Offer input on projects to relieve Issaquah traffic woes
September 11, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
The city could join other landowners to address traffic congestion and upgrade roads near bustling businesses in North Issaquah.
Before city leaders act, citizens can offer input as planners host a Sept. 18 open house to discuss the proposed transportation changes.
The proposal under consideration calls for the city and other landowners — including Issaquah-based Costco, the largest employer in the city — to form a local improvement district. Landowners in the affected area then shoulder the costs for road improvements, supplemented by state and federal grants.
The proposed local improvement district is a broad area bounded by East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast, Southeast 56th Street and Northwest Sammamish Road, 17th Avenue Northwest and Interstate 90.
North Issaquah local improvement district open house
The area encompasses the Costco corporate headquarters and the flagship warehouse, Pickering Place and, along East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast, the Fred Meyer-anchored East Lake Center.
Traffic congestion inside the proposed local improvement area forces the roads to operate at or near capacity. In turn, the congestion leads to delays for motorists and freight deliverers. Major congestion is a fact of life during weekday rush hours.
Officials said road upgrades could ease congestion and perhaps boost economic development in the area. The improvements could increase property values inside the local improvement district.
The city and Costco commissioned a feasibility study for a North Issaquah local improvement district in 2010. The report suggested tens of millions in transportation spending for road extensions and additional lanes to improve access in the dense business cluster.
City planners started designing possible road improvements and studying potential environmental impacts earlier this year.
The decision to create a local improvement district is left to the City Council. So, too, is the decision to proceed on construction projects in such a district.