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Letter | Traffic and Town Center development
Your article and picture of Feb. 3, 2012, looking west on the traffic congestion shows the burgeoning developments that had taken place as we waited with anticipation of the newness that was to come with residents and businesses that would fuel the downtown core.
In the summer it was the seasonal activity that escalated with the pedestrians and cars. The uselessness of the four-way stop signs became very apparent with increased risks taken by all who would dare to venture to cross this busy intersection, 77th S.E. and S.E. 27th. Later, we were to bear witness to the twinkling lights in the horizon that would give order and rhythm to the dynamics of the traffic flow.
Once again, looking west into the sunset would give pause to the traffic congestion as cars attempt to leave by way of one of two I-90 exits eastbound off of our wonderful Island.
The true story lies in the one constant of all four pictures and that is the four large complexes, five stories high, gracing the foreground with their majestic structures. These developments have become an integral part of the cityscape that shapes our downtown core. Who is the writer and photographer of that picture, you ask? Why, our very own City Council under the misguidance and misdirection of our city manager and the City Hall staff who he hires.
Previous City Councils had set the limit at four as sufficient to meet the Growth Management Act. Why change, you ask? Not sure, but one thing for sure is that we, the citizens, became the unwilling pawns of the developers as the “highest and best use” became the standard, and the “quality of life” on Mercer Island became the sacrificial lamb.
Rivian A. Smith