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Monroe considers ways to slow traffic, weighing its options

MONROE — City officials have been examining roads prone to speeding in neighborhoods and looking at ways to slow vehicles.
The City Council next month will consider regulations to allow installing a wider variety of traffic calming devices on non-arterial streets. Those devices could include traffic circles, speed humps or refuge islands, according to a presentation Jan. 23 during a Transportation/Planning, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works (P3) Committee meeting.
Such devices are currently not eligible in the city’s traffic calming laws. Refuge islands are small medians at crosswalks.
The presentation highlighted three priority areas the city could consider using traffic calming devices: 179th Avenue SE, 154th Street SE and Currie Road SE. The study the city conducted showed 85 percent of the motorists are driving 10-15 mph over the posted speed limit on those roads.
“Problems occur on lower volume roadways,” said Victor Salemann, president of Woodinville-based Transportation Solutions, which conducted the policy review and study.
Salemann added that transition areas where drivers are entering the city from rural areas are also a concern. Roosevelt Road is an example.
Second priority streets are Roosevelt Road, Tester Road and Rainier View Road SE. There will be opportunity to address priority locations near schools, areas with a history of complaints or crashes and monitor locations based on resident input.
Recommendations also include differentiating between traffic calming improvements, arterial safety improvements and capital improvements.
Crash history will be included when evaluating traffic calming locations and eligibility requirements will be refined in relation to surface condition, operating speeds, design standards and future improvements, according to the presentation.
The City Council will examine the proposed traffic calming guidelines in late February, said city public works director Jakeh Roberts.



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