Meeting will focus on west side traffic report

ahobbs@theolympian.comJune 10, 2014 

The Olympia City Council will decide at its next meeting whether to hire a consultant to complete a report about traffic on the city’s west side. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 10) at City Hall.

City staff will recommend hiring Parametrix, a consulting firm based in Puyallup, to complete the 2010 West Olympia Interchange Justification Report. The contract’s cost will be limited to $1.5 million, according to the city, and the report should take 18 to 24 months to finish.

The report stems from an evaluation of transportation issues called the West Olympia Access Study. Based on the 2010 study, the city and the state Department of Transportation decided to build new freeway ramps to U.S. 101 at Kaiser Road and Yauger Way. Construction of those ramps is 10 to 15 years away, the city said.

In the next six years, city officials expect traffic to increase significantly at the Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road intersection, but the city reports that the new ramps are expected to reduce traffic congestion while improving access to medical facilities and businesses.

The consultant’s work is expected to result in approval of the West Olympia Interchange Justification Report, along with approval of environmental documents and construction design, according to the city.

FINANCE COMMITTEE

The parks department will provide an overview of its financial status and long-term goals during the city’s finance committee meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at council chambers.

The presentation was requested by the City Council in response to the LBA Woods Park Coalition, a group of residents who want to create a new park in southeast Olympia. The group is asking the city to purchase two properties that are slated for housing developments on 150 acres next to LBA Park. Coalition representatives will have an opportunity to respond to staff presentations, according to a city report.

Although the coalition has gathered more than 2,500 signatures in support of a new park, city officials say it’s a tall order to come up with the money — about $6.5 million for one of the properties known as Bentridge. This financial concern dovetails with requests to create other parks in the city, such as a park on the isthmus.

“We’re not saying we can’t acquire the properties,” parks director Paul Simmons told The Olympian. “We’re saying there’s a lot of public demand out there and a lot of operational capacity concerns. … We have very limited resources.”

Andy Hobbs: 360-704-6869 ahobbs@theolympian.com

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