Capitol Boulevard opinions sought

Tumwater hearing will address issues between Trosper and Israel roads

ckrotzer@theolympian.comJuly 12, 2013 

People who care about a plan to improve traffic, business and aesthetics along Capitol Boulevard in Tumwater will get their chance to give their opinions to city leaders next week.

The public hearing is months in the making after four open houses, stakeholder meetings and draft

plans drawn up by consultants to address issues along the boulevard between Trosper Road and Israel Road.

“The purpose of this plan is to try to improve the aesthetic appeal of the area, try to improve the economic conditions and attract businesses, … and (expand) transportation options not just for cars, but walkers and cyclists,” Tumwater planning manager Tim Smith said.

The city approved a $220,000 consulting contract in February with Makers Architecture to help come up with options for the section of road that — at the Trosper Road intersection — sees about 25,000 cars pass through per day.

The Trosper Road intersection will be a project in itself, Smith said, but the city is looking to provide an alternate entry road to give commuters better access to businesses in the area.

One of the main components of the new plan is to redo Capitol Boulevard, adding two 5-foot-wide bike lanes by omitting the center lane and installing a median.

There also would be three roundabouts: at Dennis, X and T streets.

The city would look to rezone areas to make a more mixed-use district to encourage development.

That portion of the project could cost an estimated $7 million-$9 million and be constructed in the next 10 years, according to the proposed plan, Smith said.

Brett Hardcastle, owner of Tumwater Automotive and Tumwater Auto Spa, thinks money would be better spent on increasing business, especially for startups.

“I’m fine; I’ve been here forever,” Hardcastle said. “But new businesses coming in, it’s a nightmare. You have a transportation fee, this fee, that fee, every fee there is.”

Chelsea Krotzer: 360-754-5476 @chelseakrotzer

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