Northwest NEWS

March 19, 2001

Editorial

The Quadrant Corporation is once again embroiled in a battle to continue its attempts to pave even more of Novelty Hill. Now the issue is whether or not a few thousand more cars per day might cause traffic gridlock on Avondale Road and the other arterials that will feed the ever- growing monster.

Not too surprisingly, the consultants hired by Quadrant conclude that the area roads will not be exceedingly crowded by an injection of thousands more cars per day. Remember that for years the tobacco companies hired consultants that assured us cigarettes were not harmful.
   One needn't be a traffic engineer to see that all our area roads are already dramatically overcrowded. Let's see if the hearing examiners can see this simple truth as well. I for one am skeptical that they will.
   I served on the original Bear Creek Citizens Planning Committee. Our group of local landowners and one representative from Quadrant, worked for months to develop a growth management plan that allowed for all the growth envisioned by King County planners. After developing four possible scenarios and preparing a vote on the alternatives, we were astonished to see that a fifth scenario had appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. The fifth scenario was for a master planned community (MPC) on Novelty Hill.
   We on the committee felt abused and outraged that this bogus proposal somehow emerged, but under protest, we included the MPC as an option on the citizens ballot. Our committee quickly called together experts on transportation, and community planning who told us the MPC made absolutely no sense. It is too far from the sewers, transportation, schools, and other necessary infrastructure, and much of the land is wetlands that feed local salmon streams. The committee voted overwhelmingly to delete the MPC. The citizens vote placed the MPC proposal dead last - well behind proposals one through four. Guess which one the county chose? It was clear that the county had no desire to hear what the citizens wanted - the fix was in.
   From day one this MPC has been rammed down our throats. Now to add insult to injury I see the county - that reads you and I - will be paying more than $40 million to improve roads leading to the MPC. Why isn't Quadrant paying all the cost of roads made necessary by their development? Why do our county officials consistently disregard the will of the people in deference to Quadrant? I think I know why. You will need to draw your own conclusions.
   Dave Vedder, Woodinville