The Redmond City Council unanimously approved a new six-year transportation improvement plan at its Tuesday council meeting. The document lists approximately 60 road projects that are scheduled for completion by 2017.
Prior to a vote on the transportation improvement plan, council member John Stilin proposed an amendment that would move up the start date on a proposed re-channelization project on 166th Avenue NE from 2014 to 2012. The $300,000 project will alter the lane configuration on part on the roadway to include one through lane in each direction, a center two-way left-turn lane, and bike lanes.
Several council members said the re-channelization should be a priority because the current lane configuration puts vehicles too close to bicycles and pedestrians.
"In all the years, I've lived in Redmond, I've really considered that a really big needed change," Stilin said. "It will provide a buffer zone between the traffic and the sidewalk. It's a pretty tight street there."
Council member Kim Allen seconded Stilin's proposal, saying the project will be of benefit to both pedestrians and bicyclists.
"Though it's a very tough climb, I see folks going up and down there all the time, and not necessarily in fancy spandex—just regular folks trying to get here and there," Allen said.
Council members Hank Myers and Richard Cole voted against the ammendment but supported the transportation improvement plan as a whole. Myers said he didn't approve of changing the document at the last minute.
In other city council news, members also agreed Tuesday to postpone a vote on the conditional use permit for the Redmond High School addition project because of concerns about traffic issues related to the growing high school. The Lake Washington School District's current plans for the high school expansion call for 22 student parking spaces to be converted to staff parking, which some council members said would lead to more students parking on the surrounding streets.
Council members agreed to amend the conditional use permit to require that LWSD adopt an event parking plan and set a goal of reducing single-occupancy vehicles at the high school by a certain percentage. The council will vote on the revised conditional use permit proposal at a special 7 p.m. meeting on July 26.