City proposes lowering Bothell Way/Ballinger Way speed limit and shortening the bus lane wall



Brian Nielsen

Regional Administrator, Northwest Region

WA State Department of Transportation

Lake Forest Park City Council formally requested our administration to apply for a speed reduction on State Route 522 at our August 10th meeting. This letter is in full support of a speed reduction. In addition to the important information in Resolution 23-1910 we want to encourage WSDOT take into consideration additional information that has been identified by our community.

We are at a point in time where Sound Transit is nearing completion of their redesign of State Highway

522 to accommodate their Stride project. Their project widens 522 to add a North/East bound transit lane and sidewalks. The final configuration of the roadway will be very similar to 522 in Kenmore where, after a recent speed review, WSDOT reduced the speed to 35MPH.

The most impactful element in the Sound Transit design that WSDOT can have a positive impact on is the two-story retaining wall. The City has been working with both Sound Transit and WSDOT to improve the visual design of this wall through tree relief patterns and vines pockets along the wall. While we support these efforts, the wall will still be a large shift from a green corridor to a concrete corridor. Reducing the speed limit to 35MPH allows a reduction in lane width from 11’ to 10’. This would yield a narrower road profile overall by approx. 4’and consequently, reduce the amount of hillside that needs to be excavated. This would reduce the height of the retaining wall by approximately 3’ (approximately 19% lower). A lower retaining wall lessens the visual impacts in our community, reduces the quantity of soil being trucked offsite, shortens the excavation schedule, saves additional trees, reduces acquisition extents, and reduces costs. In addition, the reduction of the speed limit would make living in the single-family homes along 522 safer. While these driveways are typically considered low volume and do not generally contribute to lowering speeds, these residents are at high risk as they back into the highway instead of the shoulders they have now and should be considered as part of the speed limit review.

We entreat WSDOT to reconsider the speed limit of State Highway 522 through Lake Forest Park as this is a win for WSDOT, Sound Transit, and our community.

Kindly, in our individual capacities, Councilmember Semra Riddle Councilmember Larry Goldman Councilmember Tom French, Deputy Mayor

Councilmember Phillippa Kassover, Vice Chair

Councilmember Tracy Furutani

Councilmember Lorri Bodi


A: Resolution 20-1910 Directing the City to formally request a speed limit review of State Highways 522 and 104. B: Supporting Technical Data


CEO Julie Timm, Sound Transit Sound Transit Board of Directors Bernard Van De Kane, Sound Transit

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