Girl’s death prompts plan for Spokane crosswalks



Posted on May 30, 2014 at 7:26 AM

Updated Friday, May 30 at 9:04 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane City Council member Candace Mumm was set to propose an ordinance Friday aimed at improving pedestrian safety on some of the area’s busiest roads. Her plan was crafted in the wake of a fatal collision along Monroe Street last October that killed a 5-year-old girl.

MORE: Grandmother identifies girl hit and killed by vehicle

Mumm wants to ensure crosswalks are painted at every single intersection when arterial roads get rebuilt.

“We've had more than 20 people killed in car and pedestrian accidents in the last decade,” said Mumm.

Lalaynya Stravens encounters difficulties every day trying to cross Monroe to get to her bus stop.

“It is incredibly frustrating and dangerous,” Stravens said. “Occasionally you'll get somebody that’s kind enough to stop but most of the time you don't.”

City leaders are looking into the type of crosswalk currently in place at the corner of Hamilton and Desmet.  The intersection features lots of signage and raised median islands to make the crosswalk safer and more visible.  That type of crosswalk, however, can be expensive.

A design similar to the crosswalk connecting Riverfront Park to the newly built plaza next to City Hall would be cheaper for the city.

Councilwoman Mumm said the money for painting crosswalks and building more elaborate ones would likely come from the street levy on the November ballot. She stressed that the funding, though, would not be directly tied to the levy.

The levy's cost would be 57 cents per $1,000 dollars of assessed property value. That is the same amount as the 10-year street bond set to expire at the end of 2014.

Mumm planned to formally introduce the ordinance at a community meeting Friday night. If passed, it would strictly focus on painting crosswalks.

Mumm said there was no plan currently being discussed to improve sidewalks.