April 28, 2009
Transportation plan is good communication tool
The city’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan is a curious document. And given the interest in traffic problems here, you’d think citizens would be lining up to speak their opinion of it at a public hearing May 4. While the plan update is a requirement, it is also a great communication tool that forces the City Council and city administrators to get on the same page. If the public were paying attention, it would fill the same role.
For example, why is the Issaquah History Museums trolley part of the transportation plan, when it is meant to be not much more than a tourist attraction when it returns someday? It turns out the half-million dollar cost is just a pass-through of dollars from the feds.
The plan includes all projects in the city, not just those that will be city funded.
On the list is the completion work for the Sunset Way off-ramp to the interchange, a project that has been on hold for years as the connecting Southeast Bypass road was studied. With the demise of the bypass as a viable alternative, the off-ramp will now get completed in 2010, assuming the state has the money.
A half-million dollar cost the city will have to absorb is a new traffic light on East Sunset Way at Second Avenue to help the southbound traffic exiting Interstate 90 at the Sunset interchange.
Not all of the projects have been decided. The City Council is already asking questions about why the Intelligent Transportation System needs another $300,000 to be spent on it over the next two years. You should, too.
Certainly, the answers lie in part with funding sources and their anticipated availability. But they are also based on the community’s priorities.
The public hearing will help establish those priorities, and supply some answers to questions you may have. For further information, go to www.ci.issaquah.wa.us and search for TIP.