Tell city officials how to improve Newport Way Northwest

November 12, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 9:55 a.m. Nov. 12, 2009

City officials want to know how nearly a mile of Newport Way Northwest near Issaquah Valley Elementary School should be improved. Bring ideas to a city open house at 7 p.m. today in the multipurpose room at the school, 555 N.W. Holly St. Officials hope to improve Newport Way from West Sunset Way to Maple Street. The city wants better safety, traffic flow and storm water management on the street. Officials will discuss enhanced facilities for cyclists and walkers, and landscaped medians and planters.

Newport Way Northwest includes a single lane of traffic in each direction, bordered by narrow shoulders and asphalt walking paths. Most vehicles use the street as a major roadway.

Officials are reviewing a three-lane configuration with intersections outfitted with traffic signals, or a two-lane option with roundabout intersections.

During the open house, officials will present both options. Design work could begin next year. Construction would depend on funding and grants.

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One Response to “Tell city officials how to improve Newport Way Northwest”

  1. Ray Albrecht on November 17th, 2009 11:19 am

    My wife and I attended the open house, and after reviewing both options I walked away wondering if the city planners has the neigborhood’s best interest in mind, or the interests of those that drive through to points beyond. One option that wasn’t displayed, was to simply put in 3-way stops where they discuss putting in stop lights or roundabouts.

    If this is about “safety” then any widening of this road will only encourage drivers to drive even faster. There are three different speed limits posted along this stretch, 30mph, 25mph, and 20mph (during school hours). The average driver wil drive 5 miles over the posted limit (some more), and I have seen many that have a total disregard, and drive 15-20 over what’s posted. I own property along Newport, and have witnessed on a daily basis cars not yielding to pedestrians, bicycle riders. If this is about safety, then lower the speed to 25 (except in the school zone) the distance of this project, and place 3-way stops where they’re considering the traffic lights or roundabouts. This way those of us that live in the neighborhood can at least merge.

    “The city wants better safety, traffic flow and storm water management on the street. Officials will discuss enhanced facilities for cyclists and walkers, and landscaped medians and planters.”

    While it would be nice to have “enhanced facilities for cyclists and walkers”, I think that this could be done without destroying the character of this area of town. I also find it ironic that the city prides itself on wanting to be “green”, yet wanting to concrete over the drainage ditch under the premise of improved storm water management? While many cities around the country are spending millions to “daylight”, Issaquah suddenly seems hell bent on going in the other direction when it comes to this project. I’m not saying it happens every year, but I have seen these drainage ditches full, almost maxed out, and while I’m no engineer, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that sooner or later depending on a seasons rainfall, that if storm drains are installed there will certainly be flooding issues for the property owners that live on the east side of Newport. We can also do without the “landscaped medians and planters” which would most definately save the city even more money!

    In the end, if the city goes through with either proposal, this section of Newport Way will look like a two/(3) lane version of N.E.8th in Bellevue, and for only about a mile – what’s the point when unless Newport mergers onto two lanes at Front Street to go south torward Hobart, there will always be a back up issue from time to time.

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