Later this month 236th St. SW will be chip sealed from approximately 54th Ave W. to Cedar Way. When any major road is chip sealed, they must be re-striped afterwards because the previous striping is covered up so the City council is considering options for re-striping 236th.
During last week’s City Council work session, city staff presented options for the re-striping of this stretch of road.
City staff used recommendations in the Transportation Master Plan to guide the preliminary design of the striping options.
The Transportation Master Plan (TMP), which was adopted by City Council in 2007, broadly addresses all modes of transportation in the City, including bicycle mobility. The TMP presents a series of recommended bike routes and facilities to be implemented in the future as the opportunity arises. 236th Street SW is identified in the TMP as a route for bike facilities from Cedar Way to where it turns in to Lakeview Drive near Lake Ballinger. The City has plans to build a path/trail in 2011 on the south/westside of Lakeview Drive that will ultimately connect the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center to the Interurban Trail.
According to the TMP the reasons why bike lanes were recommended on Lakeview Drive/236th is that the route traverses several hills and is an excellent cross-town route attracting trips to the Interurban Trail and Park and Ride Lot. The plan also says that there would be a loss of parking where roadway narrows to less then 40 feet and bicycles would be required to merge with vehicles at some intersections.
The analysis of striping options was split in to two section, Cedar Way to 48th and 48th to 54th.
Currently, Cedar Way to 48th has 4 travel lanes; two in each direction. The two options for this section were to keep the current lane configuration or have one lane of travel in each direction, a center turn lane and bike lanes on each side of the road. One of the homeowners who live in a cul-de-sac off of this section of the street spoke at the meeting and recommended the new configuration because drivers tend to speed down the hill and it is dangerous to be stopped turning left in one of the travel lanes.
The majority of 236th from 48th to 54th currently has one travel lane in each direction and parking on both sides of the street. The striping option with bike lanes proposed eliminating parking on one side of the street while adding bike lanes on both sides of the street.
6 of the 7 council members were present for the discussion and in the end they were split on whether to go with the “status quo” option, keep the lane configuration as is, or to add bike lanes and a left turn lane. Mayor Jerry Smith and council member Michelle Robles were opposed to the idea of adding bike lanes and a left turn lane while council members Rick Ryan and Kyoko Wright liked the idea. Mayor Smith suggested even eliminating the parking on 236th from 54th to 48th and adding a travel lane in each direction. John Zambrano thought that it made sense to add bike lanes and a left turn lane from Cedar Way to 48th but didn’t think that the bike lanes and left turn lane were necessarily needed from 48th to 54th. Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore was undecided.
The council all agreed that they wish to have more public input on the options.
Read the staff report [pdf] and view the lane configurations below then let us know in the comments what you think about the lane configuration. Should bike lanes and a left turn lane be added to 236th? You can also listen to the Council meeting online here. Just click on agenda item #3.
View MLT Proposed Bike Lanes in a larger map