News

Preston's traffic woes will be alleviated

PRESTON — In the next several months, King County Department

of Transportation workers will install several traffic safety measures

in Preston.

Money from the department's operations and maintenance budget

and $100,000 from the county's Neighborhood Enhancement Program are

earmarked for the improvements, which are scheduled to be completed by

the end of the year said Paulette Norman, a county traffic engineer.

Most of the changes are small-scale, low-capital projects which

concentrate on increasing pedestrian safety through additional signs

and lighting.

"They're certainly an enhancement that alerts the drivers,"

Norman said. "But it's always important for

the pedestrians, that no matter what type of devices are out there, to look

before crossing the street."

And even though these improvements aren't high-ticket items

Doug McClelland, president of the Preston Community Club, said they are

much-needed improvements for the area.

The county and community have been working together for

several months to create a plan that would alleviate the traffic woes despite

the county's tight budget constraints.

McClelland said the latest proposals, which were presented to the

community on Wednesday, Feb. 16, would provide a good fix at least for the

next several years.

"What we said at the first meeting is demonstrated in these photo

panels," McClelland said, pointing to the county's plans. "It focuses on what

are the low-cost fixes today that will give us the most."

Some of those improvements include:

• Preston-Fall City Road: install "Compression Brake

Prohibited" signs and conduct a count to

determine percentage of vehicle class mix.

• Preston-Fall City Road near Southeast 84th Street: restrict

parking on both sides of the road and install a fluorescent pedestrian warning sign.

• Interstate 90 eastbound off ramp: Washington State Department

of Transportation will install stop signs.

• Preston-Fall City Road and Southeast 87th Place: increase

intersection lighting, conduct warrant analysis for a left-turn lane and

traffic signal.

• 308th Avenue Southeast near 86th Street: relocate school bus

stop near the trailhead and conduct a speed survey.

• Preston-Fall City Road at Southeast 86th and 68th streets: install

fluorescent signs, increase lighting and perform speed count.

The residents also had an opportunity to rank which projects

they would want to fund with the $100,000 Neighborhood Enhancement

Program money. Many of the meeting attendees chose to install a walkway near

the Preston General Store — a growing hazard that residents say needs to

be fixed. Of the five options available, Norman said the money could

probably only fund two projects.

She said there were other county funds available for similar

traffic projects; however, Preston would be competing with other

neighborhoods for the money.

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