Planners steer more than $3 million to local road projects

January 15, 2013

Issaquah-area road projects received a green light to proceed — and more than $3 million — after planners approved a regional transportation program.

Puget Sound Regional Council leaders recommended funding for projects on Southeast May Valley Road, Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and 228th Avenue Southeast on the Sammamish Plateau.

The lineup includes projects just outside Issaquah city limits, but none inside the city.

Some dollars for the projects come from $440 million in federal funds distributed by the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. State gas tax revenue and local funds then cover the remaining project costs.

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Crews prepare for wintry conditions as mercury drops

January 10, 2013

NEW — 6 p.m. Jan. 10, 2013

Issaquah, King County and state road crews prepared for snow Thursday, as forecasters urged caution on roads, and rain threatened to turn to snow and create icy morning commutes Friday.

The city placed public works crews on standby Thursday to prepare for possible road hazards related to the winter weather.

King County prepared for a beefed-up response to ice and snow. Overnight, ice buildup on already-damp roadways is a concern for road crews.

The county put extra crews on the road for response, and as many as 12 trucks could remain on duty throughout the night. In addition to anti-icing operations, crews sand roads and plow slush or snow as necessary.

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Police bust 795 motorists for DUI during holiday crackdown

January 8, 2013

Police in Issaquah and King County busted 795 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a holiday season crackdown.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement campaign included law enforcement agencies at the local, state and national level. The effort started Nov. 21 and lasted through New Year’s Day.

Statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 3,446 drivers for DUI. In King County during the same period in 2011-12, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 960 people for DUI.

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Police bust 795 motorists for DUI during holiday season crackdown

January 4, 2013

NEW — 10:15 a.m. Jan. 4, 2013

Police in Issaquah and King County busted 795 motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs during a holiday season crackdown.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement campaign included law enforcement agencies at the local, state and national level. The effort started Nov. 21 and lasted through New Year’s Day.

Statewide, law enforcement officers arrested 3,446 drivers for DUI. In King County during the same period in 2011-12, officers on routine and extra patrols arrested 960 people for DUI.

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How school officials know when to call a snow day

January 1, 2013

All roads come under consideration during winter weather

Issaquah School District buses line up on a snow day. Contributed

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast for a drier-than-normal winter in the Pacific Northwest is good news for local schools, but just in case, Jo Porter and her transportation staff are prepared.

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City Council questions Interstate 90 tolling proposal

January 1, 2013

The prospect of tolling on Interstate 90 received a cool reception from the City Council, as state officials consider the idea as a way to generate dollars for the state Route 520 bridge replacement project.

The state Department of Transportation is at work on a $4.1 billion project to replace the 49-year-old floating bridge across Lake Washington and overhaul the 12.8-mile corridor between Interstate 5 in Seattle and state Route 202 in Redmond. The floating bridge is scheduled to open in traffic by early 2015.

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Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

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Crews to start trail project near Sunset Elementary School

January 1, 2013

Motorists should prepare for changes along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast near the Issaquah School District’s Sunset Elementary School, as crews start work on a $4.8 million project to add a trail for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The initial phase encompasses a section of roadway between Interstate 90, near the Issaquah-Bellevue line, to Southeast 34th Street in Bellevue.

Under a plan approved Nov. 5 by the Bellevue City Council, crews from Tacoma-based Active Construction plan to add a multipurpose trail separated from vehicle traffic by a landscaped buffer. Plans also call for crews to add pedestrian crossings along the north-south corridor.

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Leaders call for 8-cent gas tax hike to fund ailing roads

January 1, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 1, 2013

King County leaders asked state legislators for a gas tax increase and for the ability for counties to collect a vehicle tab fee for road maintenance.

In a letter to lawmakers last month, Eastside elected leaders joined King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn asked legislators to raise the gas tax by 8 cents to fund ailing roads.

The proposal offered from Constantine, McGinn and the Sound Cities Association calls for 65 percent of gas tax revenue to go to the state and 35 percent to go to local transportation projects.

(Issaquah a member city in the Sound Cities Association, a regional advocacy group once called the Suburban Cities Association.)

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Issaquah legislators receive key commitee assignments

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

Local lawmakers received or retained influential committee assignments — and the ability to shape state policy on education, transportation and other priorities — in the next legislative session.

Recent changes in how the state Senate operates changed prospective roles for local legislators. Though Democrats claim more members in the Senate, Republicans announced a plan in early December to instead put a bipartisan caucus in place to run the chamber.

With help from Sens. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and Tim Sheldon, D-Potlach, Republicans received a 25-24 majority. Under the proposal, Tom is poised to serve as majority leader and oust Democrats’ chosen majority leader, Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle. (Until redistricting last year, Tom, a former Republican, represented some Issaquah neighborhoods.)

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