CTC is short for Council Transportation Committee (and is part of the reason I’ve started a page here on the GAIT blog to decode some of the acronyms and mystery terms that crop up when dealing with transportation policy and our various government agencies)

The first thing on last week’s meeting agenda was a presentation by Steve Crawford from the Issaquah School District on the plans for a rebuilt campus at Issaquah High School. There will be one driveway for cars accessing the campus that will enter at the NW corner of the property from 2nd Avenue. There will be a traffic signal at this intersection with signal controlled crosswalks north/south on the east side of 2nd Avenue and east/west on the south side of the access road. A sidewalk will follow the south edge of the access road into campus. There is another driveway coming off 2nd Avenue farther south for bus access only. That entrance has a crosswalk with no signal across 2nd and sidewalks on both sides of the street running into campus. There will be nearly 600 car parking spaces on campus. There are bike racks in the plans. It is not clear how many bikes can be parked. I’d guess on the order of 50. When there were questions about pedestrian access, Mr. Crawford said, “There really aren’t that many high school kids that walk to school.”

Next was a presentation about plans for work on Newport Way west of SR900. This was the most complex item which a staff member whose name I didn’t catch was trying to de-mystify for the committee members. The gist of the discussion turned out to be about the fact that there are significant ped/bike improvements planned here as part of an agreement with the Talus developers. The original agreement was for fairly minor improvements (increase shoulders from 4 feet to 5 feet wide), but there is a move to instead create a 12 foot wide mixed use trail separate from the roadway. This plan is in negotiation but would result in a new mixed use trail from near SR900 up to SE 54th Street if I’m understanding correctly. The stretch at the beginning of Newport could go either along the existing course of Newport or along the extension of Maple Street across SR900 with a pedestrian bridge across Tibbetts Creek. This could be a pretty significant addition to our non-motorized transportation network if it can all come together.

Next was a brief discussion about changes to the Metro bus route 269. This was largely based on past discussions and it was not clear in this meeting what the changes are. They should go into effect in September, though ;-)

There was a discussion of ITS and someone’s going to have to help me out on what that stands for. It’s the traffic monitoring system they recently installed that I think encompasses the traffic cameras, signal coordination, condition signs, etc.

Complete Streets was next. It was confirmed that the Village Park Drive improvements that looked so expensive on the list before are off the list now. In its place, staff was proposing a full restriping of SE 43rd Way between East Lake Sammamish Parkway and 228th Ave SE to put 5 foot shoulders on both sides of the road rather than the existing 10 foot shoulder only on the downhill side. Estimated cost for this job was $77,000. There is some concern about parking for maintenance workers at a water district property on the north side of the road. Council members also reported that they weren’t aware of citizen desire for this link. These uncertainties kept this link off the recommended list at least for now. I believe the committee sent the list of improvements (new sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, two radar speed signs, and an audible pedestrian signal for front and sunset) to the full council for approval so staff can get on with design and implementation.

There were a couple of other brief issues rushed through to finish up the meeting by about 6:30pm.

Thoughts and actions:

  • It would be great to get some joint project going with the schools and GAIT, preferably led by students.
  • Folks interested in ped/bike connections along Newport Way west of SR900 should contact their council members as it looks like the Talus developer is ready and willing to do a lot of work at no cost to the city if we can just get the decision made. I think it’s the Land Use Committee that is the next hurdle so start with council members McCarry, Rittenhouse, and Traeger.
  • Folks who would use bike lanes on SE 43rd Way should likewise contact council members, especially those on the CTC (Barber, Butler, and Schaer) to express their desire to see that project added to this year’s Complete Streets improvements.
  • GAIT should come up with a prioritized list of improvements we would like to see. Complete Streets is budgeted at $500,000 per year and we should be working to guide that money to where it can do the most good.