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Driveway Law Prompts City Hall Abortion Debaters

A proposed city law about driveways turned into a debate on abortion Monday night at Spokane City Hall. The debate was over a section of the city’s municipal code, which makes it illegal to block traffic on public roads. The new section debated at the meeting added: “or in a driveway located in the public right-of-way.”

Instead, much of the testimony was from abortion foes and advocates of abortion rights. This exchange took place between Council President Ben Stuckart with citizen Steve Beach:

Stuckart: "Some people do just want to speak about abortion but this issue isn’t about abortion, this is about access to private property." Beach: "But didn’t you have something on your website about abortion?" Stuckart: "No sir." Beach: "That’s what I understood." Stuckart: "This issue is about private driveways.”

Anti-abortion activists said they were respectful when protesting outside of Planned Parenthood, which became the focus of debate. Some abortion rights advocates accused protesters of dressing like clinic employees and tricking people into listening to their sermons..

At least one who testified, Tyler Tacturin ,a businessman with 5 driveways, took issue with the ordinance for other reasons:

Tacturin: “Things such as parking my vehicles making deliveries or maintenance deliveries, would become illegal. Based on this I feel the ordinance is unnecessary especially for businesses with more than one driveway.”

Eventually, the council voted 6-1 to add the new section making it illegal to block driveways in a public right-of-way. Councilman Mike Fagan was the lone dissenting vote.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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