Cityto hear public’s transportation priorities

Published on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 by eg Olson

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City to hear public’s transportation priorities

By Meg Olson

The residential streets recommended for improvement by the Blaine street advisory committee will be ranked along with some major arterial projects and improvements for pedestrians in the new six-year transportation plan for the city.

At their June 12 meeting city council members will hold a public hearing on the proposed list of priorities for city transportation improvements.

Near the top of the list is expected to be the reconstruction of Marine Drive from the lift station to the fishing pier, the second phase to improvements scheduled to go ahead this summer along with additional wastewater overflow tanks under the section of the street opposite the marina gates. That first phase of Marine Drive improvements was the city’s number one priority in last year’s transportation improvement plan, while the second phase was in fifth place.

Improvements to the first three blocks of H Street east of Peace Portal Drive are also being considered. Public works staff is proposing resurfacing the road and reconstructing roadside features to reflect the downtown turn-of-the-century and Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The project was ninth on the 2006 list.

New to the list of proposed arterial projects this year is repairs and new asphalt overlay for Bell Road between Peace Portal Drive and Hughes Avenue.

A pedestrian and bike path along the harbor from 3rd Street to Hughes Avenue and a pedestrian overpass connecting the boardwalk to the marina are back under consideration from the 2006-2011 list.

A new pedestrian project being considered is closing the pedestrian gap on Semiahmoo Parkway by building a separated path for pedestrians from the top of the hill and connecting with the park’s pathway on the spit. “It would be too steep to have the bikes in here with pedestrians,” said Blaine public works director Steve Banham.
The new path would be built in conjunction with the first phase of stormwater improvements planned for west Blaine.

Environmental review and design for exits 276 and 274 were ranked second and sixth respectively on the 2006 list. Staff is recommending keeping the items on the new list but with a different focus.

Banham said that the state department of transportation was finalizing the design for exit 276 that would be changed in conjunction with a new border facility. “Our focus has shifted a little to 274,” he said, where they are planning now for planning and preliminary design.
“At this point there’s no money for final design and construction,” Banham said, adding the city hoped to apply for federal border-related transportation dollars next year to address construction at that exit.
All 26 residential blocks identified in the street advisory committee report to the city are also being considered for inclusion on the list, which will rank them in order of priority.

The city revises its six-year transportation improvement plan every year in early June.