Into the Metrospokane Mailbox a former Spokane resident gets rhetorical about public access to the river downtown...including views.
I grew up in Spokane, have not lived there for several years, but visit often to see family and friends. Last week, while strolling along the Centennial Trail in Riverfront Park it occurred to me that the Spokane River has been thoroughly hidden from public view, even more so with the erection of the new convention center. I realize that this area has been reinvented mostly due to Expo '74. But what if.. the majority of the Expo buildings, especially the Opera House and original Convention Center (and DoubleTree Hotel) had been built on the north side of the river? A greenbelt could have been placed along the south side of the river, allowing sweeping views over to the river itself from downtown.
Take a look at the park along the Deschutes River in downtown Bend Oregon for a vision of what could have been. Realizing that of course we can't turn back the clock, those landowners, developers and government planners should consider the fact that urban aesthetics are an important component to quality of community and life and to preserve the natural features and beauty as much as possible in future public and private development in downtown Spokane. There appears to be increased interest in downtown living throughout the country and in Spokane also. Be thoughtful in the process, as once the natural beauty is altered it may never be reclaimed!
So, how are we doing with maintaining the natural environment downtown? All considerate answers and thoughts can find solace in the comments section.
NOTE: We added in the remainder of the letter for clarification.