Sammamish yesterday refuted allegations by former city employee Sarah Hawes Kimsey that Sammamish Comment reporting about concurrency traffic modeling was inaccurate.
Jeff Elekes, the public works director, wrote Kimsey asking for a correction to her blog in which she used an email from Transportation Planner Doug McIntyre to assert Sammamish Comment and Miki Mullor lied about how the city’s transportation model had been manipulated up to 2017 and beyond.
“…[Y]ou re-printed an email from a Transportation Planner on my team, Doug McIntyre,” Elekes wrote. “Both Doug and I are were very surprised to learn how his email to you was used and promoted in your blog.”
Elekes said, essentially, that Kimsey mischaracterized the traffic audit as a traffic modeling analysis to conclude there had been no manipulation in the past.
“However, I can confirm that Sammamish’s traffic modeling data under previous administrations has been manipulated in the past in favor of development,” Elekes wrote. “This has all been clearly documented through discovery and analysis. I am writing you now to set the record straight and give you the facts, which I expect you will use to correct your blog post.”
Glaring omissions in the Town Center plan regarding traffic forewarned 10 years ago – and ignored.
By Miki Mullor
During the recent moratorium deliberations by City Council, the Town Center neighborhood plan was brought into the conversation. The issues with traffic planning in the city, exposed during the concurrency debacle, were feared to also impact the Town Center plan. Calls to review the plan were answered with a response that the plan was done 10 years ago therefore it’s too late to review. This implies a “statute of limitation” argument that if indeed there were issues with the plan, those should have been raised at that time and cannot be argued now.
However, recently surfaced documents from the time of Town Center planning in 2007 reveal just that – that serious problems do exist in the plan and those problems were raised timely – yet ignored by the city.
City Council Member Tom Odell is on the record—several times—that Sammamish neglected its road infrastructure for 10 years. Charts and graphs below tell the depressing story.
“[F]unding that could have been used for transportation capital projects was used for other priorities such as city hall, the city’s street maintenance program, the YMCA/Community Center and to some extent, even the city’s parks capital projects,” wrote the City’s former Director of Public Works in June 2017.
If Sammamish residents want to know why there is so much traffic congestion, two visuals created by citizen Miki Mullor tells the story easier than long, drawn out narratives can.
The special study session on Sammamish transportation concurrency and traffic issues continues at the City Council meeting today. This begins at a special time, 4:30pm, to about 6:30pm. It will be televised by Comcast 21 and webcast on the City website.
The Growth Management Act doesn’t exactly mandate development, as Sammamish officials often said, a special study session last night on traffic and transportation concurrency revealed last night.
Instead, the GMA gives cities and countries some options to respond to growth.
The deep-dive into how Sammamish developed and uses its currency system continues tonight in a special time, 4:30pm, at a City Council meeting that will be webcast and televised on Comcast 21.
The special meetings were prompted by a study by a Sammamish citizen, Miki Mullor, who concluded Sammamish manipulated concurrency to approve development.
He claimed the GMA allows cities to stop development if concurrency fails.
Not entirely so, the City Council was told last night.
And, yes, through policy decisions from a succession of City Councils, the Staff crafted concurrency that approves development—but the rationale is far more complex than the black-and-white reasons claimed by Mullor.
The City Council meeting tonight at 6:30p will undoubtedly discuss the Mullor Study. The study may be accessed here.
By Scott Hamilton
The news yesterday that Sammamish has been using outdated traffic counts, mostly from 2012 but some from 2014 and none from 2016, to run its traffic concurrency tests for development applications is fundamentally cooking the books to approve projects.
I should be outraged, but I’m not.
I should be shocked, but I’m not.
I’m not even surprised.
It just goes to show you how far our city government and City Council declined over the years to become a mini-King County.
I reached this conclusion as far back as 2009. That was 10 years after Sammamish incorporated.