Want a look at proposed changes to remake some of the busiest streets in downtown Olympia?
The city will host two open houses Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at City Hall. There will also be an online survey on the project on the city’s website starting early next week.
Proposed changes include:
▪ On Legion Way, raise the intersection at Washington Street so the street is at the same level as the sidewalk to slow down vehicle traffic and make it easier for pedestrians crossing the street; add a bike lane and shared lane from Water Street to Capitol Way.
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▪ On Franklin Street, extend the sidewalk into the street at the Fourth Avenue and State Avenue intersections to slow down traffic and shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians.
▪ On Capitol Way, narrow the street through the downtown core to provide more sidewalk space.
▪ On Washington Street, add a protected bike lane from Fifth Avenue to Market Street; turn Washington into a one-way street in that area to maintain parking and make room for the protected bike lane.
Work on Legion and Franklin would happen in 2019 or 2020, while work on Capitol and Washington would happen after 2020.
The changes would make the streets more inviting to pedestrians and cyclists, which is in line with the city’s long-term goals for downtown, said Sophie Stimson, a senior planner for the city.
“It all came about because we knew we had to do some asphalt resurfacing on these streets, which is a great opportunity to do other kinds of improvements above ground and below ground,” Stimson said. “We really want to invest in the downtown, and these capital projects give us a great opportunity to optimize that investment.”