By KATHY KORENGEL
LAKE STEVENS — Residents near Frontier Village told county planners they don’t want a proposed road through their quiet neighborhood. They particularly don’t want a four-lane road, they said.
About 50 people came to a Snohomish County Public Works Department open house Thursday at North Lake Middle School to review a proposed extension of Lundeen Park Way south to Highway 204. The project also entails widening the street from two to four lanes.
Although public works staff painted the project as part of a link to make it easier for residents to get around on the area’s crowded roads, many who spoke within the first 45 minutes of audience participation envisioned the project making a through route for gravel trucks and a death trap for their children.
"Children and gravel trucks don’t mix," said Nathan Goforth, an audience member, in response to an explanation that the project includes putting bike and pedestrian paths along Lundeen.
He, like many in the audience, is concerned that the gravel trucks that travel through town back and forth to Granite Falls will find it easier to take the proposed route rather than stay on Highway 9, which runs parallel to Lundeen.
"What are you going to do to keep the trucks out?" Goforth asked, as others in the audience suggested reducing the speed limit below the proposed 35 miles per hour or putting weight limits on a bridge planned for the extension.
Public works staff responded that they couldn’t do either, but they can put in signage and will look at design elements that might deter truck traffic in an upcoming environmental review of the project.
Mack Seitz, another resident, asked, "How many injuries, accidents, deaths did it take before you put in a stoplight at Lundeen (and Highway 9)? How many will it take to put in a stoplight on Lundeen?"
This section of Highway 9 is part of one of the most accident-prone roadways in the county.
Steve Thomsen of the public works department said, "That’s not a question I want to answer." However, he said a stoplight is planned for the intersection of Lundeen and Highway 204 and, if warranted, planners might look at putting in left-turn lanes or pedestrian crossings.
The most common question, however, was why the road will be widened to four lanes.
Sam Filetti, the project manager with public works, said because of residents’ concerns and because the most recent traffic study was done in 1994, public works will be redoing traffic studies to determine whether traffic projections still warrant four lanes or whether three lanes would be sufficient.
Wayne Gosar, a resident said, "Take our advice and leave it at two lanes and let it be."
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