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9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7600
Fax: 206.276.7663
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Island Crest Way & Merrimount Intersection (2009)

The Island Crest Way and Merrimount intersection will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on December 7, 2009. The meeting starts at 6 pm. The Island Crest Way portion of the agenda will begin at 7 pm, and there will be an opportunity for public comment at that time.

At the meeting, the City Council will be provided information as it reconsiders future improvements to the Island Crest Way corridor and its intersection with Merrimount Drive. Previous decisions related to this corridor and the recommendations of the Island Crest Way Citizen Panel (Citizen Panel) will be summarized. Development Services Director Steve Lancaster will present the Citizen Panel process and recommendation. Consulting engineer Joe Giacobazzi of KPG, Inc. will describe the alternatives and be available to answer technical questions.

To read the agenda bill and supporting documents, click here.

What is happening at the Island Crest Way and Merrimount intersection?

What drivers see at the intersection now are temporary improvements installed in 2007 in order to decrease accidents at the intersection, particularly the dangerous “T” bone accidents. Previous to the installation of these temporary improvements, the Island Crest Way and Merrimount intersection had the highest rate of accidents of any of the intersections on the island.

After several months of analysis and collecting comments from citizens, the City Council approved a plan for a more permanent change to the Island Crest Way and Merrimount intersection. However, based on the continuing high level of community interest in this project, changes to the intersection have been postponed until additional public outreach is completed.

In order to engage citizens in a more thorough discussion of the intersection, last fall (2008), the Mercer Island City Council approved 15 people to serve on the Island Crest Way Project Citizen Panel to explore options for improving the Island Crest Way and Merrimount intersection. The citizens were chosen from 45 applications and have since volunteered many hours of time to discuss this important Island intersection.

The Citizen Panel explored 10 different alternatives over the last several months and reached consensus on two designs. There was a community drop-in meeting on March 3 at the Community Center to look at these designs for Island Crest Way. This spring, the Citizen Panel’s recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for their consideration.

The following drawings illustrate the two alternatives recommended by the Citizen Panel:
B2 C3

The Citizen Panel met three times:
November 13 Minutes
December 9 Notes <--other road designs Minutes
January 29 Minutes

Only those individuals selected by Council may participate on the Citizen Panel, however the meetings have been open to the public and there has been an opportunity for public comment at each meeting.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Anne Tonella-Howe at or at 206-275-7813.

The following citizens are serving on the Island Crest Way Project Citizen Panel:

  • Marc Berejka
  • Deborah Ehlers
  • Bryan Goode
  • Betty Harper
  • Jake Jacobson
  • Thomas Jones
  • Todd Kelsay
  • Scott Milburn
  • Elliot Newman
  • Peter Orser
  • Shawn Parry
  • Mary Stoll
  • Sam Sullivan
  • Bonnie Wojciehowski
  • Eva Zemplenyi

The Assistant City Engineer serves as overall Project Manager and coordinator. The City’s Communications Coordinator provides meeting facilitation and logistics including meeting notices, minutes and information dissemination and arrangements for meeting facilities, tours and field trips. KPG Engineering will provide all technical analyses and production/presentation of text and graphical materials. This public involvement process will require consultant work and other incidental meeting expenses estimated at $ 52,000.

To read the public involvement process charter, please click here.


July 2008 Update
At the July 21 council meeting, the City Council requested further review and public outreach regarding the plan for reconfiguring Island Crest Way near the Merrimount intersection. A few weeks ago, Council approved as part of the six-year Transportation Improvement Plan a project to reconfigure a portion of Island Crest Way into three lanes, one lane going each direction with a center left-turn lane, between the 4100 and 5300 blocks

Those who drive that stretch of road on a regular basis have seen temporary changes at the intersection of Island Crest Way and Merrimount. The intersection has had the highest rate of accidents on the Island, and many of the accidents were the most severe type such as angle or “T-bone” accidents. Changes were installed in 2007 on a trial basis which have been successful in improving safety at the intersection. Since then, the changes have been analyzed and Mercer Island residents have provided comments through phone calls, email and public meetings.

In order to evaluate the three-lane configuration, the City will be gathering further public input and data over the coming months.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Anne Tonella-Howe at or at 206-275-7813.

Previous Information

Name of Project: Island Crest Way and Merrimount - Intersection Improvements
Project Type: Streets
Project Description:
Temporary improvements to the intersection of Island Crest Way and Merrimount Drive were installed in October 2007. The design was the option selected by City Council for installation on a trial basis for a 6-month period.
On May 5, 2008, City Council reviewed the data and discussed other options for the intersection.

To read more:
Study Session Information
Options #1, #2, & #3
Options #3a, #4 & #5

At a community meeting on April 16, 2008, the temporary improvements were reviewed and citizens commented. Following is the information that was presented at that meeting:
Accident History
Alternatives Presented to Council in 2007
Alternative Chosen by Council
What We Heard Then
Average Peak Hour Changes with Temporary Improvements
Positives & Negatives of Temporary Improvements
What Citizens Have Said So Far*
*more comments were collected at the community meeting
Next Steps
Project Plan
Summary of Turning Movements - 7:45 - 8:45 AM
Summary of Turning Movements - 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Summary of Turning Movements - 4:00 - 5:00 PM
Accidents Summary Sketch - 2005
Traffic Volumes & Data Collection Map

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