No timeline set for recommended improvements on SR 202 near Fall City

A new study from WSDOT recommends several improvements to SR 202, but they’ll need funding to proceed

A pair of new studies from the Washington State Department of Transportation call for several safety improvements along State Route 202 near Fall City, but its unclear at this point where those projects would receive funding.

After two years, the SR 202 Corridor Study was finished last October. The inquiry is a look at near-term traffic and pedestrian safety improvements along nine miles of highway between 244th Avenue near Sammamish and the SR 202/203 round-a-bout in Fall City.

The project includes two separate components, one looking at SR 202 between 224th Avenue and 324th Avenue, and another looking at the highway near Fall City’s business district.

Proposals from the study suggest significant changes near downtown Fall City, where SR 202 functions as the town’s mainstreet. Fall City, the study notes, has deficiencies in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, and needs improved intersection design and additional accessibility to its downtown businesses.

Major recommendations for improvements include adding a compact round-a-bout at the Preston-Fall City Road intersection, tweaking downtown parking and adding missing pedestrian and bike connections. Pedestrian infrastructure would ideally link to the future West Side Trail, a project from the Fall City Metropolitan Parks District.

Map of the SR 202 Corridor Study Project area. Courtesy image.

Map of the SR 202 Corridor Study Project area. Courtesy image.

Beyond Fall City, plans include building round-a-bouts at the crash-prone Tolt Hill and Ames Lake Road intersections a few miles north of town.

Estimated costs for improvements near Fall City are set at $10.4 million, according to the study, with additional dollars needed for projects outside of town.

Thomas Noyes, a transportation planner with WSDOT, said there is currently no funding available for design or construction, leaving the project without a clear schedule.

“There really is no timeline,” Noyes said during a presentation this week. “It’s a question of when funding will become available.”

Noyes said WSDOT will be looking at upcoming grant opportunities from both the federal government and the Puget Sound Regional Council. WSDOT, he said, will also work to place information from the study in King County’s Comprehensive Plan, a long-range planning document that is being reviewed for its 2024 update.

The study comes alongside a broader push from state officials to reduce traffic fatalities and improve pedestrian mobility. The state has a goal, called Target Zero, to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on Washington’s roadways by 2030.

Through the first nine months of last year, 591 people were estimated to have died on Washington’s roads, according to preliminary data from the National Highway Safety Administration.

You can read the full SR 202 Corridor Study, HERE.