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City addresses traffic in letter to residents of 172nd Street

ARLINGTON According to Arlington City Administrator Allen Johnson, finding funding to relieve traffic congestion on 172nd Street is now a top priority.
Its a significant problem, but its also a state highway, so we have to work with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Johnson said. Our proposed Regional Transportation Investment District package would have addressed 172nd Street as part of the scope of its funding, but that failed at the ballot box this past November.##M:[more]#
Last year, the Council ratified design standards calling for a four-lane base section for the 172nd Street NE corridor, between 43rd Avenue NE and Highway 9, and asked city staff to extend and apply these design standards to the portion of the corridor between 43rd Avenue NE and Interstate 5.
My point in telling the City Council was that these arent the first letters weve received about this, and they wont be the last, said Johnson of the draft letter that he submitted to the Council Jan. 7.
The letter is a proposed response to the number of letters that the city has received regarding traffic congestion on 172nd Street from area residents. Johnson wants citizens to know that, while the citys options might be limited, theyre working to find a solution.
Under a provision of the state statute, we could create a transportation impact zone and ask for a levy, but it would require the county to look at it, Johnson said.
Johnson noted that the transportation element of the citys comprehensive plan would require the development of a secondary transportation grid immediately to the north and south of 172nd Street where feasible, to provide people a means of traveling between businesses, establishments and adjacent north-south streets, such as 43rd Avenue NE, along the corridor without the need to reenter and again exit 172nd Street for short trips.
This secondary grid should help in removing some of the traffic burden from the corridor, and alleviate some of the turning movements at intersections, Johnson said.
In the meantime, Johnson sees increased development on the 172nd Street NE corridor as part of both the problem and the solution.
New developers are required either to improve the street or kick in transportation mitigation dollars to help solve the problem, Johnson said. And since the main problem at this point is financial, theyre actually providing the mechanism to fix that part of the problem.
Yes, its a state highway, but its within the city limits, so its our problem, Johnson said. We need to see that it gets fixed.

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