I applaud the work the city has done on the Stevens St connector that opened September 27th and have said so publicly [see the Yelm Community blog September 26.].
While some may find public comments, perhaps as well as my own, “pointing fingers and complaining,” as Nisqually Valley News publisher/editor Keven Graves said in his editorial last Friday, the Yelm Planning Commission was told on September 17 by Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) Senior Planner and City of Yelm adviser Kathy McCormick the State officially informed her Yelm’s main arteries are highways of regional significance, which states level of service (LOS) D (the grade given roads based on a traffic analysis) is regional policy on the city’s Highways 507/510.
She stated the Yelm plan is, therefore, in “conflict.”
Ms. McCormick said that Yelm’s Comprehensive Plan Transportation Chapter’s lower LOS F threshold (the lowest grade possible for roads) is NOT consistent with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) standard or how the Thurston County Comprehensive Traffic Plan is supposed to read.
THIS IS THE CONFLICT.
I asked Ms. McCormick and the Commission how LOS D is going to be included in Yelm’s Plan.
Other than Ms. McCormick saying Yelm’s plan is in “conflict,” there was no answer.
For the city to adopt LOS D, they must enact LOS D according to measurements from a traffic impact analysis.
One of the immediate remedies to begin adherence to LOS D would be for Yelm to reduce incremental,
additional local traffic to the city’s main thoroughfares by no longer approving large traffic generators like housing developments, commercial developments and big box stores.
I asked City Assistant Planner Tami Merriman if LOS F remained in the Plan that the Planning Commission forwarded to the City Council for review later this month. She confirmed that to be the case, and this after Ms. McCormick informed the Yelm Planning Commission that they must take action to have their Plan be consistent with the Thurston County Transportation Plan. No action was taken by the Yelm Planning Commission to remedy this situation. [Ed. Note: This writer sat there dumb-founded that the Yelm Planning Commission did not address Ms. McCormick’s directions.]
If Yelm’s main roads must be consistent with the county and be LOS D, the city of Yelm has much work to do.
“Complaining”, as NVN Editor/Publisher Keven Graves states in his editorial this week?
I don’t think so. Holding our city’s officials accountable as to how they will follow State and County requirements was the nature of my question.
After all, we all know traffic is the number one issue in this community. Now we know the city is in conflict with the regional traffic plan.
Further, we now know the State and TRPC Rep. have given notice to the city’s Planning Commission of the “conflict” and direction to remedy this conflict, on the record, Mr. Graves.
This Wednesday night (October 10), the Thurston County Planning Commission will have a special public hearing to take public input on the Regional Plan. The previously scheduled 2 meetings were canceled for lack of a quorum amongst the 9 members, which turned out to be a blessing, as more people had time to craft comments and submit to the Thurston Planning Commission..
Won’t you consider attending this meeting or sending your comments in writing by Wednesday, October 10th.
Aimee Swenson, Associate Planner for Development Services stated to me that anyone who wishes to have their comments be included as part of the public input, may do so in writing by the October 10th meeting.
You may email them directly to her at:
or via snail mail to:
2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW
Bldg.1, 2nd Floor
Olympia, WA 98502
Concurrently, you may send your comments to:
Kathy McCormick, Senior Planner
Attn: Thurston Regional Planning Com. (TRPC)
2424 Heritage Ct SW, Suite A
Olympia, WA 98502
or directly to her email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to mark all comments for the Thurston County Planning Commission Public Hearing Oct. 10.
All comments must be received by the close of the hearing on the 10th.
LET’S TELL THE THURSTON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION THAT THEIR PARTNER IN THE REGIONAL PLAN, YELM, MUST FOLLOW THAT PLAN AND WE EXPECT THEM TO HOLD YELM ACCOUNTABLE TO DO SO!
THE THURSTON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION NEEDS TO HEAR DIRECTLY FROM YOU!