The City of Mountlake Terrace has been considering three options for changes to Lakeview Drive and 236th Street SW west of I-5 in order to accommodate new pedestrian and bicycle pathways; on Wednesday night the city’s engineering department unveiled a fourth option, one that was greeted with strong support by the city council.
“Option D” for the Lakeview Trail would make no changes to the sidewalk on the east side of Lakeview Drive but would add a five-foot landscaping strip and a 12-foot path for pedestrians and bicyclists along the west side of the street from the Interurban Trail to 65th Place West. The intersection of 236th Street SW and 65th Place West would be converted to a “T” intersection by removing the right turn only lane from westbound 236th Street to 65th Place West and adding a crosswalk and landscaping, then a pedestrian/bicycle access path on the north side of 236th Street east to I-5.
The engineering department devised this “Option D” only after the right-of-way along the east edge of the Ballinger Lake Golf Course became available due to the closure of the course. The city council decided to convert the course into a passive park earlier this month.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with this Option D because it’s ideal for complementing Ballinger Park and to have the trail along the park and address the concerns of citizens so well. Great work all around,” stated Councilmember Bryan Wahl.
“I think it’s a win-win situation, financial with the city and our citizens,” said Councilmember Rick Ryan.
Federal funding is providing 80 percent of the analysis and design costs of the project, and 84 percent of the construction costs. Design costs have been $600,000; the anticipated construction cost is $2.48 million.
Options A, B and C for the Lakeview Trail all involved, to one extent or another, utilizing right-of-way along Lakeview Drive’s east side for widen sidewalks or dedicated bicycle pathways. These plans were opposed by some of the residents of the four apartment and condominium complexes that border the roadway. The newly-revealed Option D, and council support of it, was praised by a few residents of the area at the council’s work/study session Wednesday night.
“Thank you so much, especially Janet Hall (city Traffic Engineer), for coming up with Option D,” said Lakeview Drive resident Ruth Allen.
“Thank you so much. I am absolutely thrilled,” said Susan Kuhn. “This has re-ignited my belief in our system and that you really do care about all of us, and that you want to hear from us, and that we need to participate with you. Thank you so much for hearing from us, and the results.”
Option D does require utilizing some right-of-way along the south side of 236th Street Southwest west of 65th Place West along the Nile Shrine Golf Course. “Acquiring right-of-way can be a lengthy process and could delay the project a number of months,” stated the engineering department report.
Mayor Jerry Smith didn’t anticipate any problems resulting from the Nile Golf Course possibly having to relocate some or all of it fence along 236th Street Southwest. “I think it’s a great idea. And I know the Nile will probably be more than cooperative, he said.
No timeline for construction of the trail has been announced.