All posts by Southgate

This is the Wordpress account for the Southgate Neighborhood Council in Spokane, WA.

Havana Street Water Main/44th Avenue Trail Project – Update #2

The city’s Engineering Department revealed more details on the Havana Street Water Project and associated 44th Avenue Trail at an open house at Chase Middle School last Thursday. Updates centered on design features of the re-vamped Havana Street and a little more information on the trail. The city has posted a new blog post on this as well.

The biggest news is the inclusion of pervious asphalt for the entire length of the new bike lanes from 37th to Glenrose Road. This will be a storm water pilot project for the city, the pervious asphalt will allow run off and snow melt to soak directly into the ground instead of taking up capacity in the city’s storm water system. It’s part of the city’s new goal to adopt low-impact development principles in their planning and engineering.


This also has led to the biggest design changes from the last open house: the elimination of gutters, curbs and planter strips. If you look at the latest cross sections and renderings from the city’s blog post, you’ll see that there are no curbs or planted buffer strips included in the plan, just gravel swales between the sidewalks and the bike lanes. One reason given was to maintain on-street parking for residents living on Havana Street. Another reason was a safety measure for the new pervious asphalt. In the event of a major storm event, or if the pervious pavement doesn’t perform as expected, the gravel swales will allow for excess water to be absorbed into the ground under the swales. This design will also not have any traditional drainage or pipes found in city streets, the city is relying on the natural permeability of the ground to absorb run off (based on a full geotechnical study conducted last spring).

The gravel swales can be planted with trees and low shrubs, but the city is leaving that up to each individual property owner since they are going to rely on the land owners to maintain the plantings. They will install a drop irrigation system to hook into your existing system. Some homes will not be able to have trees due to the Yellowstone petroleum pipeline running down Havana Street.


The County has confirmed that they will complete the portion of Havana from the city limits to Glenrose in the same style as the city’s portion. Once on Glenrose, the County is just going to dig and patch up a small portion of the right-of-way to replace the water main, they will not be adding new sidewalks or creating bike lanes.

There was some brief news on the 44th Avenue Trail. The city has determined to make the trail 10′ wide (the minimum width allowed by their design guidelines) so it will match the other trails in the area like the Ben Burr Trail. It will be built to American with Disabilities Act (ADA) specs, so it will be paved. They don’t have a final design yet, but they were able to say that they are looking at a meandering, curved path design from Freya to Myrtle, and a more straightened design from Myrtle to Havana to maintain access to back gates along 44th.

44th_tree_clearing 44th_pipe_installation

The city reps said they will be replanting native ponderosa pines after the trail work is completed. They are also encouraging neighbors to work with the city’s Urban Forestry Department to talk about replanting areas adjacent to the trail once the work is done. The Southgate Neighborhood Council will work with interested neighbors to submit a Greening Grant to the city for even more landscaping along the new trail. If interested please contact us here.

As before, we welcome your comments here and the city is looking for feedback on their blog as well. You can also email them directly by contacting Julie Happy. We will keep you posted on design updates and any new info as we get it.

Shaping Spokane – Your Chance to Provide Input on the New City Comprehensive Plan (and win a prize)

Spokane is in the beginning stages of updating their 20 year Comprehensive Plan. This guiding document sets the vision and path for the city as it tackles issues of land use, transportation, economic development, public health, capital project planning, and more.  The Comprehensive Plan is the foundational document for developing new ordinances and policies to realize the vision it lays out.

Right now the City Planning Department is asking for citizen input into the neighborhood portion of the Comp Plan through a project called Shaping Spokane. Shaping Spokane has three ways for the public to provide input:

1) A short online survey about our neighborhood

2) An interactive map tool to highlight points of interest in the neighborhood

3) A long form survey called “My Neighborhood Story” to provide in-depth information about the neighborhood and its character. This long survey takes 30-45 minutes, but you will be entered in a weekly prize drawing to win things like symphony tickets and gift baskets from local retailers.

The information from these surveys and maps will be used by city staff to develop a profile for each neighborhood to be appended to the new version of the Comprehensive Plan. To see a draft neighborhood profile, click here. In addition to individual neighbor input, the city is asking each neighborhood council to provide input through these tools as well. The SNC Land Use Committee will work to draft a response to My Neighborhood Story that incorporates the goals and features of our existing open space and connectivity plans.

We strongly encourage you to submit comments via the surveys. This is your chance to have your voice heard directly in the city planning process and extol the virtues of the Southgate Neighborhood. The bigger database of answers they have, the more reflective the new Comp Plan will be of our goals and desires. If you have any questions, you can contact

44th Avenue Water Main and Trail Project

At our monthly neighborhood council meeting on November 12th we received a presentation on the proposed 44th Avenue Water Main and Trail project. We were very happy to have about 70 neighbors show up to get information from the city engineering staff and discuss the proposed implementation of a portion of the Southgate Neighborhood Transportation and Connectivity Plan.

The City has created a Blog Post to provide information on the project and get feedback from neighbors. SNC has created a project page as well to provide project updates and continue the conversation started yesterday.

Thank you again to all who attended the meeting, I hope we will continue to get your input and comments as we work with the city. Please leave us comments here or on the project page. We look forward to seeing you at the next SNC meeting.

Havana Street Water Main Project

Next year the east side of the Southgate Neighborhood is going to be the site of some pretty major road work. The city is going to be replacing a 36-inch water main in Havana Street from 37th Ave. to the water towers on Glenrose Rd.

You can find the details on the city’s site here.

The city is using their new integrated maintenance policy to repave the road and install continuous sidewalks from 37th Ave. to the city line. Other improvements will be bike lanes, storm water drainage improvements, and an experimental section of pervious pavement.

At an initial meeting with city staff in July, SNC officers and members of the Land Use Committee suggested this project could be an opportunity to complete the bike/pedestrian connection along 44th Avenue outlined in the Southgate Neighborhood Connectivity Plan. The city said they would look into it, but that the current scope of the project was related to work along the Havana Street right-of-way.

A couple of weeks ago, the city contacted the Southgate Neighborhood Council to say the newest design for the Havana project included the completion of a 12-foot multi-use trail between Havana Street and Freya Street…because the city needs to put in a 12-inch water main between Freya Street and Myrtle Street so the neighborhoods to the north of 44th don’t lose their water service during the construction on Havana. A notification letter was sent to property owners along the west side of 44th Avenue (from Freya to Julia Ct.) outlining some of the initial work to be done this fall.

The development of this trail will continue the completion of a much needed east/west connection in our neighborhood (outlined in our neighborhood Connectivity Plan), allowing residents east of Freya to more safely and easily access the businesses along Regal Street and the developing Southgate District Center. A representative from the city’s Engineering Department will be attending our neighborhood meeting on November 12th to discuss the immediate steps to install part of the 12-inch water main before the ground freezes this fall.

I encourage you to look over the plans the city has shared for Havana Street and come hear about the plans to create another bike/ped connection outlined in our neighborhood’s plan.