Rechannelization 60% design open house

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The length of Richmond Beach Road will be rechannelized
By Diane Hettrick

Richmond Beach Road is going to be "rechannelized". 

Instead of the current two lanes each direction, it will be restriped to one lane each direction with a center turn lane. Bicycle lanes will be added on each side of the road.

The 60% design meeting was held on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at Shorewood High School. Around 70 people attended the session which included a presentation followed by the opportunity to look at designs and exhibits and ask questions of city staff.

They had a FAQ sheet, comment sheets and question cards. After looking at the exhibits the group reconvened, and the city grouped the questions and offered answers.

Planning for this change has been in the works for several years. The city says the primary motivation is resident safety. 

Richmond Beach Road includes some of the most dangerous intersections and street segments in the city. That stretch of roadway has a high accident rate, primarily pedestrians struck by cars, and accidents with cars turning and pulling into traffic.

Traffic engineers estimate that the change will mean a average 48 more seconds for a drive from the bottom to the top, with a speed differential of 4 mph. 

About 200 people disembark from busses every day and need to walk along or cross the road. Although bicycle lanes were not the reason for the rechannelization, bicyclists do use the road and will be safer for being out of vehicle lanes.

The project is approved, funded and will go to to bid when the design is complete. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the public and ask for any suggestions while it was still possible to make changes.

While it will clearly reduce the number of additional vehicles that can be added to the traffic on Richmond Beach Road before the road reaches capacity, it’s not clear that reduction will need to be taken into account by Snohomish County when they decide how many units they will allow to be built at Pt. Wells.


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