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Preston residents point out traffic pitfalls

PRESTON—An informal survey on traffic concerns in Preston

yielded almost the same results from two dozen residents. They wanted less

traffic, lower speed limits and more pedestrian walkways.

On Nov. 17, the King County Road Services Division held a public

meeting to gather the community's concerns about traffic in the area.

"We want to come up with a priority list tonight," said Betty

Gulledge, a community relations supervisor.

"It will ultimately be more money than the county can spend, but we'll

come up with something workable."

So far, the county has earmarked about $100,000 for traffic

improvements in Preston next year.

"The $100,000 sounds like a lot, but it doesn't go as far as it used

to," said Linda Dougherty, the assistant manager of the Road Services

Division. "But don't limit your priorities or needs to $100,000. We're using

this process to generate a larger view of your needs."

The money will most likely pay for smaller neighborhood

enhancement projects, with larger improvements coming from the county's capital

facilities section as funds become available.

By far, residents were most concerned about traffic in and around

the downtown core along Preston-Fall City Road. Preston resident and

avid walker Nancy Brooks said it is almost impossible for her to safely cross

the Preston-Fall City Road near the general store.

"I've stood out there for 10 minutes and just needed to step out

there because no one would stop," she said.

Adjacent locations such as the Interstate 90 ramps also received a

lot of votes for being most likely to be congested during rush hour.

The major concerns and possible solutions included:

• Conducting a study that would suggest ways to reduce the amount

of truck traffic heading to I-90;

• Constructing more pedestrian-friendly walkways and

crosswalks along Preston-Fall City Road;

• Adding a turn lane for streets that feed onto Preston-Fall City Road;

• Providing a safer pedestrian crossing from the bus to the Park

and Ride lot;

• Introducing traffic-calming elements, such as lower speed limits

or speed bumps, in Preston's core area. Also, having police officers

enforce the speed limit; and

• Studying I-90 ramps for solutions to ease traffic congestion.

Those who weren't able to attend the meeting can send their

concerns to Mary Coltrane, c/o King County Department of Transportation, 201

S. Jackson St., KCS-TR-0824, Seattle, WA 98104. Coltrane can also

be reached at (206) 263-3424, or by e-mail at mary.coltrane@metrokc.gov.

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