Sammamish City Council has asked city staff to develop a process to evaluate existing barricades and future connectivity (both for vehicular and non-motorized traffic) within the City of Sammamish. City staff reviewed a proposed public involvement process for this work with the City Council in June 2009. The process is committed to being flexible and open. Please see below an outline of key steps that are included:
The end result will hopefully provide clear criteria to determine if an existing barricade will stay or be removed and if it is determined that it should be removed, what steps and/or improvements are necessary before it is removed. It is also intended that the criteria will be able to be used to guide future decisions related to opening future motorized and non motorized traffic connections within the city.
The City of Sammamish wants to hear from as many different residents as possible relating to the subject of connectivity. Our motto is “Building Community Together”. This means that the staff cannot create a community without the help of the City Council and the residents who live here.
To kick start the process City staff hired an outside consultant, Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin, to assist with the development of the public outreach. They participated in a “bus tour” of some of the existing barricades that exist within Sammamish. This occurred on July 28, 2009.
The purpose of the tour was to see how the barricaded locations are each unique. A handful of citizens joined the bus tour and provided some great insight. It was very clear during the bus tour that with or without connections, there are many existing concerns around traffic and pedestrian safety.
The City held a debrief meeting with our consultant on July 30, 2009 that was videotaped and currently running on channel 21 for viewing. Our first citywide outreach occurred on October 22, 2009 and October 28, 2009.We held the same meeting on two different nights to provide flexibility for residents who wanted to attend. The purpose of the meetings was to help develop and evaluate criteria and steps to be applied to specific locations as the process progresses. The meetings were well attended. We had approximately 70 attendees both nights. As participants entered the meeting room they were provided an agenda that had a pre-assigned number. This directed residents to a random table with the intent of providing everyone the opportunity to hear diverse viewpoints such as geographically, because of where they live in the city.
Each table ended up with approximately 10 residents and was provided a staff facilitator. The assignment given to each table was to prepare a list of criteria that City Council should use when reviewing whether specific barricades should be removed or remain in place. We asked the tables be specific and to prioritize when describing the criteria. Ideally, the criteria would be specific and measurable. Each table then listed their criteria on large easels.
We heard very similar themes from each group. Recommended criteria included (but are not limited to):
Staff presented a recommended list of criteria to the City Council at the March 15th Study Session.
Council provided staff useful input on the criteria to be used.They suggested that the cost of potential mitigation be included, either as a standalone criterion or as a method to prioritize projects.They were interested in knowing the history behind some of our streets being constructed without meeting standards.For example what variations were approved before construction and why?
As part of the next steps discussion staff committed to returning with the criteria refined based on the conversations as well as performance standards so that we can make our criteria measurable quantitatively not just qualitatively.We will also be providing Council a recommendation of what location we should apply the criteria to first.
Once the location is selected, staff plans to hold a more intimate meeting (rather than citywide) with the affected areas around said barricade to prioritize the criteria and share unique attributes.
On June 14, 2010 staff presented the refined criteria to City Council at the Study Session.
The criteria listed in the presentation are NOT listed in any particular order. The idea is that the neighbors who are most impacted by the barricades existence and/or removal would be invited to a series of intimate meetings focused on the particular unique attributes that influence the traffic as well as the unique history. The first location to be studied closely against the criteria has been chosen as the barricade on SE 32nd Street between 220th and 224th. The influence area that we have as our targeted invite list is shown on the map below:
The first meeting is scheduled for September 23, 2010 from 6 PM to 8 PM at Sunny Hills Elementary School. This meeting will be focused on sharing the data that city staff has collected over the summer, listening to neighbors concerns and suggestions and assigning weight to the criteria. More information will follow as we get closer. This meeting will be followed up with a second meeting in October (to be scheduled) with the same neighbors to share answers obtained since the September meeting and to hopefully share a draft recommendation for City Council's consideration.
There is a lot of history around why and when barricades were erected in the City. There have been studies done by King County, by various developers and be the City of Sammamish. Staff is working to gather some of the historical data. We have also been fortunate to have citizens offer their research materials. We will continue to gather information so that as the specific barricade discussion happen, staff will have as much of the historical picture as possible.
Based on what we hear at the public meeting there may be new data and studies to assemble. For example, projected traffic volume shifts can be pulled from the City’s transportation model. This type of data would be very helpful as neighborhoods begin to understand the implications of changes to the City’s roadway network.
Download the map showing the various locations that are considered a part of this process.