Laurelhurst Community Club
Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood

April 25, 2001

John Marek and Ellie Rangel
Seattle Transportation Department
4th Floor Municipal Building
600 Fourth Avenue
Seattle Washington 98104
Fax 233-3887

RE: 49th Avenue Chicane Project

Dear John,

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) Board of Trustees appreciates the work of the Seattle Transportation Department (SeaTran) in reviewing and evaluating project applications for funding through the Neighborhood Street Fund and your efforts to develop solutions to address traffic safety problems identified neighbors. We also appreciate the time you have spent with our neighbors along 49th Avenue NE to develop the chicane project as an appropriate traffic calming solution. LCC has long supported efforts of neighbors who take the initiative and invest a considerable amount of time to improve the safety of our streets. We endorsed the chicane project and in a very competitive process, the Northeast District Council ranked the project as a priority. We urge you to move forward with the project without further delay.

On April 12, 1999, LCC endorsed the 49th Avenue NE project presented by Karl Weyrauch as part of the 1999-2000 Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) process. As you'll recall, the original proposal called for two sets of speed humps on 49th Avenue NE to reduce speeding on the street. SeaTran revised the proposal and found that two sets of chicanes were a more desirable traffic-calming option instead of speed humps. This proposal wound its way through the NSF process and was prioritized to receive $14,000 for the first phase of the project. The history of this proposal is summarized below.

SeaTran has indicated that its usual policy for the construction of chicanes is that both 60% of the households in a two-block radius about the project and the abutting property owners provide written approval of the project. In 1999, these conditions were met when funding was allocated for the project. In 2001, when construction was to commence, two households located to the west of 49th Avenue NE raised concerns. We question whether these neighbors would be considered abutting property owners as access to their respective homes is from a separate private road. The project raised no parking concerns for these neighbors and issues of emergency vehicle access have been resolved. The concerns of all other neighbors have been successfully addressed by the team of neighbors who have supported the planning for traffic calming amelioration on the block for the past nine years.

The Laurelhurst Club Community believes that adequate public process has occurred on the NE 49th Avenue chicane project and that it is time to complete the 1999-2000 NSF cycle by constructing this street improvement. Neighbors have worked hard for nine years to calm speeding on this block, and have received the City’s budgetary commitment to support the project as planned and approved in 1999. Now, in 2001, we believe it is the City’s responsibility to move forward. The time to fulfill a commitment made two years ago is now. Please do not delay this project any further.

Neighbors and LCC are enthusiastic about this much-needed overdue safety improvement. Volunteers have already committed to undertaking the necessary maintenance to preserve the chicanes as an amenity to our neighborhood. Local realtors are advertising the project to promote sales of property along 49th. Again, we urge you to move forward right away.

Sincerely,


Jeannie Hale, President
3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
525-5135 / FAX 525-9631
jeannieh@serv.net

cc: Noel Schoneman Sincerely,


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