Northwest NEWS

August 28, 2000


Road improvements discussed

by John Phelps
   Special to the Weekly
   KENMORE -- Approximately 45 people attended the four meetings held by Kenmore's engineering firm, Bucher, Willis & Ratliff, Aug. 23 and 24 to discuss proposed improvements for traffic on SR 522 (Bothell Way) from 60th to 73rd NE.
   By widening the two lanes next to the transit-only lane to 11 feet east and west bound and restricting and/or eliminating left turns, the engineers plan to reduce the number of accidents on 522. By adding more left-turn-only lanes on Bothell Way and increasing the number of north, south, through, left and right turn lanes at 61st, 68th and 73rd, traffic flow through Kenmore would be improved, according to the engineers.
   Left turns east-bound from SR522 to 60th NW would be eliminated according to the plan. At 61st southbound from SR522, the steep angle to 175th would possibly be addressed by putting the Burke Gilman Trail into an underpass. Since the cost of realigning 61st to 175th would be at least $2,000,000, consideration is being given to eliminating southbound traffic altogether.
   Lyle Sellards, a community member, expressed concern that the plans did not really do very much to help pedestrians cross Bothell Way.
   Many of the opinions voiced by the attendees concerned left turns, but landscaping, medians and lighting also received criticism. Cost of maintaining the landscaping and problems with trees were also raised. One resident opposed trees that would block lake views; another didn't want to drive through a tunnel of trees that would restrict views of the horizon.
   Following the engineers' final recommendation, two public hearings will be held Sept. 11 and 25 at the Northshore Utility District office to allow additional comment from the community. The first meeting will cover the realignment of 181st and the second will cover the changes to 522. After the meetings, City Council will discuss and study the plans and make the final decision. The total amount budgeted for the project is $10,000,000.
   A decision is expected by the middle of October with actual construction beginning the fall of 2001 or spring 2002.