Island Crest Way: No Solution til 2011

Councilmember Bruce Basset sends this update on the derailed ICW project:

[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.

Best regards,


Bruce is right: it’s an unnecessary delay to a long-overdue project. But let’s do it right, at least.

Rich Conrad’s email:
From: Rich Conrad
Date: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:29 AM
Subject: Island Crest Way Project
To: Council Members

Council –

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.


2 responses to “Island Crest Way: No Solution til 2011

  1. I can’t argue that the ICW project didn’t get committee’d six ways from Tuesday and have plenty of islander input, but we are one family that is delighted it is shelved for a while longer. Living on the south island, our experience doesn’t mesh with the findings.

    It took me a while to puzzle out an explanation for why traffic suddenly slowed after ICW becomes essentially a three-lane road. It should be better for the left-turners and speed should improve if anything. But then it hit me — it’s the right-turning cars that slow down traffic behind.

    I am all for cross-walks and move pedestrian and cyclist visibility, but my quality of life is going to take a hit when ICW slows down to 30mph for the entire length.

  2. Pingback: Near-Misses Not Counted on Island Crest Way | Surrounded By Water: A Mercer Island Blog

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