The city has been working with engineering firm Fehr and Peers on developing the plan, which included an analysis of traffic modeling, accident history, access management and safety of all modes of transportation along the five-mile stretch of Edmonds arterial that runs from 76th Avenue West to the Edmonds Ferry Terminal.The idea is develop a master plan for the corridor that coordinates with the Complete Streets principles approved by the Edmonds City Council in 2011, with the goal of providing appropriate accommodation for everyone, including pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users, when designing new transportation projects.You can read the entire draft 66-page report here, including costs, associated with proposed improvements, but highlights of possible upgrades mentioned during Tuesday night’s meeting included the following:
— Increasing the storage space for cars waiting for the Edmonds-Kingston ferry by using existing curb space. This would reduce the line length of cars waiting to board the ferry.
— Improving the west approach to SR 104 from Pine Street to ensure it meets current Americans with Disabilities Act standards, and add signage to restrict pedestrian crossings there. Councilmember Tom Mesaros noted, as a resident of nearby Point Edwards, he has also observed another problem at that location — drivers turning left from Pine Street to head southbound on Highway 104, even though such movement is clearly prohibited.
— Adding a crosswalk with pedestrian-activated flashing beacons to allow for safe pedestrian crossing at the bus stop where Highway 104 splits off at 5th Avenue South.
— Adding a pedestrian-only phase to the stop light at 226th Street Southwest — used for students walking to Sherwood Elementary School — to avoid potential collisions with drivers making right turns.
— Adding a mid-block pedestrian crossing on 100th Avenue West between the QFC and PCC grocery stores.
— Adding a protected left-turn signal at 95th Avenue West (just north of Westgate Chapel).
— Installing a pedestrian-activated emergency beacon (like the one recently installed between City Park and the Edmonds Marsh) at 232nd Avenue Southwest. There is currently a flashing yellow light at this intersection for emergency vehicle access only.
— Providing updated curb ramps, signals and pedestrian facilities at 236th Street Southwest to meet current ADA standards.
— Installing traffic signal at 238th Street Southwest, coordinate signal with 236th Street Southwest and revise geometry for safer turns.
Councilmembers asked a variety of questions regarding the analysis, including whether the projects included in it are coordinated with the City’s Comprehensive Plan now underway. Another area of concern — brought up by Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas – was that the analysis did not appear to address congestion experienced by those driving further east, as Highway 104 meets the congested 244th Street Southwest, where the Panera Bakery is located. Planners said they would look into that and supply the council with answers.
Councilmember Mike Nelson said he worried about the finding that majority of drivers on Highway 104 exceed the posted speed limit, and wondered if anything could be done to address the issue.
And Councilmember Lora Petso, who was clearly not pleased with the overall results, stated: “I don’t have any intention of ever adopting this.” One area of concern noted by Petso: the 12-foot setbacks mentioned in the analysis don’t mesh with the 16-foot setbacks recently adopted by the council as part of the Westgate rezone.
The study will be presented to the Planning Board starting at 7 p.m. July 22 in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N. (The meeting is also livestreamed via the city’s website for those who can’t attend.)
The plan will come back to the council for adoption later this summer.