Transportation solutions on council docket
As the city of Mercer Island continues to evaluate changing traffic patterns since the closing of the Interstate 90 center lanes and how that affects vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians in the city, it is also pursuing innovative solutions to some of the Island’s other transportation challenges.
East Link light rail is set to open in 2023, but the question is whether Islanders will be able to take full advantage of it if they can’t get to the station. “First and last mile solutions” are needed, and City Manager Julie Underwood has invited ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft to share strategies at a Dec. 5 City Council study session. Underwood also planned to meet with people in UW’s mobility innovation center, she said at the Nov. 6 meeting.
The city was planning a traffic mitigation meeting on Nov. 29 with staff and its consultant, Transpo, and is set to send out a commuter survey.
Youth volunteerism recognized in Mercer Island
Local high school senior Hannah Stewart recently received an award at the Washington State Prevention Summit in Yakima, for Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year, highlighting her exemplary contributions in preventing substance abuse among her peers.
Stewart has been involved with this important work for over three years as part of the city’s Healthy Youth Initiative program, administered by the Youth and Family Services Department.
“Hannah has really taken seriously the role of youth prevention advocacy and understands the power of youth voice in prevention work. Not only has she been an advocate in her school, but also in her community, in King County and at the state level,” said Derek Franklin, project director for the city’s Healthy Youth Initiative.
In recognition not only of this recent award, but also the educational videos she has produced, her lobbying efforts in Washington D.C., and other achievements, Stewart was commended at the City Council meeting on Nov. 6.
Parks projects underway
Several parks improvement projects on Mercer Island are set to be finished late this year or early next.
The lights are in at the Island Crest north field, and the contractor is expected to finish the rest of the project in mid-December. An opening celebration will occur at first high school varsity game in March.
The first delivery of equipment for the South Mercer playground arrived last week, and the project is expected to be done in mid-February.
The city is also working on a project at Clarke Beach, installing pipes to draw water from Lake Washington for irrigation. The water rights are set to be developed by spring 2018, followed by similar projects at Groveland and Luther Burbank.
In other city projects, the pedestrian signal at Island Crest Way and Southeast 32nd Street won’t be operational for a while. The city is waiting on the delivery of signal equipment, which takes about 18-20 weeks. Two-thirds of the project cost will be covered by a grant.
Council to meet Tuesday
The Mercer Island City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Nov. 21, and is set to discuss the Aubrey Davis Park Master Plan and the Pratt preliminary long plot, reappoint the municipal court judge, do a mid-biennial budget review and hear a Town Center banner project presentation, according to its planning schedule.
For more, see www.mercergov.org.