Opinion

Large trucks a hazard on parkway

This summer my wife and I moved into a townhouse on Fairway Avenue Southeast. Our unit is located about 100 yards west of the Snoqualmie Parkway. To our dismay, we soon discovered that the beautiful parkway is in actuality the "Snoqualmie Valley Truck Route." The noise from these trucks prevents us from hearing phone conversations, TV and/or radio, and from enjoying the quiet lifestyle that we had envisioned in Snoqualmie.

I decided to count the number of trucks and investigate where they come from. From 8 to 9 a.m. on weekdays, there is an average of 120 trucks each hour - or two every minute. Between 11:15 a.m. and noon on one weekday, I counted 70 trucks (pickup trucks, panel trucks and SUVs were not included). These trucks start at 4:30 a.m. and still can be heard at 9:30 at night. I have not spent the whole day counting, but a conservative estimate is there are 2,000 trucks a day using the Snoqualmie Parkway.

The large trucks with trailers come through Snoqualmie, ignoring the truck route by the Milk Barn to the parkway, and from Highway 202 through Fall City, ignoring the truck route there. None of these trucks could use the Snoqualmie Parkway three years ago - as it didn't exist. None of the trucks continue to use the old established truck routes. I am sure it was not the intention of the city to create a well-landscaped parkway only to have it become the busiest and noisiest truck route in King County.

The main concern of this truck route is safety. There will be a number of young children living in Habitat for Humanity just off the parkway; and in an additional housing development to be built east of the parkway. Families and children will also be using the community center with swimming pool, a retail center and an elementary school as part of the planned development - all adding to the need for a safe pedestrian passageway along and crossing the parkway.

These huge truck trailers with loads upward of 100,000 pounds could not stop in an emergency in less that a quarter mile. A very dangerous situation now exists for the children of this growing neighborhood.

I propose that the City Council look into this matter and use their authority to restrict usage of vehicles over 10,000 pounds with the proviso that those trucks servicing construction and/or delivery on the Ridge be exempt. I would be willing to donate my time for any further investigation that you may deem necessary to implement a policy for use of what we believe was sincerely intended to be a "parkway."


Thomas Sprague

Snoqualmie

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