Could this be the solution to beautifying Spokane alleyways?
SPOKANE, Wash. — The city wants to turn Railroad Alley, along with other alleys in the city, into a space people can walk through and hang out.
Railroad Alley is home to both businesses and residents.
“We’ve got bars, restaurants, retail businesses with their doors open into this alley. So, we’re excited to kind of morph it from a driving road to more of a walking park,” said Gabe Wood, the owner of Heritage Bar and Kitchen.
The businesses are getting some help from the city, through the Innovation Alleyways Initiative.
Kirstin Davis, a communications manager with the business and neighborhoods department of the city, said this is an initiative the mayor put in place to better downtown and make it safer and more fun to walk around.
“We think it will make this alley feel warm and welcomed to out-of-towners as well as local residents,” Wood said.
The city created a guide and toolkit for property owners along alleyways to help them figure out the cost of some materials and where to look.
“It’s really a way to bring everyone together. It’s going to take everybody to take part in this. Property owners don’t have to, but these have been things that have been proven in other communities. We just wanted to provide that toolkit for people who wanted to participate,” Davis said.
She said it is up to community members to come up with the funds to beautify the alleyway with the look they want. The city is just giving them resources to help them make it all happen.
Property owners can hang string lights, have murals painted, possibly even have events in the alleys if wanted.
“I think there’s an open dialogue amongst the city and local building owners to kind of decide what the best way is to tackle this project,” Wood said. “In the end, I think it’s going to take teamwork between local businesses and the city to get the project done.”
The city looked at other alleyways in other cities to get a feel of what could be done here in Spokane.
For more information, visit the city of Spokane’s website.
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