Letters to the Editor

To Council, reconsider ICW-Merrimount

I agree completely with Peter Ormiston’s letter in last week’s Reporter. He urged the City Council to re-evaluate their ‘road diet’ decision and install a traffic signal at Island Crest Way and Merrimount Drive. I do not understand the rationale for converting our only major north-south arterial to a two-lane arterial in order to give one lane over to bicycle traffic. Island Crest Way is our longest and most important arterial and should be respected as the unique and vital transportation corridor it is. Our city sits directly over the Seattle Fault, yet the city appears to ignore that potential hazard and is not seriously planning how to evacuate our population if the fault breaks. As it is now, the road has become very hazardous with the constriction at Merrimount Drive.

Some time ago, following four serious near-accidents due to drivers suddenly pulling into my southbound lane, I phoned the police to complain about the new configuration and the high risk of accidents there. The officer responded, “The police department agrees with you.” Astounded at this news, I said I assumed the City Council would have planned it conferring with the police. He replied, “We were not consulted.”

Councilmembers, please give up this perhaps trendy ‘road diet’ configuration and restore ICW to four lanes, reopen the 44th Street route to the library and put in a traffic light at Merrimount. It’s straightforward and simple, and worked well for 40 years.

Marguerite Sutherland

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