Kartak clarifies comments at Second Street meeting
SNOHOMISH — On Aug. 23, the city held a town hall concerning the planned renovation of Second Street from Highway 9 to Lincoln Avenue. Around two dozen residents went to voice their opinions about making the east-west corridor safer and more accessible to motorists and pedestrians alike.
The preliminary plan, designed by MacLeod-Reckord, calls for new wider sidewalks stretching from Avenue J to Lincoln Avenue, larger curbsides, medians with room for greenspace, public transit stops and upgraded aesthetic pieces like outdoor seating and street lights.
A new roundabout on First Street near its intersection with Second Street will also be installed close to the City Shop location.
Most importantly, more than 50 parking spaces, both parallel and back-in angle parking, will be added along the entire stretch of the street beginning around Avenue E.
One of the biggest reasons for the modernization of the street is the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. In the past 10 years, there have been 327 reported crashes, 88 serious injuries and one fatality. Even with these concerns, the current design has no plans for bike lanes.
“We want to minimize the danger of crossing the street,” said Denise Johns, the city’s manager of the project.
Additionally, project planners hope to make the roadway more environmentally friendly by using pervious pavement, creating rainwater capture systems and encouraging people to walk or bike using the larger sidewalk space instead of driving a vehicle that creates pollution.
Proponents also praised its potential to grow the local economy and provide business with more customers.
Mayor John Kartak stressed that he does not want Second Street to become just like First Street. He says that it will still be a main arterial, but will be more open to potential customers of surrounding shops.
“I want Second Street to compliment First Street and the nearby neighborhoods as well,” Kartak told the public at the meeting.
Some farmers had concerns about new medians obstructing the movement of large farm vehicles. Business people also wanted to make sure large semi-trucks still had room to make deliveries. Architects from MacLeod-Reckford assured concerned residents that those problems will not exist if the construction is approved.
The city has begun to apply for more grants to fund the construction. If the grants are approved, construction will be done in phases, and start as early as 2019. Throughout the upgrade, the road will never be fully closed.
The survey of the area and design plan for the upgrade is being paid for by a $323,000 grant provided by the state.
The main thoroughfare was historically important for people traveling from their homes to the commercial district of downtown Snohomish. The road is used by many to navigate Snohomish and also avoid highway traffic.
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