A proposal to begin design for pedestrian safety improvements at nine city street crossings was explored at the Edmonds City Council’s Parks and Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday night. The committee’s two members — Councilmembers Neil Tibbott and Kristiana Johnson — agreed to place the measure on the consent agenda for next week’s council meeting.
The agreement with KPG for $300,755 includes design and right-of-way work for pedestrian-activated signals, refuge islands, pavement markings, signs and lighting across the city. The locations are:
State Route104/Edmonds Way at 232nd Street Southwest
State Route 524/196th Street Southwest at 84th Avenue West
State Route 524/Caspers Street at 7th Avenue North or within proximity
76th Avenue West at 206th Street Southwest
229th Place West at 106th Avenue West
Dayton Street at 2nd Avenue West
Dayton Street at Commercial Drive
Walnut Street at 7th Avenue South
Main Street at Olympic Avenue
Two of the locations — State Route 104 at 232nd Street Southwest and State Route 524/196th Street at 84th Avenue West — are set to receive the pedestrian HAWK signals like the one installed on Highway 104 near Pine Street. HAWK stands for High Intensity Activated Crosswalk. The rest will receive a range of other crosswalk safety improvements.
Councilmember Tibbott asked staff members present about the status of citizens’ requests last year for a crosswalk further up the hill on Highway 524 — across from the Edmonds Methodist Church. “We didn’t see how we could prioritize more than on intersection along that route,” said Public Works Director Phil Williams. Transportation Engineer Bertrand Haus noted that the other Highway 524 crossings in question have pedestrian islands in the middle, meaning that pedestrians only have to cross one lane of traffic before being able to pause. The crossing at 7th Avenue has no similar protection, he said.
The total cost of the project including construction is $1.49 million, all funded through a federal Safe Routes to Schools grant. Pending approval at next week’s council meeting, work will start at the end of May and will take about a year, including right-of-way acquisition, Haus said. The city will then go out to bid for construction work after that, with completion possible by late 2019.
Also during the Parks and Public Works committee meeting, councilmembers heard about a unique situation regarding city repayment of Snohomish County Community Development Block Grant funds. City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite explained that the city over the years had received approximately $1,087,235 in funds to rehabilitate the Edmonds Senior Center building. The council in 2015 approved a long-term land lease and process for the Edmonds Senior Center to demolish and replace its existing building with a new multi-generational Edmonds Waterfront Center. While that center will still serve seniors, it will also be open to the public for other activities and therefore no longer will be eligible for the block grant funds, which come from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development.
The solution worked out between city and county officials was to calculate how much the city owed based on the block grant investment, minus city investments into the senior center center building and the assessed property value, with the resulting figure pegged at $216,720. Instead of having to pay back the money, the funds will be redirected to cover various improvements in Edmonds that will assist with three block grant eligible projects: rehabilitation of the traffic island on the west side of the intersection of 238th Street Southwest and Edmonds Way, and installation of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pedestrian curb ramps on Walnut Street at the intersections of 6th and 7th Avenues and the intersection of Alder Street at 7th Avenue.
During its brief business meeting prior to the committee meetings, the council approved as part of its consent agenda the appointment of David Brewster to Position 3 on the Edmonds Public Facilities District Board. Councilmembers also heard Council President Mike Nelson read a proclamation recognizing May as Music4Life month — and encouraging those with unused musical instruments around their home to donate them via Music4Life.org, which provides them to children in need.
Just prior to the end of the business meeting, Nelson also acknowledged a recent incident in Edmonds when a woman allegedly engaged in a tirade against members of a Hispanic family who were speaking Spanish at their table at the Highway 99 McDonald’s restaurant.
“A child should be free to buy a Happy Meal in our town without being attacked because of their race or the language they speak,” Nelson said.
When the City Council passed a Safe Cities resolution last year, Nelson said, it committed that the city’s programs and services would be accessible to all. However, Nelson added, most city services are only offered in one language — English. That’s why, Nelson said, he has asked city staff to look into offering those services “in multiple languages.”
“We cannot protect every painful act, but what we can do is lead by example,” Nelson said.
— By Teresa Wippel