The Sammamish City Council has gone on its August recess. Here are some of the things waiting for their action when they come back–and some additional information as well.
On the waiting list:
The first item is the Comprehensive Plan. Sammamish Comment noted earlier this month that the Council was rushing to approve the Plan before the August recess to get it off the agenda and clear the decks for the vacation period.
Fortunately, common sense prevailed. Approval of the plan was put over to September, with Council members asked to get their comments to Staff during August. There remain a number of items that need attention, which were discussed at the July 21 City Council meeting. The meeting recording, as of July 27, has not been posted to the City’s website.
Erica Tiliacos, a former planning commission and a current environmentalist with Friends of Pine Lake and Save Lake Sammamish, provided a number of comments during the public hearing on July 21. When this meeting gets posted, it will be well worth listening to her comments to get a flavor for what remains to be done of substance to the comp plan.
This will be on the agenda through the end of the year and will beyond. The annexation becomes fully effective January 1, but in the meantime the City is coordinating with the County for services to be done by the County on an interim basis. Hiring of six more police officers by the Sheriff’s Office, with which Sammamish contracts for police services, is a priority. All the logistical work has to be done.
Then following through on commitments to put Sammamish money into the Klahanie area follows.
More meetings between the City and residents of Sahalee and surrounding neighborhoods will be scheduled about the proposed three lane improvement of Sahalee Way from NE 25th Way to the northern City Limits–and possibly all the way to SR 202.
This section of road within the City limits needs a sidewalk on one or both sides and some bike lanes, but adding a third lane the entire section seems a stretch. The potential costs listed in the City’s Six Year Transportation Improvement Fund probably understates by a factor of three–and this doesn’t include any prospect of the City possibly participating in some funding scheme for Sahalee Way north of the City limits to SR 202, because the County has no money to contribute. Some kind of Inter Local Agreement be required, or some other mechanism, because a City can’t typically fund road improvements outside its jurisdiction.
On the other hand, adding a continuous third lane along the affected part of Sahalee Way doesn’t make sense if it “dead ends” into the County’s two lane portion (or, for that matter, into 228th Ave. NE at NE 25th Way where it connects to Sahalee Way).
This statement from Tom Hornish, a candidate for City Council Position 6 (against incumbent Tom Vance) neatly sums up the issues. Vance’s website doesn’t have anything (as of today) specifically addressing Sahalee Way, other than a general statement to work with the County for a solution.
The Transportation Improvement Plan
The City’s Six Year TIP forecasts a depleted fund by 2020. In The Sammamish Review, Deputy City Manager Lyman Howard said this TIP shouldn’t be viewed in isolation. Rather, he said the TIP is the foundation for application for grants to help funding (go to the end of The Review’s article).
This is a correct, as far as it goes. But as of today, there are no grant applications. There is no award of grants. There is no money in the checking account from grants. There is no projection about how much grant money might be applied for, approved or received, or from what sources.
Until these things happen, the Six Year TIP forecasts a depleted fund by 2020.
One area that is not getting addressed in a timely manner is public transportation. With the planned growth and the Town Center now being fully developed it would relieve traffic congestion if the city provided local small shuttle routes to get people from their neighborhoods to the stores and facilities along 228th Ave. We also have no public transit link off of the plateau during the day unless you are willing to drive to Issaquah Highlands or Redmond. Given the amount of money we put into the regional transportation system we are being treated like the cobbler’s child.
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