“The federal economic stimulus package is sending $5.4 million to Thurston County communities for eight local transportation projects, including $1 million to complete Lacey’s Woodland Trail, officials said Tuesday [Feb. 25].
The money is part of the $492 million sent to Washington state for transportation projects, $151 million of which is earmarked for use in local projects approved by local transportation planning organizations. No state projects in Thurston County receive funding from the larger, $341 million state share of the federal stimulus money, however…
No South Sound projects qualified for an additional $341 million in money earmarked for state projects in Washington. Yelm had sought $11.3 million to start constructing the first 1.5-mile phase of the “bypass loop” along state Route 507.
But Rep. Judy Clibborn, the Mercer Island Democrat who chairs the House Transportation Committee, said she plans to secure $10 million for the first phase of the Yelm project this year using state dollars in the 2009-11 budget,” quoting The Olympian.
Ed. Note: As discussed here last month, if funding is obtained, the additional monies will be robbed from Phase 2 of the Bypass r-o-w and engineering funding, leaving that part of the Bypass unfunded until at earliest, the 2021-2023 biennium. That means there will be no Bypass at Wal-Mart for over a decade and a half – a building that got approved using an unfunded Bypass to mitigate the store’s traffic. The Yelm area will pay a dear price for a partially funded Bypass taking truck and vehicular traffic through residential streets to access a Phase 1 Bypass (i.e. Killion and/or Cullens).
Mayor Ron Harding said in his recent State of the City talk that traffic is one of the things that had improved in Yelm in the last year thanks to all of the road projects the city has completed on his watch. While the city is to be commended for completion of the Inner loop, many of the existing street and sidewalk improvements were completed with federal or state grants. Many of the miles of new roads and sidewalks added to the city’s grid were in new developments, for which the developers paid. Of course, almost 50% of the funding for the addition of a center turn lane and sidewalks on Yelm Ave. West, Killion & Tahoma Blvd. improvements were completed on the backs of the property owners along those roads, with a developer requested LID.
Further, let’s put the traffic “improvements” in perspective. As reported here and in every area newspaper, traffic trips from Yelm to Olympia, Tacoma and elsewhere and to Yelm greatly decreased last year with $4 a gallon gasoline and continued to slide as the economy tumbled and gasoline prices dropped. So, YES, traffic has improved.
ProtectYelm.org filed this report on Yelm’s reported traffic improvement. CLICK HERE
KING-5 TV had this report today about less traffic in Seattle due to the economy.