City council considers new parking, ‘streatery’ on Main Street

City should prioritize bringing people downtown to help local businesses affected by COVID-19, says councilmember



A plan was presented to Pullman City Council during the meeting Tuesday. The plan would add a bicycle lane and a pop-up trial of three temporary parking stalls on Main Street.

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman City Council voted to apply for additional parking and a new streatery on Main Street during its virtual meeting on Tuesday. 

The council unanimously chose to file a grant with the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to get the funds needed for the new parking and improved plaza design. If approved, the LTAC grant would pay for both projects.

“We know so many cities like our own are looking for ways to support downtowns and support businesses,” said Jennifer Hackman, Pullman’s economic development manager, who presented the grant application during the city council meeting. 

Changes to downtown include adding more moveable furniture to the Pine Street or High Street plazas to encourage people to spend time on Main Street, Hackman said. She said these “streateries” are already popular in Spokane.

Clayton Forsmann, deputy public works director, also presented a plan for adding a bicycle lane and a pop-up trial of three temporary parking stalls on Main Street, which would stay until fall 2020. 

Also recommended is reducing the number of traffic lanes from three to two and adding back-angled parking with concrete dividers, according to the grant application

All parking would comply with ADA recommendations and guidelines, Hackman said.

This has been an ongoing project, Forsmann said, so the updated plan is still open for discussion and more input. 

“We know there’s going to be more work,” Forsmann said. 

Councilmember Ann Parks said the city should prioritize bringing people downtown right now especially because of the changes from COVID-19. Councilmember at large Eileen Maccoll said this would help bring tourism to Main Street.

“COVID or no COVID this is a great idea,” she said.

Pullman CARES Funding

The council unanimously approved a contract with the Department of Commerce to begin the discussion about CARES Act funding for the city based on the cost of the coronavirus response. 

Pullman Finance Director Mike Urban said this money would be separate from the funding Whitman County received. This contract also did not specify which costs would be eligible for the CARES Act. 

Urban said he will move forward with questions about those reimbursements since the contract has been approved.

Disaster Planning 

Public Works Director Kevin Gardes presented an update to the Whitman County Hazard Mitigation Plan, which now includes an initiative to study Missouri Flat Creek in Pullman. 

The plan was last updated in 2013 and is an overview of how the city will respond to natural disasters and other unplanned events. Gardes said this often means flooding for Pullman. The planning team behind these initiatives has a good track record of finishing valuable projects, he said.

The council unanimously approved the update.