Issaquah pushes for Legislature movement on transportation

January 14, 2014

Transportation will continue to top Issaquah’s wish list for this year’s legislative session.

At a casual breakfast meeting Jan. 6, city leaders met with local representatives and Issaquah’s lobbyist Doug Levy to discuss the regular session, which began Jan. 13. Fifth District Republican Reps. Jay Rodne and Chad Magendanz joined Democratic Sen. Mark Mullet in talking about the city’s interests in possible legislation.

“As you travel around the region, I imagine that every jurisdiction names transportation as the No. 1 concern, and Issaquah is no different,” new Mayor Fred Butler said. “Last year was a tough legislative session around a transportation package, because there wasn’t one.”

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Traffic talks jam town hall

October 1, 2013

Traffic talks are in a jam.

To address ongoing transportation problems and lobby for a Legislature special session this fall, local and regional representatives met for a town hall Sept. 26. An overflowing crowd came to Issaquah City Hall to voice concerns about traffic and hear possible solutions.

Washington State Department of Transportation Regional Administrator Lorena Eng joined Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Jay Rodne, Rep. Chad Magendanz, King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah City Council President Fred Butler, former Bothell City Councilman Dick Paylor and North Bend Mayor Kenneth Hearing to have a discussion in an attempt to resurrect the failed Legislature funding package and hear citizen opinions.

By Peter Clark More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

By Peter Clark
More than 70 people packed into City Hall’s Eagle Room Sept. 26 to ask questions of regional leaders on the state of transportation.

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Public can comment on I-90 tolling proposal

October 1, 2013

The state Department of Transportation will conduct an additional comment period from Oct. 7 to Nov. 6 to gather input on the proposal to toll Interstate 90 and the range of alternatives.

The agency will hold three public meetings during the comment period.

The first meeting is from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 10 at Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Circle S.E.

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Search continues for fiery collision witnesses

August 20, 2013

The Washington State Patrol continues to search for witnesses to an Aug. 11 collision that occurred on Interstate 90 and Sunset Way.

At about 2:40 a.m., a black 1997 Honda Civic was traveling at high speed. A short time later, it careened into the median, fell down a ravine and struck a tree before catching fire.

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL PHOTO Police recovered a barely recognizable 1997 Honda Civic from a ravine off interstate 90 following a fiery crash, which sent the passenger to the hospital and the driver into custody.

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL PHOTO
Police recovered a barely recognizable 1997 Honda Civic from a ravine off interstate 90 following a fiery crash, which sent the passenger to the hospital and the driver into custody.

Police detained a man believed to be the driver, who was walking along the interstate without a shirt. Responding firefighters found a passenger in the wreck and immediately took her to Harborview Medical Center, where she remains.

Detectives are seeking witnesses that may have seen the collision or any event leading up to the incident or after it. Anyone with information should call Detective Greg Wilcoxson 401-7746 or Detective Sergeant Stacy Moate 401-7745.

 

Officials seek witnesses of fiery I-90 crash

August 13, 2013

The Washington State Patrol is looking for witnesses to a fiery crash the morning of Aug. 10 that left a woman in critical condition.

Trooper Chris Webb said that at 2:40 a.m., on Interstate 90 at the Sunset Way exit, a Honda Civic driven by 20-year old Kyle Allar, with 20-year-old Angela Christoulis in the passenger seat, collided into a guardrail. The force drove the vehicle over the edge of the road and down into a ravine, where it caught fire.

Troopers did not find the car until 4 a.m., when they spotted a pedestrian walking down the side of the interstate. Webb said Allar was shirtless and intoxicated, with a seatbelt mark across his chest indicating a wreck. After questioning the Woodinville man, troopers searched for the vehicle.

“It was burned beyond recognition,” Webb said. “The troopers heard and eventually located the female.”

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Roundabout construction starts

May 28, 2013

Motorists should prepare for construction near West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Interstate 90 as the Washington State Department of Transportation builds a new roundabout.

Crews recently started the safety project near the interstate on- and off-ramps at West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and 180th Avenue Southeast, according to a press release from the city. The project will wrap up by this winter.

The new roundabout will help make the intersection safer for drivers, according to the city. More than 40 collisions occurred there in a four-year period.

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I-90 tolling plan draws local concerns

February 26, 2013

The city of Issaquah may not have an official stance on Interstate 90 tolling yet, but some of its citizens do.

In a letter to the state’s Department of Transportation, Issaquah’s mayor and City Council wrote that the city would not say whether or not Interstate 90 should be tolled until after the DOT is done with an environmental assessment. However, the city does have ideas about what should happen if tolls go in.

By Greg Farrar Picket signs posted on the eastbound off-ramp shoulder of Interstate 90 at Front Street North proclaim an opposition group’s stand against tolls on the federal highway to pay for replacement of the state Route 520 Evergreen Point floating bridge across Lake Washington.

By Greg Farrar
Picket signs posted on the eastbound off-ramp shoulder of Interstate 90 at Front Street North proclaim an opposition group’s stand against tolls on the federal highway to pay for replacement of the state Route 520 Evergreen Point floating bridge across Lake Washington.

“There should be equity for all users of the I-90 corridor,” the letter read. “There should not be populations that are exempted from tolling, thereby receiving public benefit at no cost to them.”

“The city is in opposition to the tolling of off-ramps and on-ramps in the city of Issaquah, specifically exit 13, exit 15, exit 17 and exit 18. It would be inequitable to toll these ramps unless every ingress or egress from an interstate was tolled across the state.”

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Arena Sports purchases Sammamish Club, announces changes

February 6, 2013

NEW — 5:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

Change is coming to the Sammamish Club fitness and tennis facility at the base of Cougar Mountain.

Seattle-based Arena Sports intends to purchase the property. Plans call for the company upgrade the pool and fitness areas, and convert the tennis courts into a soccer field and indoor inflatable playground.

Arena Sports also operates facilities at Seattle’s Magnuson Park, South Seattle and Redmond.

The closing date for the Sammamish Club property is set for March 1.

The property consists of adjoining structures — a 24,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility built in 1978 and a 24,148-square-foot fitness facility built in 1999 — on 4.46 acres visible from Interstate 90 and Newport Way Northwest.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway, REI leader is choice for Cabinet

February 6, 2013

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013

REI leader Sally Jewell, a leader in the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, is President Barack Obama’s choice for U.S. interior secretary.

Jewell is Kent-based REI’s president and CEO, in addition to serving as a board member for the nonprofit organization underpinning the greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Central Washington.

Obama announced Jewell’s appointment Wednesday at a White House ceremony. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she is poised to succeed outgoing Department of the Interior chief Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado.

“Sally Jewell is a respected leader and passionate advocate for conservation, recreation and outdoor education,” Cynthia Welti, greenway trust executive director, said in a statement. “We are delighted with this news. Sally will serve our country well.”

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Joe Forkner enters race for Issaquah mayor

February 5, 2013

Less than a week after rejoining the City Council, longtime community leader and seasoned Councilman Joe Forkner entered the race for mayor Feb. 4.

Joe Forkner

Joe Forkner

The announcement set up a contest between Forkner and a colleague, Council President Fred Butler. The councilmen hope to lead the city once Mayor Ava Frisinger steps down in January 2014 after 16 years in the top job at City Hall.

Forkner, 59, worked for the city in the past and served on the council in recent stints — from 2000 to 2005, and to fill a vacancy from September 2006 to late 2007. The latest appointment, a 10-month stint approved Jan. 29 in a 4-2 decision, caps a busy period after Forkner led the citizen panel responsible for outlining redevelopment in the business district.

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