Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
Cedar Way/44th Avenue West, now a four-lane arterial through Mountlake Terrace, will be changed to a single lane in each direction with a center left-turn lane south of 228th Southwest in the late summer/early fall of 2013, following the Mountlake Terrace City Council’s okay of the plan earlier this week.
The lane reconfiguration, approved unanimously at the council’s Sept. 5 meeting, will be done after completion of a street resurfacing project scheduled for the summer of 2013. The project will also include street markings for 5-foot bicycle lanes on both sides of Cedar Way/44th Avenue Weset south of 228th to 244th Street Southwest.
Funding for the project is coming almost entirely from a Federal Highway Administration grant of $690,000; the grant is dependent upon fulfilling a number of requirements, including installation of bicycle lanes and the center left-turn lane on Cedar Way/44th Avenue West.
“If we don’t put in the bike lanes and the left-hand turn lanes we won’t be getting the funding from the feds?” asked Councilmember Seaun Richards at the Aug. 30 city council work/study session. City officials answered yes.
City comprehensive and transportation master plans have called for extension of the existing network of bicycle lanes throughout Mountlake Terrace. “I don’t want the citizens to think that we are changing our comp plan just so we can get funding to do this project,” Councilmember Doug McCardle said. “The fact is it (plans for bicycle lanes) is in place. The project fits that, so we can have the money.”
Councilmember Rick Ryan made the comparison of changing the lane configuration of Cedar Way/44th Avenue West to a similar change completed to 212th Street Southwest, adding a center left-turn lane to that roadway between 44th and 52nd Avenues West. “I like that three-lane driving model that has been put on 212th Street,” Ryan said. “It makes it easy to turn left. I’ve had citizens talk to me about how they like it.”
The roadways to be resurfaced with a pavement overlay will be 228th Street Southwest from 39th to 44th Avenues West and Cedar Way/44th Avenue West from 228th to 232nd Streets Southwest. The roadways to be resurfaced with a chip seal application will be Cedar Way/44th Avenue West further south, from 232nd to 244th Streets Southwest and 236th Street Southwest from 54th to 56th Avenues.
With the approved plan, 228th Avenue Southwest from 39th to 44th Avenues West and 236th Avenue Southwest from 54th to 56th Avenue Weset will also be reconfigured with bicycle lanes upon completion of the resurfacing projects next summer.