The City-directed Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation Committee (NTMC) is made up of volunteer representatives from Enatai, Surrey Downs and Bellecrest. They met for many months exploring possible solutions to anticipated neighborhood traffic impacts during East Link construction. They will continue to monitor traffic impacts in the neighborhoods and take action if/when they believe there are demonstrated needs as construction begins and continues.
August 2017 Update from Nancy Lacombe City of Bellevue:
Neighborhood Traffic Mitigation:
The committee had a very challenging job. They have been asked to determine specific mitigation tools across a few neighborhoods without fully understanding what potential construction impacts might be, while balancing tradeoffs to residential access and not put something in place that might work in one area but have adverse effects in another area. The committee does not operate under parameters that requires decisions to be made by a straight “yes” or “no” vote. The committee uses input from staff and residents and discusses how tools could be put into place that would balance factors such as engineering feasibility, results from traffic monitoring, enforceability, expected impacts and other influences.
Traffic monitoring completed recently has noted a nominal increase in volumes on 108th Ave SE between Main Street and Bellevue Way since the closure of the South Bellevue Park and Ride. Forthcoming construction will reduce 112th Ave SE between SE 8th Street and Bellevue Way from four lanes to two lanes. A similar configuration was put into place when city utilities work was underway which did result in traffic diversion onto 108th Ave SE between Main St and Bellevue Way. Due to these considerations, it is an appropriate time to pilot a turn restriction project. Turn restrictions would only be in place between 4-7 pm and only for 3 month trial period. A 3 month trial period allows any potential anomalies with school being in session or on break and a sort of “settling” after change of travel patterns is implemented. The committee and staff are committed to understanding how the restrictions impact traffic and also how the community feels about them.
While the 4-7 PM turn restrictions will make it harder for Enatai residents to use 108th Ave SE between Main St and Bellevue Way to get to get from downtown to Enatai streets, there remain multiple ways to get to Enatai. Please see the second page of the attached graphic that shows these routes. Similarly, these restrictions are not without impact to residents on 108th Ave SE north of Bellevue Way. Getting south will require traveling north to Main St to 112th Ave, Bellevue Way, or other routes.
At the committee meetings during the year, the committee has had a variety of options of how to mitigate for traffic. They ultimately landed on a recommendation not to implement anything unless there was increased traffic (the “monitor and respond approach”). The plan that was developed was intended to be fluid, with the committee understanding they would need to be involved throughout construction, and would need to remain engaged with their respective neighborhoods as construction activity ebbs and flows.
In addition to reaching out to City staff, there is significant information available on our website. We attempt to keep the East Link pages up-to-date, and cover topics we hear a lot about (construction, noise, and mitigation). We encourage you to visit the East Link Web Page. More specifically related to your email there is a page on mitigation, and one on South Bellevue traffic mitigation.
As stated already, city staff are dedicated to making ourselves available via phone, email, in person or at neighborhood gatherings. Please do not hesitate to contact Marie Jensen, East Link Outreach and Community Relations Lead. I believe you have most everyone’s contact information, but I have included a couple below. You also know you are welcome to call me anytime.
Further information is available in this summary of the April 2017 committee meeting at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/Transportation/EL-NTMC-Summary-Mtg_8-041017.pdf