Council approves Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program, views redesigned city website

City Traffic Engineer John Marek and Public Works Director Jesse Hoffman prepare for the presentation.

The Mountlake Terrace City Council at its Feb. 15 meeting passed the city’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) ordinance after a public hearing.

Presented by Traffic Engineer John Marek, the six-year TIP is a list of programs and prioritized projects that the city has identified that will help the city meet its transportation goals.

Under state law, cities in Washington must update their six-year transportation program  annually and file a copy of the adopted program with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). 

Marek explained that Washington State includes the projects with the larger state transportation improvement program, making them eligible for federal and state funding.

“So, if we want to look towards getting funding for some of the larger scale projects that we want to do throughout the year, then they really need to be included in the state Transportation Improvement Program,” Marek said.

He said the TIP expenditures are about $58 million, with the bulk being Main Street improvements at almost $43.68 million.

Funded Mountlake Terrace TIP projects

The Transportation Connection Corridor project upgrades trails through the Veterans Memorial Park and will add a public plaza at the southwestern corner of Van Ry Boulevard and 236th Street Southwest.

– The Transportation Connection Corridor is funded for $5,616,000, with grants from Sound Transit ($2,500,000), Puget Sound Regional Council ($1,117,000), and a $2 million federal appropriation. This project upgrades the trails running through Veterans Memorial Park to 236th Street West with asphalt pathways, walkway lighting and a new pedestrian bridge. It also adds a public plaza at the corner of Van Ry and 236th Southwest. Construction will begin in 2024.

This map shows where new pavement and curb ramps will be built on 66th Avenue West.

– 66th Avenue West pavement reconstruction is funded for $3,094,322 with funds from the transportation improvement program ($1.94M), city utility funds, state gas tax, and Snohomish County Waste Transfer mitigation. This project is currently underway.  It will reconstruct pavement, restripe the road to include bike lanes and a center turn lane, and add an interurban trail crossing safety with a median island and warning lights. Stronger pavement on 66th Avenue West is better equipped to support the heavy trucks that travel to and from the county’s Southwest Recycling & Transfer Station.

This image shows how intersection improvements at 48th Avenue West and 216th Street Southwest will meet ADA needs while retaining parking.

– The intersection of 216th Street Southwest and 48th Avenue West. The project will construct missing sidewalk sections and install a crosswalk with a flashing beacon and curb bulbs at all four corners. This project is funded with  $1,229,337 from the  WSDOT Safe Routes to School Program ($468,000), a State Public Works Assistance Fund loan ($565,962) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)  funds ($200,000).

– Adaptive signals for 220th Street Southwest are funded for $366,671 and are scheduled to be installed in 2024. These signals adapt to real-time traffic conditions rather than set timing.

Currently unfunded and partially funded TIP projects

Marek explained that local funding for some transportation projects scheduled for 2025 and 2026 is still being matched with grants. There is one partially funded project and nine unfunded projects. They include:

– Improvements on both sides of the 214th Street sidewalk from 44th Street to the north entrance of Mountlake Terrace High School are scheduled for design and construction.  The improvements are estimated to cost $600,000, with $80,000 secured from Snohomish County, and will be eligible for grants from the State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).

– The 220th Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West signal and roundabout are currently unfunded. They have a total cost of over $1.7 million and are scheduled to be installed in 2026.

– Also unfunded are the 52nd Avenue West sidewalk improvements from 222nd to 224th Streets Southwest. Estimated to cost $531,000, these improvements will complete the sidewalk connection on the east side of 52nd Street. The improvements are scheduled for design in 2025 and construction in 2026.

– The 48th Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Connection scheduled for design in 2026 is currently unfunded. With an estimated cost of over $1.85 million, the project will make improvements between 236th Street Southwest and 244th Street Southwest and add a sidewalk on the west side. The connection is scheduled for design in 2026. It will replace the bike and pedestrian facility built in the 1970s and create bicycle lanes while retaining street parking.

– One of the city’s core programs, the Asphalt Street Overlay Program budget was increased from $240,000 to $700,000 a years.

Other TIP programs partially funded or unfunded include the ADA sidewalk and ramp construction, traffic signal cabinet replacement and upgrades, the bicycle route program, and the traffic calming program.

The three major paving projects that are currently unfunded are:

– 220th Street Southwest from Interurban to 52nd Avenue West, which will need $14 million in 2027.

– 44th Avenue West from 212th Street Southwest to 228th Street Southwest, which will need $5.4 million in 2028.

– 244th Street Southwest reconstruction from 56th Avenue West to Cedar Way, which will require $7.8 million in 2028 and 2029.

Marek said the city will prioritize needed projects that will likely receive outside funding.

During public comment regarding the ordinance, Mountlake Terrace resident Dale Jeremiah stated he would like to see a pedestrian and bike bridge from “53rd to 50th” as part of the bicycle network improvements.

New city website preview

Communications Manager Rikki Fruichantie explains how the data collected from the city’s website showed what improvements needed to be made.

City Communications Manager Rikki Fruichantie previewed the city’s redesigned website, which was scheduled to launch on Monday, Feb. 19. 

In 2023, the website had almost 700,000 visits from nearly a quarter of a million unique visitors. Fruichantie explained that according to the data gathered from the website’s search engine and user feedback, the redesign eliminates “unnecessary sections to support that new streamlined aesthetic and function.”

Part of that functionality is a mobile-friendly design. Fruichantie explained that being mobile-friendly follows best practices for modern internet sites and eliminates a technology barrier for those who might not have access to a computer with internet access.

Fruichantie said that 57% of the website’s visitors were using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

The next city council meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Mountlake Terrace City Hall, 23204 58th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace. 

To attend the meeting online, visit zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 810 1113 9518; no passcode is needed.

To make a public comment remotely, complete the registration form within 24 hours of the meeting’s start at cityofmlt.com/FormCenter/City-Council-17/Remote-Public-Comment-Request-Form-12

To listen via telephone, call 1-253-215-8782 and enter the same meeting ID.

You also can view livestreamed meetings and past video recordings at www.youtube.com/cityofmltThe agenda can be viewed here.

— By Rick Sinnett

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