Request to repair Bothell road and provide pedestrian access to 1000 homes instead of spending $42M on a Boulevard
Open letter to the Bothell City Council and City Manager:
The 1000 households that live in Morningside, Hollyhills, and Pioneer Hills don’t need a wider sidewalk to connect Pop Keeney to the park at Bothell Landing as you are proposing with AB #14-75 to designate Main Street and the multi-way boulevard as parkways at a cost of $42 Million. What we need is a safe way for our kids to walk or bike from our neighborhoods to the YMCA or the softball and soccer fields in the North Creek business park that are just half a mile away.
While there are many roads within the city that are in great disrepair, I want to bring this one to your attention that is in exceptional need of repairs and improvements.
195th St / NE Hollyhills Dr connects nearly 1000 Bothell homes to the rest of the city. This road is the only connection between these neighborhoods and the rest of the city for pedestrians and the primary route for all traffic going into Bothell from these neighborhoods. Specifically, it has two problems:
First, this road is very badly broken and potholed. The roadway is so badly broken it sounds like a gravel road when you drive on it. It is so deeply cracked that it is now further susceptible to freeze cracking and heaving which is greatly accelerating the destruction of this roadway.
Second, and an even bigger hazard is that there is no sidewalk beside this road one side has no shoulder while what little shoulder there is on the other side is either saturated mud in the winter or overgrown with chest-high weeds and blackberry vines in the summer. Also there is one section where a jersey barrier forces pedestrians into the right-of-way even if the blackberries and mud do not. This is especially dangerous given the 2 blind curves and that it is on a steep hill. This is a very popular bike route but with no safe passage for bikes moving slowly up the hill in the lane of traffic and the cracks in the road make it very unsafe for fast-moving bikes going downhill. See the photos below. One is of a mother pushing her baby stroller on this road approaching a blind curve. This is the only route from the Hollyhills, Morningside, and Pioneer Hills neighborhoods into the City of Bothell including access to the YMCA and the 4 ball fields in the North Creek business park at the bottom of the hill. Today when my daughter and I go the the Y, we have to drive the half mile because there is no sidewalk and no shoulder on Hollyhills Drive behind the Seattle Times building. The Hollyhills neighborhood is low income neighborhood, so many of those residents don’t even own a car. They don’t have a choice. You can see them risking their lives walking down that road. Not because they want to, but because they have to. NOTHING has been done to the roads in these neighborhoods for at least 15 years. It is time to spread the wealth. There are now 39,000 residents in this city. Until you fix what is broken, you don’t need to spend one more dollar on that one square mile of downtown.
Please get this roadway repaired and add a sidewalk and bike lanes.
Readers, you should watch the May 20th recording of the Bothell City Council, in particular, go to 2:54:00 to hear Council member Tris Samberg put things in perspective on the latest bond proposal.