Mukilteo seeks grant to study traffic flow

By Janice Podsada

Herald Writer

MUKILTEO — Removing the gate on Saint Andrews Drive didn’t remove the controversy.

Speeders still zip up the steep residential street. Parents still worry about their kids playing outside during rush hour when a line of cars zips along the 25-mph road like a sidewinder.

Now, city officials plan to apply for a grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board to study whether one or two new roadways could divert traffic from Saint Andrews, said Mukilteo public works director Tom Hansen.

??The first proposed new road would connect Picnic Point Drive to Harbour Pointe Boulevard. The alternative is a new road to connect Beverly Park Road to Cyrus Way.

The call for a feasibility study arose from a recent city-sponsored survey and residents’ ongoing desire to reduce the volume and speed of traffic on Saint Andrews Drive.

In July, the city sent 127 surveys to residents who live on or near Saint Andrews Drive. Seventy were returned. Overwhelmingly, respondents said "No" to traffic-calming devices such as speed bumps and traffic islands, and "Yes" to building one or two new roads.

Any new roadway, however, would cost millions of dollars. And the grant, which the city hopes to secure sometime in 2002, only funds the feasibility study, Hansen said.

The residential character of Saint Andrews Drive was blurred when the street first opened in 1992 and commuters discovered it was a shortcut from the Wind and Tide neighborhood in unincorporated Snohomish County to Mukilteo’s Harbour Pointe area. The shortcut saved time for students commuting to Kamiak High School and motorists going to Harbour Pointe.

Controversy erupted in September 2000 when the city installed a steel swing gate at Saint Andrews Drive and 116th Street SW, closing the street to traffic. The intersection marks the city’s southern city limit.

The gate, intended to remain in place for a year while police and traffic consultants studied the street’s traffic woes, was removed by court order. The gate got the legal ax in January when Superior Court Judge Ellen Fair ruled against Mukilteo’s decision to close the street.

Fair ruled in favor of a citizen’s coalition that argued Saint Andrews Drive was a public street that must remain open to traffic. Despite the ruling, Saint Andrews’ residents have never strayed from looking for a permanent solution to speed demons.

"The problems on Saint Andrews are still ongoing," Hansen said.

You can call Herald Writer Janice Podsada at 425-339-3029 or send e-mail to

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