Council wants to make Spokane safer in 90 days

SPOKANE, Wash. - Council wants to make Spokane safer in 90 days

The city council will try to make Spokane safer Monday night at its meeting. The push is part of the "Downtown Livability Initiative." Council members released the idea Friday and Monday they'll take the first action in a plan to clean up downtown within 90 days and make it more livable.

Members will vote on issues like mandatory graffiti cleanup and giving police more power to crack down on law breakers on the streets and in buses.

"One law is not going to make or break downtown, but a series of focused efforts will move us in the right direction," said Council President Ben Stuckart.

Bryan Hall walks downtown and takes the bus. He wants street lights to be lit up longer, something the council plans to discuss.

"When it's dark out at night that's when a lot of crime occurs and stuff like that," Hall said. "The more lights you have that would discourage it."

Others agree, saying they don't feel safe walking downtown at times.

"Sometimes it's really scary, even for guys. More light means more safety," said Basil Alnahdi.

The initiative would also give police more tools to deal with nuisances and people who loiter on street corners. It would give S.T.A. bus riders a smoking area so the smokers on nearby Post Street won't keep customers away from the businesses there. The city also wants to help the Ridpath redevelopment.

"It's not just a Downtown Spokane Partnership issue, it's not just a city council issue, it's not just a police issue but it's going to take all of us working together," Stuckart added.

The city council meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall.