City of Sequim staff seek community input over three days for what they’re calling the South Sequim Complete Streets Project to design and construct a street connecting Ninth Avenue to Brown Road between Washington Street and U.S. Highway 101.
The collaborative meeting, or design charette, runs Wednesday-Friday, Aug. 28-30, starting with a kick-off meeting from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 28, at the Sequim Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St.
Framework, a planning and public outreach consultant, facilitates the conversations.
“This is a ground floor approach,” city engineer Matt Klontz, said.
Previous discussions and long-term plans identified Prairie Street as the planned “connector street” but city staff said this isn’t just looking at Prairie Street.
The project uses “Complete Street” principles that city staff said addresses full street design aspects for vehicles and pedestrians, safety, neighborhood aesthetics and utilities management that can also be used elsewhere in the city for other projects.
City staff said the three-day discussions will result in preliminary routing and concept designs for the road’s width, sidewalks, landscaping, bike lanes, street lights, stormwater management and more.
At the kick-off, Framework staffers will present information about South Sequim Avenue’s vehicle and pedestrian traffic, and its infrastructure before leading discussions on development concepts.
Discussions will continue Aug. 29-30 with an open design session where staff will work to produce design concepts with community input. These sessions are open to the public at the former Sequim Administration Building, 226 N. Sequim Ave.
A full schedule of events for those two days will be available at the kick-off meeting. For more information, call city project engineer Dave Nakagawara at 360-681-2479.
Klontz said the idea to improve Prairie Street has been in place in some capacity with multiple city plans including the Transportation Master Plan, 6-year Capital Improvement Plan and its Comprehensive Plan.
Ninth Avenue has come up in recent city discussions as it is by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) facility. City staff said plans for a connector street predate the proposed facility.
Klontz told city councilors in April 2018 that one of the reasons for the project was because West Washington Street is at capacity and drivers and pedestrians need an east-west alternative to take the pressure off.
Another reason for a connector street is to connect two Economic Opportunity Areas near U.S. Highway 101 that were created in the city’s updated 2015 Comprehensive Plan. Klontz told city councilors that if a connector like Prairie Street wasn’t improved before an Economic Opportunity Area developed, then congestion could worsen on Washington Street.
Last September, city councilors unanimously declined a $1 million, 20-year loan from the Washington State’s Public Works Board for pre-construction planning to improve Prairie Street.
Sequim’s Public Works director David Garlington said then the contract stated the city needed 30 percent of funds for construction on Prairie Street secured within the two-year loan draw period, which city staff estimated at about $1 million.
City staff and councilors agreed to move forward with public outreach using Real Estate Excise Tax and Transportation Benefit District funds.
Garlington said city staff wanted to continue going forward with community outreach because the project is “a good, viable project” with “a lot of interest in it, and a lot of concerns from the community.”
“Washington Street is very busy,” Garlington said last September. “We’d like to take some of the pressure of that and facilitate movement similarly on Cedar, Fir and Spruce (streets) north off Washington.”
For more information about the City of Sequim, visit www.sequim wa.gov or call 360-683-4908.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.