Sammamish barricade meeting
October 1, 2010 · 9:01 AM
If there is one thing I was sure of regarding the Sammamish barricade meeting on Sept. 23, it was that it would be 2 hours of the same old, same old. There would be people there pleading for it to remain, for all of the same reasons they have in the past, and people demanding it be removed, for all of the same reasons they had in the past. What I was certain of was that we would be given one last chance to speak to the council about our concerns. That was what we were told.
The opportunity we were given was not to speak to them, but write our concerns down on sheets that had pre-set questions. This was not what the residents came for, and this did not serve the purpose the city had hoped for.
This material will be presented to council for consideration toward their decision on the barricade. In the minds of four council members this decision has already been made. And so this process is unfair to the three new council members who have not been part of this process over the years. How then can they make a fair decision if not given a chance to hear the residents?
At the meeting, city traffic engineer Steven Chen seemed unaware of the problem with the grade of the road and the sight distance issue right at the barricade. When my husband commented that SE 32nd St at one point is a one lane road, Mr. Chen immediately commented that it was 20’ wide. Our Traffic Engineer is unaware of the grade of the road and the sight distance issue, but knows exactly the width of the road two blocks down? When the issue of safety came up, Mr. Chen shrugged it off.
When questioned about the safety issue at the barricade, Nancy Whitten (the only council member who attended), said there was a problem with an intersection further along and removing the barricade would solve this problem. Removing the barricade would only create another problem. To solve the other problem further along you need to put a 3 way stop in. Again no response for the concern of safety at the barricade.
This new due process was to be unbiased and transparent. It fell short of that, from the announced times that the meeting was to be held being different, to the comments about the increase in number of cars being incorrect, to the way this meeting took place.
I would like to suggest that when the four council members vote to take the barricade out, there be a trial run. Keep all of the vehicles, home owners, delivery trucks, construction vehicles as they are now, but replace the pedestrians, the children we are trying to keep safe, with the children and grandchildren of the city staff and council members.
Once the staff and council’s children and grandchildren have been used for the trial we could then get back to the discussion of safety. A discussion that so far has eluded this topic.