After many years of rapid growth, traffic has become a significant issue affecting many aspects of life in Issaquah. Residents are frustrated by congested traffic on major streets and the challenges
of getting around town. Facing continued, projected growth in and around Issaquah, a focus on mobility – whether by car, bike, bus, walking or future light rail – is imperative. Issaquah must promptly plan and implement transportation system improvements to improve circulation and help residents and businesses carry out their daily lives.
Most of Issaquah's facilities and services get high marks from the public in biennial surveys, but transportation doesn't fare so well. While most resident ratings were 70 to 90% positive, transportation (overall ease of getting around; ease of travel by car; ease of public parking) were less than 50% positive.
Fewer than 1 in 5 respondents were satisfied with the way traffic flows on major streets.Transportation was one of the few issues where Issaquah's approval ratings were lower than in benchmark cities. Issaquah is currently addressing transportation in a variety of ways, including:
- Ensuring developers pay their share with traffic impact fees
- Working with nearby communities on congestion issues that begin outside of Issaquah
- Developing partnerships to increase transit options
- Making spot improvements for bikes and pedestrians
- Securing grants for road improvements and mobility programs
- Beginning development of a Mobility Master Plan to coordinate near and long-term transportation strategies
Despite some actions that are underway, more could be done. Throughout much of the strategic planning process many participants called for significant changes to improve mobility.
A plan for the transportation system is in place and funding is secured for major projects - (MO1)
- Provide for the timely and successful adoption of the Mobility Master Plan.
- Assemble and analyze data to better understand regional travel behavior. Define pass-through traffic policy objectives.
- Develop and execute a long-term funding approach for larger capital projects and ongoing, sustainable management of assets.
- Prepare an annual mobility report card.
Near-term connections and efficiencies in the mobility system are completed - (MO2)
- Implement a near-term action plan to complete smaller capital improvements and programs to maximize existing funding over the next 5 years.
- Establish partnerships with transit agencies and neighboring jurisdictions for new transit options, demand management and other innovative mobility options to address regional traffic.
The preferred location, timeline and vision for light rail integration is established - (MO3)
- Develop a Citywide Transit Plan that includes lessons learned from case studies on station area planning.
- Engage with the community, WSDOT, and Sound Transit to determine the preferred location and corridor for light rail.
- Foster a partnership with Sound Transit to facilitate integration of City plans, land uses and zoning for future light rail.