Mountlake Terrace residents living in the neighborhood along 228th Street Southwest/226th Place Southwest say they are tired of the increasing traffic volumes, speeding vehicles and noise along their street, and they are asking the city for relief.
Annemarie Klinke, who has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years, presented the neighbors’ concerns to the Mountlake Terrace City Council during a recent meeting, reading a letter that was signed by 18 residents.
The several-block stretch of roadway, which has a 14 percent grade and a sharp s-curve at the top, is used as an alternative route — instead of continuing up Lakeview Drive — for drivers seeking a connection from 228th Street Southwest in Edmonds to Mountlake Terrace. Neighbors say that they have seen traffic volumes along the street increase since the City of Edmonds completed its 228th Street Street corridor improvements, which included building a missing link of roadway connecting Mountlake Terrace to Edmonds across Highway 99.
As a result of the project, “the City of Edmonds has channeled more traffic through this residential neighborhood,” the letter said.
The result is an increasing number of speeding cars with drivers who impatiently tailgate, making it difficult for residents to enter or exit their driveways, Klinke said in an April 10 interview along the roadway.
Few drivers obey the posted 25 mph speed limit and there were three vehicle crashes on the roadway between 68th and 70th Avenues West in a six-month period in 2016, she added.
Klinke said the traffic starts to increase around 5 a.m. each weekday as commuters begin heading to I-5 or the nearby Mountlake Terrace Transit Center. There is also more noise from passing vehicles, which could be minimized if the roadway could be resurfaced, she added.
“In the summertime, if you stand outside, you can barely have a conversation,” she said.
Safety is a growing concern, as there is no pedestrian crossing near the school bus pick-up/drop-off spot for school children at 226th Place Southwest and 70th Avenue West. The one crosswalk that does exist, used frequently by bicyclists and walkers on the Interurban Trail crossing, should have a flashing light to alert vehicle traffic, she said.
Klinke also suggested that the city could install speed humps along the roadway to slow traffic down.
Klinke said that neighbors have complained individually before, but did not hear back from the city, so decided to band together with the jointly-signed letter, which she read to the council April 3.
Mountlake Terrace City Manager Scott Hugill said Tuesday morning that the city is working to address the neighbors’ concerns. The first step — done Friday, April 7 — was to install strips on the roadway to count traffic and measure the speeds, he said.
“Once we have traffic count and speed data, we will take a look at additional steps,” Hugill said. In addition, Mountlake Terrace police have been patrolling the neighborhood in response to neighbors’ complaints about speeding, he said.
As for installing speed humps, Hugill said that cities don’t usually use those for arterials, instead saving them for lower-speed roadways. There are two other drawbacks as well, he said: Drivers tend to accelerate between the humps to make up for the perceived loss of time from slowing down, and there is an increase in noise from braking and accelerating through them.
— By Teresa Wippel