Northwest NEWS

February 5,2001

Editorial

Taxpayers should not have to pay for road improvement

This letter is in response to the Jan. 10 public information document concerning the Novelty Hill Road Project.
   I am a Duvall resident who commutes to Redmond. Most mornings I take Woodinville-Duvall Road to Avondale to get to work, to avoid the traffic on Novelty Hill Road. Even the W-D Road route has its problems, including dumptrucks going 25 miles per hour for miles and nowhere to pass those traffic-impeding, load-spewing dumptrucks. But I can usually get to work more quickly that way than waiting in line on Novelty.
   Already the construction work on Novelty Hill Road has caused many, many significant traffic delays for us Duvall commuters. A lot of Duvall residents I know are outraged that the development on Novelty Hill was given the go-ahead. This is because of how much traffic the development is adding to the only direct route we have to Redmond, Bellevue, 520, 405, etc. Most of us live in Duvall because we enjoy the more relaxed, semi-rural lifestyle. But now we are experiencing the beginning of an urban-style commute, as development rushes blindly toward our beautiful Valley. Simple mathematics show that the amount of cars the development is adding to Novelty Hill Road vs. what it was designed to handle will create gridlock.
   At this point, the only solution is to add more lanes to the road. But that is something that the developer should be paying for, not us taxpayers. We did not choose to develop that land. We are already paying a very high and precious cost for its development: our time. Every extra 10 minutes a day I spend on that road winds up being the equivalent of a 40-hour workweek by the end of the year. I would never choose to spend an entire workweek away from my home and family to sit in traffic.
   So, I support the "four travel lanes and a center turn lane" approach, but not with my tax dollars. Quadrant should be paying for it. They built the development, they can build the roads to accommodate the development. They're tearing up the hill to make a city, they can tear it up more to insure that thereís roads to get us Valley residents home in a reasonable amount of time.
   Giving Quadrant tens of millions of tax dollars to solve a problem that they created is ludicrous but not unprecedented. Let's set a precedent by demanding road improvements that make sense, on their dime. Otherwise, it's just another example of corporate welfare: we citizens being forced to throw a big juicy steak to the grotesquely obese wolf called unwanted development. Yes, our tax dollars are very necessary to maintain Novelty Hill Road, but not to expand Novelty Hill Road when such dramatic expansion might be otherwise unnecessary.
   Heidi N. Collins, Duvall