City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

***Note: Many local criminal codes can now be located under Chapter 10.60 SMC while others are now cited under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), which was incorporated into the municipal code in 2022. (See SMC 10.58.010). Code Enforcement, including Noise Control and Animal Regulations are located in Chapters 10.62 through 10.74.

Title 10
Chapter 10.60
Section 10.60.010

Title 10 Regulation of Activities

Division IV. Local Criminal Violations

Chapter 10.60 Local Criminal Code

Section 10.60.010 Pedestrian or Vehicular Interference
  1. Consistent with the findings of other Washington State cities, the city council finds that it is important to the general welfare of the citizens and residents of the City to protect and preserve the public safety of pedestrians and to ensure the safe and efficient movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic in public places. The city council further finds that public places as defined in this section serve the primary purpose of enabling pedestrian and vehicular traffic to safely and efficiently move about from place to place and that public places in the urban core have become increasingly congested and should be maintained to serve their primary purpose. Spokane, as well as other cities in Washington, has experienced an increase in the number of incidents of aggressive solicitation by individuals towards pedestrians and that pedestrian interference in public places deteriorates from the primary purpose and threatens public health, safety and welfare. The City has a compelling interest in protecting its citizens from threatening, intimidating or harassing behavior caused by aggressive solicitations, in preserving the quality of life in its urban center and in protecting and preserving the public health, safety and welfare.
  1. The following definitions apply in this section:
  1. “Aggressively solicit” means to solicit anything of value and intentionally engage in conduct that would likely intimidate a reasonable person, including but not limited to touching, following, persistently soliciting anything of value after being refused, using violent or threatening language or gestures, or taking similar actions for the purpose of inducing another person into giving anything of value regardless of the solicitor’s purpose.
  1. “Enter” means to cross the vertical plane of the edge of a prohibited roadway, which includes crossing the vertical plane of the roadway by any part of a person’s body or any extension thereof or by use of any device used to extend a person’s ability to reach into the roadway.
  1. “Intimidate” means to engage in conduct which would make a reasonable person fearful of imminent harm to his person or property or feel threatened.
  1. “Obstruct pedestrian traffic” means to intentionally walk, stand, sit, lie, or place an object in such manner as to obstruct or impede, or a person of ordinary sensibilities would conclude it tends to obstruct or impede, the free passage of pedestrians through the area; or that requires, or would require, evasive action by a pedestrian to avoid physical contact.
      1. If the impediment or obstruction is caused by the size of a particular group of persons, all persons within the group are equally subject to this section.
      1. Acts committed as a valid exercise of one’s constitutional rights, which incidentally interfere with pedestrian traffic in order to exercise that right, or acts authorized by a special events permit or an obstruction permit issued pursuant to chapter 10.39 SMCSMC 17G.010.210(D)SMC 12.02.0706, or SMC 12.02.0730 do not constitute obstruction of pedestrian traffic.
  1. “Obstruct vehicular traffic” means:
      1. To solicit from the occupants of any vehicle and be physically present within or subsequently enter a prohibited roadway; or
      1. To intentionally engage in any conduct that would obstruct or impede the free flow of vehicular traffic on any public roadways or in a driveway located in the public right-of-way.

The following are not considered obstructing vehicular traffic:

      1. a person summoning aid in an emergency situation;
      1. solicitation from the occupant of a vehicle that is legally parked.
  1. “Prohibited roadway” means all on-ramp or off-ramp to Interstate 90 and all state routes and principal arterials located within the boundaries of the map set forth in Attachment A, and also the first one hundred feet of a road that intersects any on-ramp or off-ramp to Interstate 90, or any state route or principal arterial located within the boundaries of the map set forth in Attachment A, as measured from the edge of the state route, on-ramp or off-ramp to Interstate 90, or principal arterial.
  1. Prohibited roadway:
        1. includes any portion of a road traveled by vehicles;
        1. includes paved shoulders and bike lanes;
        1. includes medians, which may be denoted by a physical barrier or solid yellow pavement markings;
        1. excludes all sidewalks and curbs; and
        1. includes both sides of the road.
  1. Prohibited roadways, with the exception of roadway within one hundred feet of any on-ramp or off-ramp to Interstate 90, or any state route or principal arterial, established herein are delineated upon Attachment A, entitled “Prohibited Roadway,” as adopted as part of this section as if contained herein. It shall be the duty of the director of the planning department to cause the official map to be updated and maintained by having changes entered that the city council may approve.
  1. “Public place” means an area generally open to the public and includes alleys, bridges, buildings, driveways, parking lots, parks, plazas, sidewalks, and streets open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, and the doors and entrances to buildings or dwellings and the grounds enclosing them.
  1. “Solicit” and all derivative forms of “solicit” means:
      1. to ask, beg, or plead whether orally, non-verbally or in a written or printed manner, for the purpose of immediately receiving contributions, alms, charity, or gifts of items of value for oneself or another person; or
      1. either orally, non-verbally or in a written or printed manner, to sell or offer for immediate sale goods, services or publications;
      1. to distribute without remuneration goods, services, or publications or
      1. to solicit signatures on a petition or opinions for a survey.
  1. A person is guilty of interference with pedestrian traffic if, in a public place, the person intentionally:
    1. obstructs pedestrian traffic, or
    1. aggressively solicits. 
  1. A person is guilty of interference with vehicular traffic if the person intentionally obstructs vehicular traffic except as permitted by state law or chapter 16A.02 of the Spokane Municipal Code.
  1. Interference with pedestrian or vehicular traffic is a misdemeanor.
  1. The provisions of this section are declared to be separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or portion of this section, or the invalidity of the application thereof to any person or circumstance does not affect the validity of the remainder of this section, or the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances.

Date Passed: Monday, October 3, 2022

Effective Date: Monday, October 3, 2022

ORD C36289 Section 4