09 February 2010
A lot of people who live in my city don't particularly like it here. I think it's because many people have grown up here and need to move away.
Me? I'm from Montana. Spokane was the Big City for me when I moved here in 1998.
There are a lot of things I like about this place: decent numbers of trees, easily-accessible nature, weird little indie stores that probably wouldn't manage to stay open in a larger city. Hell, we have a river that runs though the middle of town.
One thing that I do NOT love, however, is Spokane's love affair with parking lots. Have a historical building? Let's tear it down and pave us another parking lot! Have open spaces? Let's pave it!
And now, a church on the lower side of one of our wealthier neighborhoods (which isn't saying much, Spokane is pretty much working-class to the CORE) is trying to push through a variance on building code to tear down a bunch of buildings in a historical neighborhood. Why? Of course. Because we need a PARKING LOT.
The strange thing about Spokane's obsession with parking lots is this: we have plenty of parking. We are not New York City or even Seattle or Portland - there is plenty of on-street parking in residential neighborhoods and light commercial areas. In what passes for a "downtown core" (it's reviving, but it's not exactly bustling), we have three large parking garages that I can think of.
One of the most awesome things about Spokane is the weird, quirky character of the town. We're in danger of losing it for one damn parking lot after another.