Notes from Shoreline Council meeting January 3, 2022

Friday, January 7, 2022

Pam Cross, reporter
Shoreline City Council Meeting
January 3, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

The remote meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Jessica Simulcik Smith, City Clerk.

On December 22, 2021, Shoreline District Court Judge Marcine Anderson swore newly elected City Councilmembers Laura Mork, Eben Pobee, and John Ramsdell into office. Judge Anderson also swore in returning Councilmember Chris Roberts.

The recording of the ceremony was played.

After the swearing in, City Council members selected Councilmember Keith Scully as Mayor.

The meeting was then turned over to Mayor Scully.

Councilmember Betsy Robertson was elected as Deputy Mayor.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry


As we all know by now, the Omicron variation has greatly increased the number of transmissions.


It’s over!


Back to normal next week.


Council Reports

Mayor Scully
reported that the State Auditor’s office found nothing out of the ordinary in Shoreline’s records. No exceptional findings and no corrections.

From the City’s website: This audit examines the City's financial statements to ensure that they are fairly stated and that the underlying financial records support the information reported in the financial statements. As the recipient of major federal grants, Shoreline is also subject to the Federal Single Audit for grant recipients. This is a review of Shoreline's grant expenditures and records to ensure that the City has complied with the federal regulations and requirements associated with the grant.

Public Comments

Nathan Hawkins, Shoreline
I’m speaking to the issue of transportation. We have trouble with cut-through traffic in Westminster Triangle in order to avoid traffic lights. There are no sidewalks and no curbs and there are schoolchildren living here. We have talked about this with Council for a long time and nothing has been done. Traffic continues to increase. We would like some mitigation.

Ann Michel, Shoreline
I am talking about our property next to Echo Lake Park and the Interurban Trail. Seattle City Light plans to remove the security fence that’s been there since about 1964 and also to take over part of what we assumed was our yard. We are concerned about safety in the open area along the trail. We have been writing about this for some time. We are caught between SCL and the City of Shoreline in trying to reach a resolution.

Isis Charest, Shoreline, Save Shoreline Trees
The Race to Zero campaign was recently covered in Currents. However, tree codes are passed over repeatedly. Decisions are put off for months. The reality is there is no commitment to preserve trees - they are overlooked in favor of building regulations.

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
I encourage maximum transparency of the operation of the enhanced shelter for the benefit of both residents and neighbors. I hope to see updated statistics.

Approval of the Consent Calendar
Consent Calendar approved unanimously 7-0.

Study Item 8(a) Discussion of the 2020 Annual Traffic Report

Presentation by
Kendra Dedinsky, City Traffic Engineer
Captain Ryan Abbott, Shoreline Police

During 2020 there were fewer collisions, probably due to decreased traffic during the pandemic. But fatalities increased which is similar to state and national results.

Shoreline is shown in green.

As suggested by theses slides, this is a detailed statistical report.

Arterials have the most injury collisions (Aurora and Ballinger).The only hot spot for bike collisions is Meridian and 185th.

Items being considered and implemented to address safety concerns:
  • Street lighting improvements
  • Re-striping
  • Design for injury reduction
  • Lowering speeds
  • Increased lighting for pedestrians
  • Driver education
  • Pursuing grants
  • Interval signal phasing
  • Spot signage
  • Various capital and development street improvements
  • Ongoing enforcement and education with speed emphasis patrols.
  • (Enforcement was down in 2020 due to the pandemic for health safety. There were 649 reported abandoned vehicles and were 55 impounded.)

Council’s decision to lower speed limits on the north end of 15th Ave has turned out to be the right one for the safety of the community. And thanks for mentioning the 175th grant opportunity. That discussion came up before I was on Council, but it is in my neighborhood so I heard a lot about it. What is the plan for outreach to the Ridgecrest and North City neighborhoods?
  • Reply: This was discussed as part of the 175th project about 3 years ago. It was contentious, to say the least. And it was on the heels of the re-stripe of Richmond Beach Road. We have budgeted quite a bit of outreach time. We hope to present several ideas.
The community doesn’t love it when we make quick decisions and without proper process and feedback. I’m not against it and open to the conversation.

