[regarding update from City Manager below]:I support the plan to apply for grant funding, but I’m frustrated by the Council action that brought us to this point. If we’d kept to the old plan, we’d be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony right about now. Instead we’ll live with the Merrimount/Island Crest 2007 ‘temporary experiment’ for at least another year. We’ll continue to put pedestrians at unnecessary risk. And we’ll rack up collisions along the corridor that wouldn’t occur in a three lane configuration.
Once we learn the results of the grant application process, I’ll urge the Council to complete the Island Crest Way reconfiguration in 2011.
Rich Conrad’s email:
From: Rich Conrad
Date: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:29 AM
Subject: Island Crest Way Project
To: Council Members
In considering how and when to proceed with the Council’s decisions on Island Crest Way a new piece of information has recently come our way. A staff representative of the State’s Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) contacted City staff to remind us that we could apply for state grant funds for the Island Crest Way crosswalks project. Apparently, they monitor media stories about street projects and they heard about the recent pedestrian accidents along Island Crest. Our staff asked if we could also apply for funds for the larger Island Crest Way project (3-lane configuration) that was postponed because the funding was reallocated to Residential Overlays. They responded that we certainly could apply but the projects would likely “score” differently.
I have passed this information on to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor seeking direction on how to proceed. They have both urged staff to prepare applications for both projects (as well as the previously planned application for the Town Center traffic signals along SE 27th). We understand that we will be told whether we are funded sometime in November. Of course, given this timing, no project along Island Crest Way will be implemented until 2011. Depending on the amount of grant funds we are awarded and which projects the State supports, staff will return with revised budgets, project scopes and implementation schedules. Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have assured me that they believe there is broad support for taking the time to pursue these grant funds.