“TRANSPARENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT”
At the end of the last Yelm City Council Meeting, Mayor Harding told the Council that the city would be monitoring speeding traffic around town in the coming weeks, especially on side streets. We learned more about that in the local newspaper last Friday in the article titled “Police going after speeders on Yelm roads”.
The traffic situation has not gotten any better in Yelm, as comments from time-to-time in the newspaper indicate. Everyone knows that a Thursday or Friday afternoon from 3-5pm, traffic is backed up from the stoplight back beyond Yelm High School and Saturdays, can be grid-locked in both directions in the afternoon, as Yelm Ave. was last Saturday.
Now, police are monitoring speeders, who are merely attempting to get around the traditional bottle-necks on Yelm Ave., by using West Rd., Stevens St, Coats & Cullen. These roads comprise the Inner Loop and drivers have used these roads since little was done to handle additional traffic flows on Yelm Ave, over adding a center turn lane. This writer mentioned to the City Council in 2005 & 2006 that they were kicking-the-can-down-the-road of the traffic issue here by:
1. not widening Yelm Ave. to 5 lanes instead of 3, when the city was widening this arterial & adding new development that would double the size of this town, if not more so, if approved.
2. not biting-the-bullet and eliminating parking on Yelm Ave. between 1st & 2nd streets to allow more vehicles to flow through widened lanes at the light, each way.
Then, now-deceased Olympia engineer and then-Yelm-area resident Ed Wiltsie wrote a letter and presented this to the City Council in 2006 stating that the continued development here would force traffic onto side streets & into neighborhoods with children, causing a dangerous mix. Now, the front-page of this week’s newspaper says that is the case, causing the police to step up speeding patrols.
Quoting Mr, Wiltsie to the Yelm City Council,
“…it is noted that technically, any development approved within Yelm without the Y3 Loop being funded and implemented, worsens already unsafe conditions and is contrary to the purpose of the Citys Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Traffic Ordinances, Planning Commission and Mayor & Council.”
Ed. Note: Only 1.1 miles of a 4.3 loop has been funded and built.
Read more of Mr. Wiltsie’s thorough letter of Yelm violating the city’s on Comprehensive Traffic Plan – from 2006!
Read more of Mr. Wiltsie’s 2006 remarks and the city basically ignoring his comments.
Read more form this blogger’s comments on the traffic issue, from Feb., 2007.
Keven Graves is quoted from his November 25, 2005 editorial in the local newspaper:
“We (he & then Mayor-elect Harding) agree that a transparent government is better government.”
The lack of addressing traffic issues from continued development by the City of Yelm and covered here for 5+ years is far from an environment of being “a transparent government”.
– An unaware and uninvolved public are Yelm City Council’s greatest allies in carrying forth their agenda.