Downtown Spokane is getting a facelift along the freeway. City crews have worked over the summer to beautify the area near I-90, and they'll start back up tomorrow.
The city hopes people entering Spokane will see a new sign of life. The Division Street exit looks much different than it did in January when a transient tent city was set up. It's cleared out now. The columns and off-ramps are painted, and flowers have been planted in the area as well.
"I think it's really great the community puts that effort and tax money into it," Daniel Ramos said.
Ramos used to be live under the freeway, and likes city's cleanup and the message it sends. He worries it won't be enough.
"They'll just have to keep doing it over and over until (the people) get the message down here," Ramos said under the freeway.
Other Spokanites think it's all a waste of time and money, and say the real problem is along the street corners.
"You see panhandlers, that's it, everyday. They're getting more and more aggressive everyday," Michael Achurra said.
We also wanted to know what out-of-towners thought of the new flowers and paint, so we asked Kari Hansen from Seattle. She just arrived off the Division Street exit.
"I've noticed there's not as much transients, but there's a lot of construction going on," she said.
The city thinks the beautification will give people a better first impression of Spokane, and maybe even start a trend.
"My feeling is once something is clean and nice, people tend to keep it that way," Hansen said. "If it's already run down and dirty they seem to not care. It's like well, 'whatever, it's already dirty what's one more piece of garbage."
Crews will continue working Monday, with work to clean and repaint around the on and off ramps to I-90 at Maple Street and along Freeway Avenue, which leads to westbound I-90 from Monroe Street.
Work is scheduled Monday through Thursday, Sept. 23 through 26, and Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Motorists should anticipate lane closures and possible delays as a result of this work.