Spring 2016

hwy 99 public meetingPublic involvement in the Highway 99 Subarea Planning project got underway at a public workshop hosted at City Hall on March 24th. Over 50 people attended to help craft a future vision for Highway 99.

The next Highway 99 Area Plan public event is an open house on May 19th, between 7:00 and 9:00 pm, at the Swedish Edmonds Hospital Conference Room (4th floor main building, 21601 76th Ave W.). The open house will include displays for viewing and providing input on alternative visions for the future.

Meanwhile, people who could not attend the March 24th public workshop may still provide early input by taking an online survey as soon as possible.

The planning project builds on previous Highway 99 studies from 2004 - with a current emphasis on improving street safety for both pedestrians and vehicles, enhancing connectivity with neighborhoods, and continuing to develop a unique Edmonds identity for the 2-mile stretch of highway within Edmonds’ jurisdiction.
Photo courtesy of Larry Vogel, MyEdmondsNews.com

Mayor Dave Earling started off the March 24 workshop by stating that a key goal of the project was to make Highway 99 “seem to be one continuous neighborhood” and create the feel that “people who live in neighborhoods surrounding Highway 99 are in fact an integral part of our community.” Mayor Earling reminded the group that the $10 million the state legislature had allocated last year towards Highway 99 revitalization remains 5-years out. He continued, “we will try to pull some of that money forward so the work we finish this year can be simply be continued over a longer period of time.”

John Fregonese, of Portland-based consulting firm Fregonese Associates, led a presentation on initial reconnaissance work the firm completed, covering the existing mix of uses, transit service, quality of the existing urban form, and gaps in pedestrian infrastructure. Following the presentation, he led the audience through an instant-polling session to assess priorities for housing, business, and infrastructure.

After the polling session, the audience broke out into six groups to discuss existing safety issues, preferred streetscape design, and potential land uses. Each group then nominated a spokesperson to present their group’s ideas. Common themes included adding more wayfinding signage, improved safety for pedestrians, crime prevention, and concerns about the amount of area devoted to car lots.

Ideas from the groups will be used to help create alternative scenarios for the Highway 99 Area Plan. The alternatives will get further public review.

Save the date! The next public gathering is an open house scheduled for Thursday, May 19th at Swedish Hospital between 7:00 and 9:00 pm. At the open house, consultants will discuss several alternative scenarios that incorporate ideas from the workshop.

You may follow upcoming Highway 99 planning events here. Background information is available at: http://bit.ly/1S4EFxT.

In fall 2016, a draft plan will be ready for public review and comment. The Planning Board and City Council will consider the draft too. Adoption of a final Highway 99 Area Plan will be a decision for the City Council, probably in late 2016.

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