Monday, February 27, 2012

OPINION: "Avondale Villas" development calmed by speed feedback safety sign.

Orange tape marks the width and entrance to Avondale Crest's (Villa) road from NE 104th, photo (2007). 
This car didn't slow down and is already out of sight.
Avondale Villas development pays $12,000 towards cost of radar speed feedback sign on 104th - for traffic calming.

OPINION:  Have you noticed the new “radar feedback sign” on the NE 104th Street hill, just above the 184th Ave. NE intersection? It’s hard to believe the speed limit is 25 mph on this highly traveled arteriole.. Most cars, some of them students, zoom down the curved hill at 40 mph.

Since the radar sign was installed most cars are slowing down before they get to 184th, but not all. (Many thanks to the 6,000 citizens petitioning to eliminate red-light cameras.)

According to a Public Works planner, “the $30,000+ radar sign” wasn't just installed for traffic calming for the 184th intersection. The city required the sign as a condition for the project's approval.  This controversial 9-lot residential development was called “Avondale Crest.” (re-named Avondale Villas.) City Council approved the plat (6-1, Allen) after an appeal was defeated 4-3. 

Two project defects delayed permitting and is holding up the sale of Avondale Crest (Villas): Read More >>

     • Avondale Crest is built on a steep, forested slope west of 104th. Thus, a narrow, steep, winding road, almost the size of a driveway, must provide egress to 104th. Line of sight is poor and turning left is hazardous. This the radar sign to slow cars.

     • The second egress from Avondale Crest is onto Avondale Road. Avondale is an arteriole so busy that some call it a highway.

The project was appealed by a nearby resident, Susan Wilkins. She requested “right in, right out turns only” for safety. Ms. Wilkins appeal was highly contested but overturned 4-3 by council. The Avondale Crest residential plat was permitted in 2007 but has been very hard to attract buyers. Speculators purchased the plat and renamed it “Avondale Villas.” The plat was reducing from nine lots to eight to improve the driveway.

According to the city Public Works planner, “early last year, they decided to move forward with their development plan.” He wrote, “We are now waiting for the developer to schedule a pre-construction meeting. Avondale Crest paid an apportioned $12,000 toward the cost of this installation as required mitigation.”  In addition, their stormwater drains into Bear Creek.  An expensive vault and pond is required to treat the water.

A piece, “Avondale Crest Death Trap” was written in 2007 to alert citizens and protest the development. Judging by new Avondale Villa signage on Avondale Road and the radar sign installation, it appears traffic challenges on 104th and for the new residents are not too far away.

The Avondale Crest name has been changed to "Avondale Villas." 

Opinion and Photos By Bob Yoder
Second in a series on City of Redmond roads

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