The Edwards Agency

Opinion

City to make 132nd Ave. NE "treeless"

132nd Ave. NE I used to think that people who lived in Woodinville actually liked the semi-wooded atmosphere. Yet it will soon resemble Any Suburb USA. And the city planners tell me that is what the residents want.
   For example, our neighborhood needed a safer pedestrian walkway. But instead of a 3- to 4-foot wide walkway which would leave the beautiful big old trees lining the road intact, the city will be using 13 feet and taking the trees out to put in a bike path. Why?
   First, a walkway became necessary because of traffic from developments which use the road for access. Since developers' fees were already used up on projects outside the impacted area, there was no money left for a sidewalk.
   But a state grant became available wherein Woodinville, Bothell, and the state would each contribute 1/3 of the cost for a bike path. To qualify for the state grant, it could not be a sidewalk, it had to be a bike path. Of course, even though labeled a grant, it is still our tax money being used to fix something that wouldn't be broke if the developers' fees had been as high as they should be and if they had been used in the area which the development impacted.
   The city did not like the simple solution of reducing the speed limit because that "involved too much work with too many agencies," since the road is not solely under Woodinville's jurisdiction. So now 132nd Ave. NE will no longer be a tree-lined street.
   The Growth Management Act attempts to manage high density development by encouraging it in areas where adequate infrastructure and services are already in place--combining common sense with fiscal responsibility while maintaining the existing character of neighborhoods. The alternative is taxpayers footing the bill for better roads, sidewalks, and other improvements which eventually became necessary in areas surrounding developments, while a neighborhood's character is destroyed.
   Thus the ultimate cost is our quality of life.

Maria Morris, Woodinville