Providence Point residents speak out in support for intersection improvements

Issaquah residents supported a traffic light on SE 43rd Street at a CIP public hearing on July 1.

Issaquah residents voiced their desire for safety improvements along Southeast 43rd Street at Providence Point at the city’s Capital Improvement Plan 2020-2025 public hearing on July 1.

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a document outlining the upcoming capital projects expected over a six-year period. As part of the process to approve an updated plan, the city council held a public hearing to accept additional comment from citizens regarding the plan and project list.

The CIP is done every two years, informing the city’s budget process and serving as a road map for future planning. Budget analyst Susie Monsell gave the council a brief overview of some of the previous policy discussions including the possibility of a 0.2 percent sales tax increase through the Transportation Benefit District. According to Monsell, the council has voiced preference for accelerating work on the Southeast 43rd Street Intersection Improvements using the existing cash flow with no new taxes.

More than a dozen Issaquah residents spoke to the council to ask that the improvements planned for Southeast 43rd Street be of high priority. The intersection of the road with the entrance to the Providence Point neighborhood has been a long time concern for residents who report that unsafe left turn situations are common along the road. Other concerns surround excessive speeds of drivers and the lack of traffic calming devices that could slow them down.

One resident, Victoria Hardy, cited serious accidents at the location and said that the growing development along 43rd Street and 228th Southeast continuous to add traffic to the already busy street.

“The implications are enormous,” she said. “If you have ever sat in the left turn lane waiting to go into the front gate of providence point, and been confronted with speeding drivers coming around the blind corner just up the hill, you would have no doubt that funds must be found immediately to support this project sooner rather than later.”

Every person who spoke that night echoed similar sentiments to Hardy. Issaquah citizen Jeff Matson also emphasized the importance of the project and asked that the city not pursue an additional tax increase to fund the current projects.

The council did not take any action or have any discussion after the public hearing. The six-year CIP public hearing will continue at the July 15 city council meeting, where it is anticipated that the council will vote on the CIP after the public hearing and discussion.