Notes from Shoreline Council meeting June 10, 2019

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Shoreline City Hall
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
Shoreline City Council Regular Meeting 
June 10, 2019
Notes by Pam Cross


Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm
All Councilmembers were present

Mayor Hall proclaimed June 10, 2019 as Student Champions Day in the City of Shoreline

This year, the City Council recognizes Shoreline students from King’s School, Shorecrest High School, and Shorewood High School for competing in and winning their Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) for athletics, West Coast Elite Dance, for dance and drill competitions and DECA events (prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for college and careers).

Student competitors and winners, with their coaches, accepted the Proclamation.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

Saturday, June 15th from 6:00 to 8:30pm World Dance Party at Shoreline Community College, PUB Bldg featuring West African drumming, Step dance, and Polynesian dance performed by local groups. Meet your neighbors, bring a dish (optional) and share food, and enjoy the music.

Saturday, June 15th from 7:00 to 11:30pm is the final Middle School Night at Richmond Highlands REC, 15554 Fremont Ave N. Free event for 7th and 8th graders.

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor McConnell attended the Seashore Transportation Forum Meeting. There was a presentation about the upcoming King County Parks Levy. King County is focused on procuring open spaces for the future as well as funding for maintenance.


Image: This section of the Proposed 2020-2025 King County Parks Levy shows what is planned for Shoreline - a section of the Regional Trail Connection. Find additional details on the King County Webpage.

Mayor Hall commented on the State of the City event. It was well attended and staff had pulled together a list of some of the City’s recent accomplishments as well as the progress made toward Vision 2029.

The King County/Cities Climate Collaboration Summit meeting was today and Shoreline was acknowledged for some of the work Miranda Redinger and the City has done. The number of Built Green projects in Shoreline in the last year far exceeds what was done in previous years and in other jurisdictions. The City was also recognized for the zoning it has done to support transit and transit oriented uses.

Public Comment

Glen Halvorson, Ginny Scantlebury, Norma Jordan, and Harley O’Neil spoke of adverse impacts from the Richmond Beach Road (RBR) Rechannelization.

Tom McCormick and Tom Peterson spoke of favorable impacts from the RBR Rechannelization.

Stacey Pedersen, neither for or against, would like to see the results of the RBR Rechannelization survey

The most frequently mentioned issues on RBR were traffic back-ups and lack of access to Richmond Beach Coffee Shop on 15th,

Justin McConachie from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) thanked Council for its consideration of renewal of the PSE contract and asked Council to approve Proposed Ordinance No. 860.

Laethan Wene stated that the orange crossing flags are missing from 175th and asked that they be replenished.

The Agenda and the Consent Calendar were approved unanimously.

Study Items

8(a) Discussion of the Richmond Beach Road (RBR) Rechannelization Post - Project Report

Staff committed to providing post-project reports to monitor the project outcome. This is the first of three post-project reports provided due to the volume of concerns expressed by residents during project development.

Staff Report by Kendra Dedinsky, Traffic Engineer 
There was a quick review of the changes made to RBR. The type of conversion (one lane each way with two way turn lane, and bike lanes) is a proven safety countermeasure to reduce injury collisions and it meets Federal and State traffic safety engineering guidelines.

Mayor Hall asked if the shared left turn lane is recommended for all road types because one of the speakers commented that the City removed the two way turn lane on Aurora, but added it to RBR.

Answer: it is recommended up to a volume of 20,000 vehicles per day. Aurora’s volume is far greater than that, and there are multiple high volume driveways the entire length, while RBR is under 20,000 and is mostly residential.

With only 6 months of post-project data, it is too early to gauge safety outcomes

Traffic speeds westbound from 8th Ave NW show some speed reduction overall, with 85% of traffic at or below 37mph, which is down from 40mph. Note the speed limit is 30 mph.

High end speeders (going 45mph or greater) have reduced from 300/day to less than 100/day. There is a lot of work still to do.


Travel time
Staff performed multiple real life travel runs on different weekdays during AM and PM peak hours to track travel time.The chart reflects the average change, not the worst case scenario.

Emergency Response Time
From the 185th Fire Station, response time increased by 9 seconds.

Diversion/Cut through traffic
Volumes on RBR are generally higher, suggesting there is not a lot of cut through traffic. The counters that were placed on the roads were removed three times by vandals on 185th between 8th and Dayton so they are looking into another way to monitor volume without resorting to counting vehicles by hand. There was an increase on 204th street but they’re not sure why at this point and there is not good “before” data. This will be reviewed.

Post Project Concerns of drivers include the Dayton merge, queues at 3rd, and access to RB Coffee Shop at 15th. Part of the problem at 3rd is the westbound busses turning north onto 3rd that then must stop as soon as the turn is completed. Staff observations of the queues at 3rd showed that traffic cleared during a single light cycle, so no driver had to sit through two light changes. They are working with the property owner and stakeholders to eliminate the problem in accessing the RB Coffee Shop. Reconstruction in this area is expected in 2020. They will continue to monitor these locations and explore different options.

Council questions/comments

Councilmembers that live in RB provided personal observations of RBR since the Rechannelization.

Is there a way to count bike riders and pedestrians to see comparative numbers? Not really - now it has to be done by hand. There are no good counts from last year. The annual statewide manual count does show an increase in both. One of the locations included in the annual count is 8th and RBR.

