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City Council puts off approving PBF plan

City Councilmembers put off approving an updated version of the Mercer Island Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities (PBF) Plan — originally adopted in 1996 — at their May 17 meeting. According to mayor Jim Pearman, the draft was tabled so that staff could rewrite specific language more aligned with City Council intentions.

“Some of the changes from the last Council meeting weren’t incorporated in the document. We sent it back to get the proper language,” Pearman said, specifying “the Mercers” and bike and pedestrian “signage” as two areas in need of editing.

The PBF plan will return to the Council at its June 21 meeting.

Several months of work has gone into updating the 1996 plan. The city had to draft the detailed document, elicit public input, and engage the Planning Commission in a thorough review of the plan.

The City Council has reviewed the PBF draft three times: at its February 16, March 15 and April 19 meetings. Members of the Mercer Island public were invited to weigh in on the plan more than once. Comments were collected, reviewed and considered by the Planning Commission and City Council.

During its April 19 meeting, the Council provided final direction for city staff to address a number of specific areas in the draft plan. These suggestions included: provide clarifying language dealing with potential pedestrian/bicycle conflicts around the Park and Ride; provide clarifying language dealing with a proposed alternate bicycle route to Island Crest Way, south of S.E. 53rd Place; amended language relating to “primary bicycle corridors”; provide clarifying language in the section on bike lanes and sharrows; provide clarifying language related to striping and buttons; confirm that Council notification should take place prior to implementation of pedestrian and bicycle projects that are outside of the normal Capital Improvement Project (CIP) process; confirm that the City Council will work with staff to consider resolutions related to the issue of parking on the Mercers during 2010; and confirm that a separate city map would be developed that designates major bicycle routes on the Island.

Now that the final linguistic shortfalls have been cleaned up, the City Council expects to pass the PBF draft plan without problem at its June 21 meeting.

For a full copy of the PBF plan, visit the city Web site at: www.mercergov.org.

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