by Joel Smith
If you think you can just cruise into downtown Spokane and find a parking spot right near the starting line on Sunday morning, you're wrong. Parking will be scarce at best: With more than 40,000 runners and their friends all converging on downtown at the same time, just getting into the city center could be a task.
Please, just do us all a favor and consider an alternative.
Like this: Ride your bike downtown and chain it up in Riverfront Park's Bike Corral. For the 10th year, the Spokane Bicycle Club will keep a close eye on runners' bikes and belongings (helmets, warm-up clothes, etc.) inside a secure fenced area in the park. The service is free and open from 7:30 am to 1 pm. (The corral is located just south of the YMCA and is accessible from Howard Street.)
If you're looking to save strength for the long road ahead, though, take advantage of the Bloomsday Express park-and-ride service provided by STA. Between 6:30 am and 7:45 am, buses will be leaving from NorthTown Mall, Ferris High School, the Spokane Valley Mall and EWU's Red Barn in Cheney, heading straight for the starting line downtown. From 10:30 am to 1 pm, those buses will leave downtown (from Main and Riverside between Browne and Bernard) to head back to the park-and-ride centers.
Paying with cash will cost you the usual $1 each way. But pick up a special stick-on pass in advance, and your $1 has you covered all day, on all STA services. Passes can be purchased at the Bloomsday Trade Show (at the Convention Center on Friday and Saturday), the Bus Shop at the Plaza and the Bus Shop, Too at 1229 W. Boone Ave.
You'll get your fill of human traffic out on the course. We're beggin' ya -- don't add to the auto traffic on the way there.
Publication date: 04/28/05