A Lacey resident is bemoaning the lack of bike lanes in the city’s plans to widen and improve College Street Southeast.
Vaughn Nelson, who spoke during public comment at Thursday’s Lacey City Council meeting, said he would like to see a wider road shoulder to accommodate bicyclists.
“College Street is a dead end for most cyclists in the city of Lacey,” Nelson said.
The plan to improve the major city street was adopted by the council in 2009, said Public Works Director Scott Egger.
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Work on the long-term project is scheduled to begin with installation of a roundabout at 22nd Avenue Southeast. Roundabouts also are planned for 16th Avenue Southeast and 29th Avenue Southeast, Egger said. The city expects to go out to bid on the 22nd Avenue roundabout this year.
In addition to roundabouts, College Street, between Lacey Boulevard to just north of 37th Avenue Southeast, will be widened from its current 45-foot width to 61 feet, including a 3-foot shoulder. The total project is expected to cost more than $30 million.
Egger said the city looked at increasing the size of the road shoulder from 3 feet to 5 feet to accommodate bicyclists, but it would’ve cost an additional $1.7 million: $1.2 million in construction and $500,000 in acquiring right-of-way property.
“We looked at viable options and came up with the best solution, keeping costs in mind,” he said.
Egger said the other reason not to widen the shoulder is because bicyclists already have a north-south corridor to ride through Lacey: the Chehalis-Western Trail.
Still, even with the 3-foot shoulder, the city could still mark it for bicyclists, he said.