By Scott Hamilton
It’s time to wrap up the Sammamish traffic concurrency plan and move forward.
It’s time to lift the building moratorium.
Deputy Mayor Karen Moran and member Chris Ross moved to reconsider the controversial May 15 plan that was adopted.
What was expected to be a major effort to reconsider turned out to be nothing more than a tweak here and there.
Need for staff analysis
Even this proved to be controversial, requiring a week or two for staff to understand the implications and ramifications the principal suggested changes: expanding the analysis period of the morning rush hour from 7-8 am to 7-9 am; and adding 150 feet, or 7-8 cars, to a queue analysis.
A third suggested change, having council approve the Transportation Plan Improvement roads included in concurrency, seemed almost inconsequential.
A fourth suggestion, expanding the afternoon rush hour analysis from one hour to two hours and to 4:15pm to 6:15pm was scaled back the one hour as is already the practice.
All-in-all, the reconsideration, which was tabled for two weeks for staff analysis, was anti-climactic.
So, it’s time to move on.
Council member Jason Ritchie was right last night when he said work can and should continue to evolve the concurrency model.
But to meet the self-imposed deadline to life the moratorium next month, this concurrency model needs to be approved.
Ritchie agreed that the proposed changes offered by Moran and Ross seem to have merit, but the implications and ramifications need to be understood before he could vote to support or reject them.
Council member Pam Stuart asked Moran what the intent was to gain from extending the queue from 500 feet to 650 feet. Stuart also asked why Moran proposed to extend the PM rush hour analysis to two hours and why from 4:15 to 6:15 instead of the standard 4-6 PM.
Moran could not answer either question except to say that she was seeking middle ground between two views on the council. Moran conceded one hour in the afternoon was fine with her.
The new concurrency plan measures intersection delays at about 40 locations. Staff and consultants say a few intersections show improvements but many show intersection failures. Further analysis of the expanded two hour morning rush hour may show some additional failures or improvements.