April 28, 2006
Roads Capacity Needs to be the Issue
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding touts "Getting Aggressive on Transportation" in his monthly column in the Nisqually Valley News of April 28th mentioning two major items:
1. The Stevens St. Y-4 connector.
2. Killion Rd. and Yelm Ave West instersection improvements.
Both of these miss the point!
While both projects will be beneficial, they both will add major traffic onto Yelm Ave. West:
1. The Stevens St. Y-4 connector ends at Edwards St. for westbound traffic, which will have to empty onto Edwards St. and then Yelm Ave. West to continue the journey out of town.
2. The Killion Rd. intersection will add the proposed entry into the 1,200 Tahoma Terra development on the south side of this new light the mayor mentions. This road is also proposed to access the 5,000 home Thurston Highlands complex, meaning it will service 6,200 homes from the south side.
Adding a turn lane aids flow, yet adds no capacity. There is NO plan on the books to add additional lanes to carry all of this increased traffic on Yelm Ave. West. There still is one lane in and one lane out. And this city will have 1,800 new homes within 5 years according to city officials as mentioned in the January 1st Tacoma News Tribune, plus the growth in traffic from new construction outside of the city that passes through town, the new Wal-Mart, Walgreens and other construction soon to follow.
And remember, the State Highway 510 Yelm Loop the Mayor mentions in his piece will not even begin construction until 2012 and open 4 years later, 2016 -- subject to funding. Read this for yourself:
Quoting Mayor Harding, ""the benefits to the travel around the community will be greatly improved."
I ask "HOW?"
1. 1,800 new homes built in city limits within 5 years.
2. Wal-Mart adding 6,900-8,000 cars a day.
3. A highly touted Yelm Loop not coming online until 2016 if at all.
4. No added capacity to carry additional through Yelm Ave. West traffic.
You do the math!
Is the city, county and state ready to discuss 5-laning Yelm Ave. West?