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Monday, August 06, 2007

Call To Order:            Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 9611 SE 36th Street, Mercer Island, Washington.



Roll Call:                    City Councilmembers Sven Goldmanis, Mike Grady, Dan Grausz, El Jahncke, Steve Litzow, and Deputy Mayor Jim Pearman were present.  Mayor Bryan Cairns was absent.




(1)        AB 4208            Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan Update


Maintenance Director Glenn Boettcher Development Services Director Steve Lancaster, City Engineer Patrick Yamashita gave background information on the 1996 Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities Plan.


Following discussion there was consensus from the Council to develop a scope of work (tasks, timeline, budget, public involvement process, etc.) to update the Bicycle and Pedestrian plan focusing on some specific areas, including:

1.   What hasn't been completed from the old plan and still needs to be completed

2.   Clearly define terms and "standards" (What’s exclusive bicycle use vs. bicycle/pedestrian shared use; shoulders vs. bicycle lanes, AASHTO “standards” vs. Mercer Island practicality)

3.   Identify a prioritization process for considering future bicycle/pedestrian routes/trails development (safety, maintenance, bicycles vs. pedestrian vs. autos)

4.   Identify criteria/guiding policy in addressing bicycle/pedestrian/auto issues

5.   Parks & Rec Subcommittee will be venue to examine issues


This work is to be incorporated into the scope and presented first to the Parks and Recreation Sub-Committee then the full Council to seek authority and budget authorization. No timeframe was set, other than what was suggested in the agenda bill consistent with TIP planning for the 2009-10 budget in the spring of 2008.


The Council directed staff to begin work on connecting routes (signing, striping) from/between schools to neighborhoods using existing maintenance operational budget dollars.  Direction was given to use GIS to help better understand the gaps and where/what is out there now.  When staff returns to the Sub-Committee and then the full Council, maps and an estimate of the costs from budgeted dollars on what it will take to "connect the routes' should be provided.



Councilmember Sven Goldmanis stated, for the benefit of the Council, that information that was published in the newspaper is erroneous and not true.  He stated that information that was printed that is of private nature is private and information that is of public nature is public.  He also stated that he gave information to City Attorney Bob Sterbank regarding the public information printed in the newspaper and would more than happy to give it to him any further information to clarify.





Jason King, 4128 93rd Ave SE, commended the Police, Fire, Parks & Recreation, and Maintenance Departments for their work this weekend for Seafair to ease traffic and ensure public safety.


Lorelei Harris, 8460 West Mercer Way, believes that bike lanes on East and West Mercer Way great for kids and great for walkers, but there are too many pebbles and debris for serious bikers. She stated that unpaved areas on WMW are helpful for walkers. She asked how long you can trailers or cars be left on the on right-of-way? She would like to see the brush cut higher up on WMW.


Jim Eames, 2930 76th Ave SE, stated that 76th Ave SE is the most densely populated street on the island and would like to see it added to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.  He also encouraged residents to get rid of cars and bike more.


Maretta Holden, 8221 SE 24th Street, spoke about pedestrian safety and the ability to manage cars and bicycles. She stated that unaware cars and drivers and bicycles not alerting pedestrians well enough are hazard. She believes that many are not sure what rules of road are and that shared lanes are too narrow. She would also like the Council to consider reducing speed limits in the Town Center.


Phil Flash, 3005 69th Ave SE, presented a resolution from the Mercer Island Historical Society regarding the PEAK project and possible destruction of the East Seattle School (current Boys & Girls Club).


John Gebhart, 7360 81st Place SE, is an avid cyclist on Mercer Island.  He believes MI is best 15 miles in the Seattle area. He is concerned that shoulder improvements are mistaken for bike lanes and drivers are not courteous. He would like to see signage and system to let drivers know that it’s not a bike lane and cyclists are allowed to ride in the road.


Jan Goes, 3606 Gallagher Hill Road, bikes around the Island 3 times a week. He asked why there are not signs regarding riding single file.  He would like to see signs at beginning of Island with the rules of the road.


Everett Fruhling, 7360 Island Crest Way, is a bicycle commuter and thankful for the shoulder West Mercer Way. He would like a bike lane on Island Crest Way to connect the south end to the Town Center.


John Kerr, 7012 81st Ave SE, stated that MI is one of the nicest places to ride in Seattle.  He believes there needs to be a lot of interest around this topic and that the Council developed a good action list from study session, but he would like to see a sense of urgency around this issue.


