City Council passes driveway ordinance - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Council passes driveway ordinance

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On the agenda tonight is an ordinance that would revise Spokane's Municipal Code to include driveways in an ordinance about obstructing traffic. On the agenda tonight is an ordinance that would revise Spokane's Municipal Code to include driveways in an ordinance about obstructing traffic.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Monday night, the Spokane City Council was back in session after last week's meeting was cut short by Council President Ben Stuckart.

On the agenda was an ordinance that would revise Spokane's Municipal Code to include driveways in an ordinance about obstructing traffic.

Planned Parenthood was one of the local businesses in support of this revision because they say they are having trouble with protestors impeding traffic in the driveway of their facility.

"It's not fair to our patients," says Karl Eastlund, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood for Greater WA and N. ID. "No other business would stand for this."

Eastlund says the problem is not with what the protestors are saying but instead with where they are choosing to situate themselves.

"We have from traffic getting backed up to a pedestrian being hit, to patients getting frustrated," says Eastlund.

The main concern he has is for public safety and wants unobstructed entry into the facility. "They can stand on the edge of the driveway and still say whatever they want. We respect first amendment, free speech rights."

City Council member Candace Mumm who has been instrumental in working to change this ordinance said it's about public safety and right of way. She says these kind of problems have affected other businesses in the past, making clear it is not a problem exclusive to Planned Parenthood. In fact, Mumm describes the ordinance as inclusive.

"This ordinance has support from all kinds of people. People who are in public safety, neighborhoods, from people who like to express their first amendment rights," says Mumm.

The way it's written, the current law does not include driveways when it prohibits the obstruction of traffic. This ordinance, according to Mumm, will simply add driveways to make it more inclusive.

"We need to fix this ordinance to make it very clear," says Mumm. "We don't want to waste police resources on that."

After about two hours of public testimony from more than 50 citizens, the ordinance passed by a vote of 6-1.

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