Bike lanes provide safety for pedestrians because the cars are moving quickly and many have extended side mirrors. It’s not so much about the number of bicyclists as the safety of pedestrians. Councilmembers have also heard about the difficulty at the RB Coffee Shop and the trouble with merging at Dayton. Drivers appear to approach merging aggressively instead of zipper merging. The engineering for the RB Coffee Shop hasn’t been done yet.

Volume capacity ratios are becoming too large and this is something that definitely needs to be monitored and changes made accordingly.

Not only the coffee shop access but the complete 15th intersection needs to be redesigned to improve visibility. A roundabout is a possibility but additional funding would be necessary and right of way needs to be considered. All options are on the table - the skewed alignment makes it especially difficult.

Staff has talked with King Co Metro and Metro is reluctant to move the bus stop on 3rd because it is a transfer point. Another option may be to re-stripe with 3 lanes westbound on RBR: right turn only, straight only, and left turn only. If Metro has capital funding (they do) another option is a pullout for the bus.

Council needs to hear from people who are happy with the results in order to get more balanced feedback.

Exiting from the RB Coffee Shop is stressful because drivers on RBR are not willing to let vehicles merge.

It is believed that Fire Chief Matt Cowan would have been at this meeting if he were unhappy with response time due to the RBR changes.

[Editor's note: The Shoreline Fire Department states that Chief Cowan was out of town on business. The department does not take a stand on this issue.]

Can we obtain more data on travel time through our current technology that let’s us track between two points? No, because they hook up to signal boxes and there are no signals at the bottom of RBR

Staff is exploring other methods.

Exiting commercial locations between 3rd and 8th avenues is better than many expected. However the number of signs makes visibility a problem. Sign codes need to be enforced. (note: campaign signs and city events signs are exempt for 14 days).

Look for additional information in the written Project Report, available online.

8(b) Discussion of Proposed Ordinance No. 860 - Granting a Non- Exclusive Franchise to Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to Construct, Maintain, Operate, Replace, and Repair a Natural Gas Utility System Over, Along, Under, and Through Designated Public Rights-of-way in the City of Shoreline.

Staff report by Christina Arcidy, Management Analyst

The City’s current franchise with PSE expires on October 31, 2019. The delay in negotiating this renewal agreement stemmed from staff capacity at the City, as well as staff turnover. Negotiations have been collaborative and positive.

The proposed agreement provides for a 15-year franchise allowing PSE to install, maintain, operate, replace, and repair their natural gas utility system over, along, under, and through City of Shoreline rights-of-way, with considerations for being allowed to do so. Most changes reflect updates to current practices and the changes in industry standards, or to make the agreement easier to understand and implement.

Section 6 covers how PSE will conduct its day to day work in the right of way, which includes permitting, noticing and right of way restoration.

Because of the numerous extensions to complete negotiations, Council has reviewed this several times. There was no additional discussion and it was moved forward to the Consent Calendar.

8(c) Discussing Ordinance No. 859 - Establishing a New Chapter, SMC Chapter 5.25 Filming Regulations and Amending SMC 3.01 Fee Schedule

Staff report by Nate Daum, Economic Development Manager

In 2013 Shoreline launched a film office and support for Shoreline Community College’s (SCC) widely recognized and highly respected film program. Filmmakers are currently subject to a permitting process that was designed for other types of applicants through the City’s right-of-way and park rental fees.Staff is proposing a streamlined film-industry-specific permitting process with appropriate fees for filmmaking in Shoreline. These new policies and procedures will bring Shoreline into line with other film friendly cities.

As can be seen in the following, Shoreline’s ad hoc application of fees was completely out of line with other Pacific Northwest cities.


Staff recommends establishing a tiered system of permits, permit submission requirements, insurance requirements, creation of a Shoreline file manual, and establishing penalties for failure to comply. Exemptions will be granted to journalists, private individuals making a file for personal use, and roving productions.

Due to Shoreline’s proximity to Seattle, staff proposes adopting their well researched tiered system that we can always modify at a later date.

Low impact projects at a cost of $25 flat fee for up to 14 days, after 14 days $25/day

Moderate impact cost of $25/day no limit on number of public locations per day

High impact filming cost determined on a case by case basis (Descriptions of the different tiers is available online.)

Discussion

Why are drones a problem for aerial filming? Per Margaret King, City Attorney, The Washington Cities Insurance Authority (WCIA) has established the rules for use of drones. The City Attorney will look into that.

Neighborhood associations are not commercial or personal use. Should commercial and personal use be defined? Staff will address this. Also, permitting for “anywhere in the City” needs to be made consistent permitting for use of “public right of way and/or public property.” Staff appreciated this “good catch.”

What is a roving production? A person with a camera walking around filming people and places with little impact on public spaces.

What about student productions? Should they be waived from permits? The school believes that film students need to know the business of filmmaking, including how to work with a city and how to use the process. Student projects must submit an application. If they include a waiver request, a waiver will be granted. However, failure to ask for the waiver will result in no waiver granted.

Other expenses such as garbage collection or police for traffic control will be billed separately from the permitting process.The City Attorney stated that we can add in a provision to the code that says the manual will cover additional costs and they will require reimbursement.

This permitting process is not cost recovery, because there are benefits provided to our community. And it is a way to control our own public space. Council and staff have to keep in mind that other requests for use of Shoreline’s public space may provide no benefit to our community and, as such, may require cost recovery.

This item will be brought back on June 24th as an Action Item. At that time, Council will require a report limited to changes from today’s meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.

6-12-19 minor revisions
6-13-19 added information from Shoreline Fire - they do not take a stand on this issue.


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