north-south routes safer and more sanitary for pedestrians.
“The Browne Street Viaduct, where we are right now, tends to be a challenge for the city to keep clean. And so we’re partnering with one of the providers, we’ll launch that at the beginning of July, to clean the viaduct,twice daily,” Woodward added.
Spokane police and Code Enforcement officials are already cleaning up litter hopspots three times a week, but also trying to help people loitering inside the viaducts with offers like access to drug rehab and free transportation to shelters.
“It might be a little more comfortable environment than sleeping here and definitely safer. Is that something you’d be interested in,” Spokane police Sergeant Jason Hartman asked of a man napping inside one of the viaducts.
“And on any regular night, we have about a hundred available beds in our shelters. So we have places for people to go to. They don’t need to sleep on our streets. We want them to be in a safe place with a roof over their head and a bed, and connected to services,” emphasized Woodward.
During these regular litter sweeps, Code Enforcement crews help people pack up anything they would like to store and arrange to meet the owners when they are ready to retrieve their belongings.
Once everyone has left the viaduct, a crew from the Downtown Spokane Partnership uses an ATV to spray the sidewalk with a disinfectant.
Right now, the City of Spokane is in the process of doubling the size of its clean up teams and adding sweeps during the weekend and evenings to better address health concerns for everyone who uses our sidwalks and alleyways.
Solid Waste crews are installing a dozen new locking trashcans.Public restrooms, once locked down by COVID, are reopening.