Marguerite Sutherland, 5425 96th Ave SE, drives cautiously to protect bicyclists, but they need to ride single file and the rules for bicyclists need to be posted.


Tom Hildebrandt, 6880 West Mercer Way, stated that pedestrians and bicyclists don't mix. He would like on street bike lane for bikes and sidewalks for pedestrians and when that it isn't possible then bikes should ride in street and lane should be widened. He thinks speed limits should be reduced to reduce the need for cars to pass bikes.


Sharon Falkner, 5602 East Mercer Way, would like the Council to add the Middle School to the work plan for getting kids to and from school.  She would like to see a dedicated route from south end to Town Center.  She stated that as a driver wide shoulders are helpful when driving, and as a cyclist she feels safe in slim shoulder.





(2)        It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Grady to:

Approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of July 16, 2007 as written.

Motion passed 6-0.



Consent Calendar:


Councilmember Grausz asked that AB 4205 be removed from the Consent Calendar and added as first item of Regular Business


(3)        Payables: $ 954,874.57              Payroll: $ 570,730.16 (7/20/07)

                                                                        $ 582,981.86 (8/2/07)


(5)        AB 4209            Approve Interlocal with DSHS for the “Communities That Care” Project

                                    Motion: Authorize the City Manager to sign the 2007 Interlocal Agreement with the Department of Social and Health Services for reducing underage drinking for the “Communities That Care” project.


It was moved by Councilmember Grady; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Approve the Consent Calendar and the recommendations contained therein.

Motion passed 6-0.



Regular Business:


(4)        AB 4205            Parkwood (Sub-Basin 45B) Watercourse Stabilization & Trail – Bid Award


Councilmember Grausz spoke about the value of adding this trail to the Mercer Island trail system.


It was moved by Councilmember Grausz; seconded by Councilmember Litzow to:

Award the Sub-Basin 45b Stabilization Project to Gary Harper Construction in the amount of $312,861.10, set the total project budget at $485,000, and direct staff to administer the construction contract.

Motion passed 6-0.



(6)        AB 4210            Public Art Purchase of I-90 Paintings


It was moved by Councilmember Litzow; seconded by Councilmember Goldmanis to:

Direct the Arts Council and staff to purchase the two oil paintings of the I-90 bridge construction by Florence Palmer.

Motion passed 6-0.


Deputy Mayor Pearman thanked Recreation Superintendent Jennifer Berner for her 5 years of service to the City of Mercer Island.


(7)        AB 4207            Merrimount & Island Crest Way Intersection Design Scheme


Assistant City Engineer Anne Tonella-Howe and Joe Giacobazzi of KPG, Inc presented the proposed layout for the approved option at the June 18, 2007 Council Meeting to include Option 4a (modified) with two additional modifications: (1) review the length of c-curb north of the intersection in the northbound lane so as not to impact driveways and (2) to maintain two southbound lanes on Island Crest Way immediately south of the intersection in the TIP.


They also presented a tentative project schedule:

·         August 6, 2007 Council Meeting: Present update on option 4a (modified) with two additional modifications

·         Community Meeting September 6, 2007; 7:00 pm: Present proposed project improvements and schedule

·         Construction begins late September or early October: Install proposed improvements under Small Public Works Contract

·         Follow-up Data Collection in March & April 2008 (date to be scheduled pending completion of construction): Collect post construction data to determine the effect of the improvements at the intersection and where any traffic diversions occur

·         May 2008 Community Meeting (date to be scheduled pending completion of data collection): Present results of post construction analysis and recommendations

·         May 2008 Council Meeting (date to be scheduled pending completion of data collection): Present results of post construction analysis and recommendations


Following questions of staff the Council discussed the proposed layout.  Councilmember Jahncke proposed eliminating restricting of the right-hand southbound Island Crest Way lane to right turn only. There was not consensus from the Council to implement this. The Council directed staff to proceed with the project as proposed.







Councilmember Absences: 

Mayor Cairns’ absence was excused.


Planning Schedule: 

There were none.


Board Appointments:

There were none.


Councilmember Reports:

Councilmember Jahncke spoke about the disruption to the Island with the bridge closures for Seafair and would like the Council to discuss it further.

Councilmember Grady reported on the 520 project and I-5 closures.

Councilmember Grausz reported on the ballfield study reviewed at the Parks & Rec Sub-Committee meeting,



Adjournment:           8:06 pm


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