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Preston residents point out traffic pitfalls
PRESTONAn 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 email@example.com.