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City collects feedback on 67th Avenue proposals

ARLINGTON — Concerned residents and business owners recently had a chance to give city officials feedback on a proposed construction project on 67th Avenue NE.

At least 25 residents showed up at the Arlington City Council chambers Sept. 17 for a public open house.

During the three-hour event, community members were able to view the city’s three construction options, all of which would connect Centennial Trail through downtown Arlington and widen 67th Avenue NE.

Event organizers had blueprints and bulletin boards highlighting each of the three major construction options, and staff members were on hand to answer attendees’ questions.

“Right now, it’s a real hazard,” said Arlington resident Bucky Tart, referring to the lack of a bike trail near the area.

Tart said he likes to ride his bicycle on Centennial Trail, but has to ride on the road at certain points because the trail has gaps within the city.

Centennial Trail stretches from Lake Stevens north to southern Arlington and from Arlington north toward the Skagit County line.

Tart said it would be nice for the city to connect gaps currently located within downtown Arlington.

Jeff Robinson, who works at the Arlington Les Schwab Tire Center, said he attended the open house because he wanted to see how the proposals might help or hurt business.

“I’m seeing what the options are and how it would affect us,” he said.

Other residents just wanted to learn more about the project, including City Councilman Steve Baker.

“It’s a very busy stretch of road,” he said, referring to 67th Avenue NE.

The proposed construction project is divided into two sections — a northern and southern section — according to city public works director Jim Kelly.

Because of the northern section of the avenue’s proximity to a parallel section of BNSF Railway, city officials have had to consider three options to extend the trail — each of which would have a varying effect on vehicle access to nearby businesses.

The city cannot place portions of roadway on BNSF property.

The road would also have to be widened, according to city proposals.

In October, the city is scheduled to create a draft proposal based on public input and hold a second open house in November.

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