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Traffic and S. 312th Street | Federal Way letter to the editor, Jan. 15
Surprised at the choice for S. 312th Street as a way to relieve the traffic congestion on the S. 320th Street exit?
I'm not. As someone who attended a number of public informational meetings about this traffic project, it was clear from the beginning that the powers-that-be had already decided that S. 312th Street was their choice for the project. So what was the point of even holding public meetings, except to say that they had given everyone a chance to express their opinions? Just enough to appease people?
It is very interesting to note the differences in the three proposed options and their impact on the surrounding area.
Alternative One: The chosen project will offer a new I-5 access that incorporates S. 312th Street. Let's see, S. 312th has heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic and is nearby or adjacent to two schools (Truman and Federal Way High School), a senior assisted living community (The Woodmark), low-income senior apartment housing, a new low-income housing project being built next to the Transit Center, the skateboard park, Steel Lake baseball, softball and soccer fields, and Steel Lake Park, the only park with a lake in the city, highly used throughout the year by Federal Way residents. This doesn't account for multiple apartment buildings and homes along here, but there are residential neighborhoods that will be impacted by increased traffic as a "shortcut" to get to Pacific Highway. This is already a current problem as people try to escape traffic on S. 312th Street.
Alternative Two: Could utilize the current S. 324th Street I-5 exit ramp that is already in place, and is adjacent to Belmont Park (a senior living mobile home development) and the parking lot for The Commons shopping mall. Hmmmm????? Not a lot of pedestrian or bicycle traffic here — although, yes, a foot bridge for seniors living at Belmont Park would be a much-needed addition.
Alternative Three: Do nothing.
WOW! Kind of seems like a no-brainer to me. Which impacts the most people? Which impacts surrounding neighborhoods? Which has a water quality issue — would that be on S. 324th along The Commons parking lot? I don't think so.
Was I surprised at the choice for this new traffic access? Not a bit.
Disappointed in a choice that seems to lack common sense? You bet.