TJ Filley aims to shift City Council’s priorities

October 11, 2011

The connector across Interstate 90 at state Route 900 — a $6.2 million bridge to carry bicyclists and pedestrians across the highway — looms large on the landscape and in newcomer TJ Filley’s campaign for a City Council seat.

The city relied on federal and Sound Transit dollars, plus about $350,000 in municipal funds, to complete the project. The connector opened to traffic July 1 after construction delays and cost overruns.

TJ Filley

“When I first saw the bicycle and pedestrian overpass over on 90 being built, I originally thought, ‘Gee, they’re going to do something to make it so that traffic isn’t quite so bad around here,’” Filley said. “Then, after a couple months of them working on it, it started to become apparent what it was.”

Intrigued, Filley, 48, started to research the project to determine the reasons behind the City Council decision to start construction.

“I started looking into the project more and more,” he said. “The more I looked into it, the less sense it made to me.”

The project is not so much the problem as the process, Filley said. If elected, he said he intends to change how the council prioritizes transportation projects.

“It’s not that I’m against having bicycle trails or pedestrian overpasses, but it’s more that I didn’t understand how a project like that was given preference over other projects when Issaquah has some notoriously bad traffic problems,” he said.

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$6.2 million pedestrian bridge opens after delays

July 5, 2011

Protesters carry signs to decry the cost of a pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90 the day the bridge opened, July 1. By Tim Pfarr

The pedestrian bridge at Interstate 90 and state Route 900 opened July 1, months after the expected completed date.

Delays related to the bridge pilings and inclement weather slowed construction on the $6.2 million project.

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Contentious Interstate 90 pedestrian bridge to open Friday

June 30, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. June 30, 2011

The pedestrian bridge at Interstate 90 and state Route 900 is due to open Friday, months after the expected completed date.

Delays related to the bridge pilings and inclement weather slowed construction on the $6.2 million project. The connector separates bicyclists and pedestrians from the busy roadway. The structure includes a 12-foot-wide pedestrian bridge across the westbound interstate on-ramp and a 10-foot-wide pedestrian crossing on the state Route 900 overpass.

The city contributed $354,000 to the connector. Federal and Sound Transit dollars covered the remainder.

The bridge is due to open by late Friday, after more than a decade of planning and sometimes-contentious discussions among city officials, transit advocates and trails enthusiasts.

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New club aims to connect bicyclists

September 7, 2010

Paul Winterstein bicycles up 12th Avenue Northwest, by Tibbetts Valley Park, on his commute home from work in Redmond. By Laura Geggel

Almost every day, Paul Winterstein commutes the 12.5 miles from his house on Squak Mountain to his workplace in Redmond.

He began biking to work in 2008, after two of his four children got their drivers’ licenses. Instead of buying another car, he decided to bicycle to work, rain or shine. Bicycling helps keep him fit and be a good role model for his children, he said.

The more he used local roads to bike to work, the more he noticed how road construction affected his safety and route.

With road changes happening frequently, Winterstein decided to start an Issaquah Bicycle Club that would unite the area’s bicyclists, helping give them a voice at Issaquah City Council meetings and a presence in the community.

The group could also organize rides, share bicycling tips and bring people together, giving bicyclists a stronger unified identity, much like hikers who belong to the Issaquah Alps Trails Club.

Kent Peterson, an Issaquah bicyclist who works as a bike technician at the Bicycle Center of Issaquah, said he enjoyed mountain biking and that he looked forward to joining the club.

“There are certain roads that are better riding on than others,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to have a place where you can share that knowledge with other people.” Read more

Council puts aside reservations, accepts $400,000 trails grant

December 29, 2009

A planned bridge across Interstate 90 carries flaws, but the project will improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, City Council members said last week. Read more

Council puts aside reservations, accepts $400,000 trails grant

December 26, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2009

A planned bridge across Interstate 90 carries flaws, but the project will improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, City Council members said Monday night.

The council accepted a $400,000 Sound Transit grant to complete a $6 million link from the state Route 900 boardwalk at the eastbound I-90 off-ramp south of the interstate to the Sammamish Trail at the north end. Issaquah would contribute $341,000 toward the project; grant money will pick up most of the tab.

“We claim ourselves to be a walkable city, and this will help in that effort,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said.

Although council members raised safety questions about the connector, the council accepted the grant in a 6-1 vote. Councilman David Kappler, a longtime trails advocate, voted against the proposal.

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City seeks tourism grant applications

October 20, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 20, 2009

City officials want ideas about how to spend hotel tax dollars to promote lodging and tourism.

Members of the city Lodging Tax Advisory Committee will accept requests until 4 p.m. Oct. 29. Click here to download the application form.

The committee will give special consideration to projects with detailed work programs, records of luring visitors to Issaquah and using city money to leverage additional dollars.

The committee will meet at 4 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Cougar Room at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way. The committee will review requests and make funding recommendations to the City Council.

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Pick up free Issaquah bike map

August 23, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 23, 2009

Cyclists pedaling through Issaquah will find it easier to discover the city’s bike paths and trails. A new, free bike map is available at bike stores and the Issaquah Visitor Information Center.

The map recommends rides around Issaquah and alerts cyclists to potential hazards, such as narrow road shoulders. Pick up a copy of the map at the visitor center, 155 N.W. Gilman Blvd.; Bicycle Center of Issaquah, 111 Front St. N.; or Veloce Velo, 98 Front St. S. The map is also available at the Getting Around Issaquah Together Web site.

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City could pay $2,000 tab for new bike map

May 19, 2009

City officials were set to consider spending $2,000 to make it easier for bicyclists to navigate Issaquah. Getting Around Issaquah Together sought money from the city Lodging Tax Fund to pay for bicycle maps, which would be distributed for free at area businesses. Read more