Are you asking Council if we should seek the March 2022 grant?
  • Reply: that would be helpful. We can always refuse grant money if we decide it’s not the right move.
Several of the businesses there were concerned about trucks being able to navigate a 3-way road in that segment. It would be quite difficult for somewhat larger trucks that serve some of those businesses. I don’t think it was neighborhoods that were raising concerns, it was the North City Business Association.
  • Reply: The main concern of two primary businesses was congestion rather than the ability to navigate.
I think we need to continue that discussion with them before we move forward.

One of the challenges Shoreline faces is that there is very little that can be done without building a whole set of infrastructure to narrow a road or make a street safer. We have various right of way widths across the City, without sidewalks or anything else to slow traffic. Westminster Triangle, as mentioned by Mr. Hawkins, has a very wide right of way with no improvements. How can we slow traffic when there isn’t anything we can build upon? We would have to do the whole set of improvements including curbs and sidewalks.
  • Reply: There are chicanes and traffic circles, or street parking, but there are always trade-offs involved. It is a huge challenge.

Regarding Evanston (in Westminster Triangle): there are the two mitigating traffic features between 148th and 156th. People fly down the road and then slow down when they hit the mitigating features.

In general, lowering speed limits 5mph should help, along with enforcement, radar feedback signs, and improved crossings with pedestrian activated traffic beacons.

How can we make turns safer to protect pedestrians? Making turns sharper like with a median strip through the sidewalk so drivers can’t cut the turn close, or are raised sidewalks safer? Are these being considered?
  • Reply: Yes. We used raised sidewalks along Westminster between 155th and 99, our city’s first use and we hope to use more. Pedestrians are often hit when crossing streets so slowing drivers down, while turning, is critical to that. Design changes we’ve made will discourage fast turns.
I looked at the intersection of 10th and 175th and arrived shortly after an accident. And I’ve been tied up in traffic there for long periods in the past. As we trying to create alternatives? Can we put up signs saying no left turns between specific hours?
  • Reply: there are a couple of low cost interim improvements. Time turn restriction is challenging because it requires enforcement support in order to get compliance. And we are quite short staffed for traffic enforcement. Also we need to look at, if they can’t turn left at one intersection, how else will they get there and how does that impact other streets? Through local streets? That is very unpopular. But importantly, we see the collisions at 8th and at 12th as well as 10th, and the driveways. It would be almost impossible to reduce the number of collisions. And they don’t necessary occur during peak hours. Be we can further evaluate.
Thanks for the clarification.

Your report is excellent. You respond to citizen reporting of community complaints. Is this coordinated with traffic and police so a pattern can be recognized? It would be helpful to see that.
  • Reply: we receive about 400 traffic safety complaints each year. Every single one is responded to (not always as timely as we’d like) and 90% center on local street complaints. It is untenable to address each one as they are on multiple streets. We don’t have the resources. So that’s when we refer to the traffic data collision history. We appreciate the issues but rely on the data that is very dynamic and complex. It can take 2-3 years to make sure we’re not impacting the adjacent neighborhood by moving the problem one street over. We share the data with the police - we work together informing each other. Signage and markings can be done. But contracting out things like speed humps is a big expense including staff costs. So those are used on more priority places.
Level of enforcement. With COVID we didn’t want contact. Now we are staying safer and we can begin contact. Police need to work with Council to get police up to speed in enforcement of traffic and parking and to improve public satisfaction.

Back to the Grant. In this type of grant is it project restricted ? Or can you get a grant and apply it to several projects in the city?
  • Reply: WADOT requires project specific. The are looking at same data we are: collisions, injuries, fatalities. You get to choose from different safety items. Grant is fund restricted, so building a round-about is too expensive while 3-lane re-striping is ok. There are grant cycles so we can continue other options.
The grant you’re asking for is for other areas. I encourage applying for it. Grant money is important to go after. Even if it’s project and not just a “pot of money” we can spend wherever we want.

Changing a road from 4 to 3 lanes is good for safety but the community does not like it so public outreach is important. Heavy outreach to give public time to get onboard with it. Public input helps me decide whether data is more important than public input.



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