ICW - Merrimount issue
October 27, 2009 · 1:45 PM
Unfortunately, the ICW issue has become politicized in the upcoming City Council seat election, and as a result, a lot of misinformation is being disseminated about the traffic revision proposal. The revision, as recommended by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee, is for a three-lane configuration, not two lanes. The facts about the proposal can be reviewed at www.mercerislandABC.org, along with objective travel time estimates, safety and pedestrian crossing configurations and other helpful and accurate information. The road is dangerous, as it is for both motorists and pedestrians. The community needs a solution to prevent accidents along the whole corridor, not just the ICW/Merrimount intersection. The temporary fix at the ICW/Merrimount intersection has drastically reduced accidents at that location, but accidents are up at ICW/47th and 86th. The proposed three-lane configuration will reduce accidents, allow pedestrian-safe crossing zones, provide pull-outs for buses and service vehicles, and create an aesthetic corridor, all with minimal reductions in motorist travel time (3 to 15 seconds for the 1.5 mile stretch). Get the facts straight when evaluating this important improvement to ICW corridor.
As contained in the Oct. 21 issue of the Reporter, the flippant comments by Mike Grady at the Candidate Forum that there are more important issues on the Island than the road diet and asking that residents think long and hard how high driving down Island Crest Way is on the priority scale are typical of his and Dan Grausz’s contempt for the residents of the Island. I can assure Mr. Grady and Mr. Grausz that I think about it twice a day, every day, as I try to navigate Island Crest. The dismissive attitude is doubly galling as Mr. Grady lives on 81st S.E. and Mr. Grausz on S.E. 33rd Place. Both live north of S.E. 40th and are thus unaffected by the narrowing of Island Crest. As with Tent City, Mr. Grady and Mr. Grausz remain contemptuous of those whom they are sworn to serve. I am weary of their “let them eat cake” attitude.
I agree that the road diet is not the most important issue for the Island. Changing the composition of the Council is the very most important. Let us start the corrective process and remove Dan Grausz!
I am writing to voice my support of the three-lane configuration of Island Crest Way. When one looks at the facts and the analysis made by the traffic experts as opposed to the anecdotal stories told by those opposing the re-configuration, the three-lane solution is simply the safest. I am a mother of three school aged children, and I have lived on the Island for most of the last 18 years. Between soccer, dance lessons and visiting friends, I drive on Island Crest Way almost every day. I also frequently run along Island Crest Way, so I experience the road as both a pedestrian and a motorist. Island Crest Way is simply not safe to cross as it is currently configured. It stands as a barrier for pedestrians. It is unsafe for children to cross it to go to school and for families to visit those on the other side of the road by foot. The facts are that any inconvenience caused by the reconfiguration will be greatly outweighed by increased safety for the community. I encourage everyone to become informed about the reconfiguration at www.mercerislandabc.org.
Robynne Thaxton Parkinson