Monroe hopes bond will help fix traffic

MONROE — Traffic is an issue in Monroe.

If people do nothing, it will only get worse, City Councilman Mitch Ruth said.

“We have a problem. We need to do something about it,” Ruth said.

City leaders are planning to put a $10 million bond on the ballot in November, Ruth said. That’s the biggest bond in recent years that the city will ask its residents to approve.

The city already has identified 43 transportation projects to tackle over the next 22 years. The projects are estimated to cost about $43 million. Major projects focus on heavily used roads such as U.S. 2, 179th Avenue and Chain Lake Road. The city also wants to add sidewalks and bicycle lanes, Ruth said.

In addition to U.S. 2, Highways 522 and 203 carry thousands of vehicles in and out of Monroe every day. Trains also pass through Monroe.

The city can’t improve all the three highways, Ruth said. But it still can do its part to improve the flow of traffic.

“If this is the No. 1 problem and we agree it is, are you willing to pay to fix it?” Ruth said.

Last year, people in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties rejected a 20-year, $17.8 billion package of new roads and light rail expansion. The package would’ve built a portion of a bypass for U.S. 2 around Monroe.

Ruth said he hopes city residents will support the $10 million bond, which will be used only for projects in Monroe.

“I think people here are ready. They are ready to take steps to improve traffic congestion,” he said.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or

@4. OT ByNumbers hedder:By the numbers

About 16,000 people live in the city of Monroe.

$43 millionis needed to tackle 43 transportation projects in the city over the next 22 years.

A $10 million bondis expected to be on the ballot in November. The bond would be used to pay for transportation projects in the city.

$165,000was spent creating the city’s transportation plan.

41,000 vehiclesdaily use U.S. 2 between Kelsey Street and Highway 522 in Monroe.

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