Two months ago my wonderful friend Ellie Bonanno was fatally hit by a car on Walnut Street at the crossing where the city paths link the two segments of 8th Avenue. For years, she and I had attempted to get the City to understand the need for pedestrian friendly streets, especially Walnut, so that horrible accidents like this one (which is still under investigation) would not happen.
I am dumbfounded that the City of Edmonds continues to work and spend money on consultants on the Sunset Walkway Project. Drawing after drawing and example after example touting this is the perfect thing for tourism, safety and accessibility… Where are the priorities? What became of the “Traffic Calming” projects? Walnut is not the only unsafe street and why is the focus on this particular walkway? Can you imagine how many traffic calming strips, warning signs and pedestrians walkway striping $2 million can buy?
Anyone knowing the terrain can see that the Sunset Walkway Project is yet another farfetched boondoggle project which reminds me of the Haines Warf park caper. I realize some money has already been spent as a grant was obtained, but does this take priority over keeping pedestrian safe while they walk and cross all the city streets? Anyone that knows the history of Haines Wharf and how much the City spent in cost overruns on that project should really look closely at how this very complex project started. The public never received a final tally of Haines Wharf because of the subsequent lawsuits, etc. but I recall the last total was around $3 million. Sunset bluff and shoring up the BNSF private property is the same formula for disaster as we have no idea what the geo tech study will find and how much it will really costs the City of Edmonds “utility” taxpayers.
So, I strongly suggest that Edmonds City Councilors look at all the “unknowns” in this project and determine if they want to spend the taxpayers’ hard earned money to create this boulevard on the West side of Sunset instead of keeping and enhancing its beautiful natural state. I also urge the Councilors to use their common sense as it will only take one hint of an accident or one child biking off that bluff and being hurt or killed and a fence will be put up immediately by BNSF as they will not want any future liability.
Wouldn’t you rather be known as the City Council which demanded that the leadership of Edmonds ensure pedestrian safety and friendly streets instead of getting itself into yet another expensive boondoggle project unwanted by most of the citizens?