The city of Issaquah has begun work on its Mobility Master Plan to prepare for Sound Transit’s East Link expansion to the city in 2041.
City staff is working with a consultant team to assess the current conditions, the first phase of five in the Mobility Master Plan timeline. The team is evaluating planning documents and examining how locals move around Issaquah.
“Similar to the rest of our region, Issaquah is experiencing rapid growth and is faced with the major challenges related to transportation,” said Stephen Padua, senior transportation planner at the city’s public works engineering department. “For this reason, the city has examined mobility in multiple forums during its history, and is now developing a master plan to guide and better prepare for future investments.”
The master plan will be completed through 2019 and early 2020 as city staff completes the five phases. Overall, the city hopes to ensure residents’ values and vision are reflected in future decisionmaking around transportation as the city secures investments and resources for East Link’s arrival.
The first phase includes a survey that ends on May 31. Find the survey on the city’s website or at www.opentownhall.com/portals/277/forum_home. The survey allows people to provide initial input on the guiding principals that will be solidified in phase three.
After the initial “assessment of current conditions” phase, city staff will “identify city priorities” by engaging with locals in an effort to establish guiding principals that will guide city planning over the next 22 years.
“The city formed a transportation advisory board to support the development of the Mobility Master Plan,” Padua said. “The group is made up of community members and they’ve been providing regular feedback to staff.”
City staff will then move on to the third phase, “how to achieve city priorities,” and use the community’s guiding principals to recommend policies, programs and projects around the local transportation system.
The penultimate phase will provide opportunity for community review as city staff present a draft of the Mobility Master Plan. Community revisions will then be brought to the city council for review in the final phase before council members eventually adopt the plan.
“The Mobility Master Plan will primarily be a community-driven plan,” Padua said.
As Issaquah awaits East Link over the next two decades, the light rail expansion will reach as far as Redmond by 2024. The city’s Mobility Master Plan will specifically focus on improving transportation within Issaquah while King County transportation agencies shift service to better accommodate transportation between Issaquah and East Link.
“King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit have service changes related to East Link and better connecting Issaquah to the nearest East Link stations,” Padua said.