December 25, 2012
Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences
City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.
The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.
In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.
“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”
December 25, 2012
Snow crept into forecasts in recent days, but aside from a dusting in higher-elevation neighborhoods and a delay for Issaquah School District students, winter weather did not cause significant disruptions in the area.
In response to slushy conditions on roads and some snowfall overnight, school district administrators delayed the start of school two hours Dec. 18. The day before, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington, Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for snow.
December 23, 2012
NEW — 6 p.m. Dec. 23, 2012
Expect reduced transit service from Christmas Eve until after 2013 arrives, as King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit adjust schedules for the holidays.
Metro Transit operates on holiday and reduced weekday schedules Christmas week and during the New Year’s holidays.
The agency operates on reduced weekday bus service Monday, Christmas Eve, and on a Sunday schedule for Christmas. Then, transit goes to reduced weekday bus service from Wednesday to Friday.
Using a limited schedule over holiday periods from November through January is estimated to save Metro Transit about $1 million each year. The agency typically experiences a drop of about 15 percent in ridership during the holiday week.
December 17, 2012
NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 17, 2012
Snow is in the forecast overnight and into the morning commute Tuesday, so King County Metro Transit is reminding bus riders to plan ahead for getting around during winter weather — especially since many changes occurred on bus routes earlier in the fall.
Though major snow accumulation is not expected, riders should plan ahead, because minor snow and icy conditions could delay buses. The mass transit agency offers tool to help riders stay informed during inclement conditions. If necessary, Metro Transit can reroute buses around closed roads, add chains to bus tires or switch to snow routes.
Metro Transit riders can receive up-to-date information about route changes at the Transit Alerts website, http://1.usa.gov/5c064v.
December 12, 2012
NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 12, 2012
City leaders recommended Tuesday to delay the implementation of important development rules in a long-term plan to transform the business district from strip malls and parking lots to a dense urban hub.
In the last public meeting for the proposed Central Issaquah Plan before the document reaches the City Council for consideration, a council committee called for more time to refine and review the design and development standards outlined in the 30-year blueprint for redevelopment.
The design and development standards set rules for buildings, community spaces, landscaping, signage and more.
Overall, Council Land & Shore Committee members forwarded to the full council the four pieces of legislation to enact the Central Issaquah Plan. The full council is scheduled to consider the legislation and listen to public input Dec. 17.
December 11, 2012
Issaquah, circa 2040, could sport a skyline.
The central business district is on the cusp of change, as city leaders plan for redevelopment on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.
Nowadays, suburban sprawl dominates the landscape — traffic-clogged streets unfurl next to strip malls. Residents live elsewhere and climb into cars to reach the area’s amenities. Underfoot, 75 percent of land in the area is encased under parking lots.
Imagine, instead, buildings up to 125 feet tall, storefronts and residences arranged along tree-lined sidewalks, and perhaps decades in the future, a station on the regional rail network.
November 27, 2012
The mercury dips a little lower as November turns to December, winter starts in mere weeks, and the agencies responsible for ensuring roads remain passable in ice and snow readied removal plans for the months ahead.
Issaquah, King County and the state prepare detailed ice and snow response plans long before the flakes start to fall. The agencies face challenges in Issaquah and the surrounding area due to steep terrain, narrow roads and limited funding.
November 20, 2012
King County Metro Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks.
The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December. Thanksgiving and the day after the holiday include reduced bus service.
The planned reductions arrive during a slow period, as Metro Transit experiences a reduction in weekday riders — estimated to reach 15 percent or more systemwide.
November 20, 2012
King County Metro Transit joined the state Department of Transportation, King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and other organizations Nov. 1 to remind motorists to move over or slow down in emergency zones.
Through the public safety campaign, buses bear posters to remind drivers to “Move Over or Slow Down,” because state law requires motorists to yield or move — or else. Under state law, motorists face a $248 fine for exceeding the speed limit in the 200 feet before and after a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights or siren engaged.
“The importance of drivers being attentive while approaching and traveling through emergency zones cannot be overstated,” Capt. Chris Gundermann, Washington State Patrol district commander, said in a statement.
November 13, 2012
Sound Transit bus riders on Route 554 between Seattle and Issaquah should prepare for a route change in downtown Seattle.
The regional transit agency rerouted buses on Route 554 and other routes to a bus stop at Fourth Avenue, just north of Pike Street and adjacent to Westlake Park. The change went into effect Nov. 5 to help speed evening rush-hour trips.
Officials closed the former bus stop at Fourth Avenue and Union Street to accommodate a change on Route 522 between Seattle and Woodinville.
Transit planners said the change should save several minutes getting out of downtown Seattle during evening rush hours.