LFP Councilmembers request speed reduction on Bothell Way

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

A two story concrete wall the length of Lake Forest Park under Sound Transit plan

Five of the six city councilmembers in Lake Forest Park have sent a letter to the Regional Administrator of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), asking for a speed reduction on Bothell Way / SR 522, which runs the entire length of Lake Forest Park.


Brian Nielsen
Regional Administrator, Northwest Region
WA State Department of Transportation

Lake Forest Park City Council formally requested our administration to apply for a speed reduction on State Route 522 at our August 10th meeting. This letter is in full support of a speed reduction. In addition to the important information in Resolution 23-1910 we want to encourage WSDOT take into consideration additional information that has been identified by our community.

We are at a point in time where Sound Transit is nearing completion of their redesign of State Highway 522 to accommodate their Stride project. Their project widens 522 to add a North/East bound transit lane and sidewalks. The final configuration of the roadway will be very similar to 522 in Kenmore where, after a recent speed review, WSDOT reduced the speed to 35MPH.

The most impactful element in the Sound Transit design that WSDOT can have a positive impact on is the two-story retaining wall. The City has been working with both Sound Transit and WSDOT to improve the visual design of this wall through tree relief patterns and vines pockets along the wall. While we support these efforts, the wall will still be a large shift from a green corridor to a concrete corridor. 

Reducing the speed limit to 35MPH allows a reduction in lane width from 11’ to 10’. This would yield a narrower road profile overall by approximately 4’ and consequently reduce the amount of hillside that needs to be excavated. This would reduce the height of the retaining wall by approximately 3’ (approximately 19% lower). 

A lower retaining wall lessens the visual impacts in our community, reduces the quantity of soil being trucked offsite, shortens the excavation schedule, saves additional trees, reduces acquisition extents, and reduces costs. 

In addition, the reduction of the speed limit would make living in the single-family homes along SR 522 safer. While these driveways are typically considered low volume and do not generally contribute to lowering speeds, these residents are at high risk as they back into the highway instead of the shoulders they have now and should be considered as part of the speed limit review.

We entreat WSDOT to reconsider the speed limit of State Highway 522 through Lake Forest Park as this is a win for WSDOT, Sound Transit, and our community.

Kindly, in our individual capacities,

Councilmember Semra Riddle
Councilmember Larry Goldman
Councilmember Tom French, Deputy Mayor
Councilmember Phillippa Kassover, Vice Chair
Councilmember Tracy Furutani
Councilmember Lorri Bodi


Anonymous,  August 16, 2023 at 11:32 AM  

35 mph on SR 522 through Lake Forest Park is a joke. It should have been left at 45 mph as it had been for decades before it was lowered to 40.

We're surrounded by elected leaders who think it's their job to force everyone to putter around at 20 mph everywhere we go. This is yet another example.

Anonymous,  August 16, 2023 at 12:29 PM  

The idea of "speed" and "fast" has been so ingrained in people for the last several years that few people seem to ponder what "faster" really means. Think about how you feel when that web page takes a bit longer to load - and remember when there was no internet? You went to the phone when someone called, it didn't travel everywhere with you and demand your immediate attention. Drive faster on the road, and wait longer at the next red light. Reduce the margin for error as you drive closer to the car in front of you. Please lower the speed limit on Bothell Way, and then ticket the people who prefer to drive faster - it's their voluntary contribution to the resources for the city and if you don't want to pay, don't speed :) Chillax, pal! -

Anonymous,  August 16, 2023 at 1:08 PM  

I complement the Lake Forest Park council members on this work. Not only are they offering a well reasoned suggestion to improve the quality of life for those around SR522 they are also working to find creative solutions to the concrete corridor Sound Transit has proposed.

Anonymous,  August 16, 2023 at 9:10 PM  

The reduction to 25 mph will definitely result in safer commutes, if it can actually be enforced. However the LFP city council seems to be throwing in the towel on the larger issue years before the first shovel is even turned over. Sound Transit’s plan to carve into the hillside and remove 400+ trees in order to put up a massive 3/4 long concrete retaining wall is spellbinding tone deaf. This is the hottest year on record, until next year when that will become the hottest. If someone were to design a deadly heat dome on purpose, they would suggest exactly what Sound Transit is proposing. Taking out a small forest and creating a 3/4 mile long concrete canyon is madness. There is a much better, cheaper and environmentally sound plan already being greenlit on 145th that gives busses priority without the need to create a permanent heat island. The city council needs to stop playing patty cake with Sound Transit and start throwing some punches. The only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them.

Anonymous,  August 17, 2023 at 7:13 AM  

35 seems about right for the section from Log Boom Park to where you past the shopping center. I'm lucky to get to 25 anyway, as traffic is so brutal through there.

Anonymous,  August 17, 2023 at 9:52 AM  

Bothell Way is not a side street through LFP. It's a state highway that moves over 50,000 people each day between Seattle and Woodinville. It's not up to every little community on the route to slow highway traffic to a crawl. The people who have to commute across LFP every day get a say too.

35 is too slow. It will not be followed by the public or enforced by the handful of state troopers we have left.

Anonymous,  August 17, 2023 at 1:14 PM  

35 seems fine through LFP. Most of the time you can't go 25 due to congestion and traffic lights...

Anonymous,  August 18, 2023 at 7:16 AM  

Let’s take a look at the Netherlands and work towards bike domination and car elimination.

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