City Council to consider proposal on making Hamilton pedestrian friendly

City Council to consider proposal on making Hamilton pedestrian friendly

SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the busiest streets in Spokane could be getting a lane reduction in the near future. The Logan Neighborhood Council is looking at adding more room for pedestrians and parking along a busy stretch of Hamilton Street.

"It has the potential to really be a vibrant shopping eating, area," Karen Byrd said. "That's really what it should be."

Karen Byrd is the planning leader for the Logan Neighborhood Council. The neighborhood is working with the City of Spokane to launch a pilot project for a portion of the Hamilton Street corridor.

The project would test out a form-based model, which is a model that deviates from traditional zoning by building on form, rather than sticking to land use regulations.

The hope is to use the model to make the area a more desirable place to visit. It would allow the Logan Neighborhood to more easily make changes like mixing residential and business in buildings or making the area more pedestrian friendly.

While most are on board to bring in business to the area, the plan to make the it more walkable isn't sitting well for some.

"I do support what the Logan Neighborhood is doing, but as with everything, and a lot of things, there are limitations," Fagan said.

Councilman Mike Fagan is worried about the part that would reduce Hamilton Street between Nora and Desmet from two lanes each way, down to one lane each way.

"We're going to see a lot of very impatient drivers trying to go around the situation and that's going to put a lot of heavy traffic in the residential streets surrounding Hamilton," Fagan said.

He thinks that would create a traffic nightmare for one of the most highly traveled streets in the city.

"There's just a lot of nasty things that can come out of that particular part of the Logan Neighborhood plan," Fagen said.

The Logan Neighborhood sees it differently.

"That would allow larger sidewalks with street trees and on-street parking perhaps and it would make for a sense of place," Byrd said.

The council will hold a vote on Monday, May 12 for the resolution. If passed, it will still need an ordinance to launch the pilot project and additional ordinances for changes made during the pilot project. The ordinance would facilitate a public hearing.

The Logan Neighborhood area stretches from Division Street on the west, the Spokane River on the east, Euclid Street on the north, Trent Avenue on the south, and bisected north to south by Hamilton Street and west to east by Mission Avenue.