Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated 02-25-2013 10:09pm
|Rich Meredith and Kirk McKinley with neighborhood|
traffic safety plan maps at the Echo Lake
Neighborhood Association meeting
Every one of the 14 neighborhoods in Shoreline has a Neighborhood Traffic Action Plan (NTAP). The plan identifies all the traffic problems in the neighborhood, identifies the recommended solution, and prioritizes high, medium, and low.
As money is available or grants are awarded, these recommendations are implemented.
|New sidewalk along Hamlin Park|
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
An example is the recently completed sidewalk along Hamlin Park. This has been on the priority list for a long time. Sidewalks are very expensive, but the City was able to get a grant to fund this portion. "Unfortunately," said Kirk McKinley, Transportation Planning Manager for Shoreline, "we didn't have enough money to finish the sidewalk all along the park."
The NTAPs came about in 2006, Rich Meredith, City Traffic Engineer, explained at the February meeting of the Echo Lake Neighborhood Association. Before then, the City had tried to address traffic concerns street by street. They felt that a more regional approach would be better and would not just shift the problems from one street to another. They wanted to have a plan in place so they were ready when dollars became available.
A traffic engineer, John Marek, was hired to work with the neighborhoods to develop the plans. It took him six years to work his way through all the neighborhoods.
Echo Lake was completed in 2007. A public meeting was held and Echo Lake residents were invited to tell staff about their concerns. An advisory committee was formed of Echo Lake residents. All the concerns were listed and investigated. Committee members went to the reported locations and tried to observe them to see the problems as reported. Police and fire were involved, to get their input about traffic issues.
The results were taken back to the community at a public meeting to gather more input about the problems and proposed solutions.
|Traffic circles are used to slow traffic through neighborhoods|
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Some low-cost solutions were implemented that year - a few traffic calming devices such as traffic circles, caution signs painted on the streets. Some items were added to the regular City work schedule and completed.
An updated map of Echo Lake shows 14 completed projects. The rest of the items on the map are still problems.
McKinley noted that it was time to go around and update the plans. An Echo Lake board member commented that one of the issues in Echo Lake was that the NTAP was completed while the South Echo Lake buildings were under construction. Now Echo Lake has 3,000 new residents, and the YMCA, which changes the traffic patterns into the neighborhood, and new residents, who have their own opinions about traffic issues.
Maps for all the neighborhoods are on the City's webpage