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Second Street revamps in development


Angela Cooper-McCorkle photo

Second Street, seen here from the 700 block, could look much differently in the future.

SNOHOMISH — The Second Street corridor has become clogged with traffic and can be treacherous for pedestrians, but planning is underway to create a safer and more attractive route along the city’s primary east-west arterial.
The city shared some priorities for a Second Street upgrade and laid a preliminary course of action at the Jan. 16 council meeting.
Safety is a primary concern along the corridor. Second Street is the city route with the most collisions according to city project manager Denise Johns. The busy road is also a truck route and 20 percent of traffic doesn’t stop in town, Johns said.
“I’m excited. We’ve been that family that’s ‘that close’ to getting hit,” said resident Johnny Anthony during a council public comments period.
On-street parking restrictions, roadway channelization and traffic signal coordination between Highway 9 and the Lincoln Avenue are all suggested for Second Street’s revamp.
“Parking is important, we want to maintain a level of service, but we are more concerned with safety,” Johns said.
Interim City Administrator Steve Schuller added that while the city could increase traffic capacity, traffic would then increase to no end.
“You can’t build yourself out of traffic situations,” seconded Councilwoman Lynn Schilaty.
Rather than grow car capacity, the city envisions making Second Street more pedestrian and bike-friendly. Medians that offer attractive landscaping and traffic calming curb extensions are just two suggestions. New warning beacons, lighting and signage would also help keep vehicles and pedestrians safe.
The city is also invested in an environmentally friendly design. Plans include stormwater management through a treatment facility and tree-planting.
Another environmental protection goal would be to cut carbon emissions, which would likely piggyback off the city’s other goal of encouraging exercise, particularly biking and walking.
The revamp comes courtesy of MacLeod Record LLC, who will provide engineering and landscape architectural services. The City Council unanimously approved a professional services agreement at the Jan. 16 meeting.
The prolific designers are known for active transportation, urban and park planning and design throughout the Pacific Northwest. The nearly 50-year-old Seattle firm won the bid over three competitors.
A $323,000 Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle grant will largely fund the initial $325,000 project. The grant was awarded last year and is intended solely for planning and design.
MacLeod Record will bill up to $300,000 to complete a topographic survey, conduct public outreach, and work up conceptual renderings. The agency will also provide construction cost estimates and 90 percent construction drawings.
The remaining $25,000 of the budget will cover the city’s internal costs with the unfunded $2,000 coming from local real estate excise taxes.
MacLeod will participate in town halls in the coming months and is likely to have some sketches ready by late summer or fall, Johns said. The city plans to seek federal grants in 2019 to fund the work.
A MacLeod timeline suggests meetings through spring, summer and fall this year with construction documents ready by December.
The city does not have a timeline yet for installing or making the improvements; it would need to fund construction separately from the design work.
The city ranks transportation improvement projects every year. The Second Street corridor improvements ranked seventh in 2016 and was moved up to fourth of 18 last year, upon being awarded the design grant from the state. Rankings are based on impact level but are also somewhat dependent upon funding availability.

 

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