The North Monroe Renaissance is upon us. Specifically, we’re talking about the section between Northwest Boulevard and the winding hill that heads north to Garland. A stroll through these blocks reveals a vastly different scene than the place we used to know.
Before the recently completed renovation, four lanes of bustling traffic zipped through this nine-block stretch. It made life good for commuters but hazardous for pedestrians, bicyclists, and anyone trying to park a car. Sidewalks were narrow and there weren’t enough well-lit crosswalks. Storefronts were dated. But a latent vitality was just waiting to be discovered.
The community stepped forward with solutions. A vision was presented, and The North Monroe Project was born into existence. Beginning in April of 2018, work began to tear up the asphalt, wrapping up in September.
When the area reopened, it revealed a vision of Monroe that was once difficult to see. Rather than four lanes, there are now two. The speed limit has decreased. The street is calmer, safer, and more inviting. With less room dedicated to cars, there’s more room for wider sidewalks. There are new trees and storefronts have been spruced up. There are more parking spots, and bigger ones at that.
Perhaps most exciting of all, these changes have led to an extremely vibrant business community. A quick check of MeetOnMonroe.com reveals four eateries, several bars, some contemporary fashion stores, and some of the city’s best antique and vintage shops.
Like the fabulous Garland and Perry districts, North Monroe now has a vibe. It has character. It has curious customers and energetic entrepreneurs. It feels like a neighborhood instead of a thoroughfare.
Way to go, #Spokane.