Letter to the editor: How will city address traffic impacts of new residential units near Costco?

On July 18, 2020, you reported on the expansion plans for the Alderwood Mall and provided your readers with a brief update about the project. As we all know, there is ongoing construction currently happening at the old Sears location. According to public record, this new addition will add living space (apartments) with retail space located below these units. What isn’t being talked about is the property across the street near Costco adding more residential units as well as a Home Depot and the massive amount of congestion this will add to already overpopulated roads creating even further traffic congestion. As a reader and resident, I would like to know what is being done to combat this issue. Will there be expansions seen on all roads surrounding these properties? Will there be public data provided with estimates about how many additional cars we will see in the surrounding areas daily and additionally, how will this affect an already overcrowded parking lot at Alderwood Mall?
Michelle Kjolso 
    1. I think City of Lynnwood and City Council think the current widening project of 196th between 48th and 36th will suffice. Traffic congestion doesn’t enter into their thought process. Or maybe it does, as it translates to gas tax revenue.

      1. I agree, they don’t seem to consider the consequences of their actions. I also wonder what further damage this will do to the cost of living in this area. It has already gotten so bad because of people running from Seattle. This will add to the problem. This will destroy any chance of shopping at the mall and will increase revenue for Amazon.

        1. Sunday: 04/25/2021

          Hi Michelle

          You have an interesting Comment? Do you have any Data or Research to Tie your Comment to?

      2. Sunday: 04/25/2021

        Hi Char

        Interesting Comment! Gas Tax Revenue?? Gosh My Next Car {If Any} will be EV or All Electric!
        Do you think they will tax my Kilowatt Hours?? Or My Bike – Pedal Revolutions Per Trip? I Walk most
        Places Currently . My Smart Watch Counts My Steps. $#@& I’ll Bet my watch is reporting my steps to
        City Hall. I’m Doomed!!

    2. Sunday: 04/24/2021

      Yes! A GREAT Concern! Pre-Covid19 the Alderwood Mall suffered from Traffic Gridlock much of the
      Time. When all the New Apartments are Occupied we will see in increase in Community Transit Bus, the
      Light Rail Station and For the First Time School Buses Picking up and Dropping off Kids.

      European and Asian Cities Deal with {or don’t Deal With Well} similar Traffic Problems. “Time Will Tell”

      1. Michael Miller, good for you that you “walk most places” . Some of us are disabled and can’t do that. “Doomed”? Maybe you are…

  1. The City has been working closely with the developer of the proposed new Home Depot and adjacent apartment buildings. The overall development (including the Costco) conducted an environmental impact statement in which traffic impacts were analyzed. As part of the analysis, prior vehicle trips being generated by the old Lynnwood High School were calculated and then compared with the vehicle trips anticipated with the proposed development. Various transportation improvements were identified to mitigate these additional trips. Transportation improvements included the new ring road which opened when Costco opened and runs along the west and north sides of the development. The new street cost around $6M and is the primary transportation mitigation needed to accommodate the new trips generated by the development. Interior grid streets were also added including a new east-west street between Costco and Home Depot and a new north-south street which is currently under construction and will connect to the existing traffic signal located on 184th Street SW and the Nordstrom’s entrance to Alderwood Mall.

    The City annually conducts traffic analysis to determine if traffic in any area of the City is degrading below currently adopted goals. Depending on the outcome of the analysis, the City prioritizes future street improvements to stay ahead of traffic and minimize congestion. The City is currently working on other street improvements around the Alderwood Mall including the Poplar Bridge project which will construct a new bridge over I-5 in the vicinity of 33rd Avenue W and the Beech Road Project which will complete a new continuous street behind (to the east of) Kohl’s and Target. Depending on funding, these projects could open to traffic within the next 5 years.

    -David Mach, City Engineer, City of Lynnwood

  2. It doesn’t make any sense to be worried about rising home prices AND the construction of additional housing. The ONLY way to ease housing prices according to any respectable economic analysis is to build additional housing. Rent control doesn’t work. You also cannot stop people from moving freely, unless you make the area completely undesirable to live in, which is obviously bad for the current residents. Like it or not, the only answer is to increase supply along with demand. You should be glad the city is attempting to do this. Now, the next part of this equation is adding more public transit connecting these large residential units with major bus lines and light rail. This is the best and most cost-effective way to prevent the influx of residents from becoming an influx of congestion.

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