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Signs on Sprague Avenue spreading prostitution elsewhere

Local businesses say the signs put up by City of Spokane crews are not beating prostitution, just moving it.
City crews put up the signs along Sprague Avenue in hopes of curbing prostitution.

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Local businesses say the signs put up by City of Spokane crews are not beating prostitution, just moving it.

"There is certainly less of a problem I imagine it's like air in a balloon. If you squeeze down here it's going to go over there, so probably, the issue may be moving it's certainly not likely to go away," said local business owner Jim Hanley.

The signs were put up by city crews in March in an effort to curb prostitution around Sprague Avenue. They read:

""Designated Area of High Prostitution Activity. Vehicles used to further prostitution will be impounded."

PREVIOUS: City of Spokane installs signs to curb prostitution

City officials also said they hope a towing ordinance aimed at those soliciting prostitutes will help resolve the issue. But many business owners say they haven't seen a difference at all.

"I think the signs are kind of a hallow attempt I don't see anything working unless there's real enforcement behind it," said Ian Maye, a local bar owner.

Spokane police said that since the signs went up they have conducted two prostitution stings, in which seven people were arrested and five cars impounded.

But the owners of these local businesses said they are willing to fight for their neighborhood, and are being more aware of calling in suspicious activity.

"I think if we keep working on our neighborhood we're making it less of a habitat for that kind of activity," said Maye.