Pedestrian safety a concern with new development | Letter

Apr 09, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

This is an open letter to the mayor and councilmembers:

I am writing regarding the planned development of about 5 acres at 8019 53rd Ave. W.  This property has a proposal for eight single-family houses, two duplexes and 32 condominiums.

My concern is the impact this project will have on the surrounding neighborhood during construction and the capacity of 53rd Avenue W. to absorb the traffic without significant improvements for pedestrian safety.

Residents served by 53rd Avenue W. need safe access during construction and also need to have our access improved with widened traffic lanes and an elevated sidewalk along the entire length of the avenue.

In the 10 years I have lived in this neighborhood, 53rd Avenue W. and 80th Street S.W. have had trailers, excavators, paving equipment, etc., stored overnight along our streets during projects. Equipment and trucks frequently block a lane of traffic.

Our neighborhood would be grateful if all construction were contained. Lane closures, parking and equipment storage shouldn't be allowed on these streets for this project, as there is adequate room to work within the 5 acres to be developed.

There are no sidewalks or detours we can use to avoid bottlenecks created by construction. Neighbors share a concern that this project will congest and make life in our neighborhood unsafe and unpleasant, if the work is not contained.

A larger shared concern is the longterm impact the development will have on pedestrian access along 53rd Avenue W.  I am not opposed to the proposed project, however, adding up to 48 more residences does bring to light the currently unsafe conditions. They could become drastically worse if improvements are not made.

Currently, there are over 110 single-family and condo residences served by 53rd Avenue W. and at least two established businesses.

Adding 48 residences would increase the traffic volume by 40 percent or more. An average of two cars per household at an average of two back-and-forth trips per day means 384 more automobiles driving on 53rd Avenue W.

When combined with 100-150 more people who would like to walk their dogs, jog, or ride a bicycle, the increased density makes an already congested street a danger zone.

Improvements for pedestrians along this roadway is long overdue.  The current density should never have occurred without retrofitting the roadway to make it safe.

Please see this project as an opportunity to take the revenue the city will generate in increased taxes and fees to directly improve the streets.

Very respectfully,

Eric Weiss,

Mukilteo

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