Brynn Grimley (253) 983-7761 • Fax (253) 589-3774 • bgrimley@cityoflakewood.us
Communications Manager

It’s that time of year again, bicyclists, joggers and walkers.

The Washington State Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project, which collects bicycle and pedestrian usage data in cities throughout the State, is taking place Sept. 27-29 2016.

Each year, the Washington State Department of Transporation and the Cascade Bicycle Club enlist the support of volunteers and other organizations, like Feet First and Washington Bikes, to benchmark the numbers of people bicycling and walking on trails, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other facilities across the state.

Lakewood was one of several cities across Washington that were included in the count in 2015.

What is the purpose of the Count Program?

Transportation planning and design at all levels requires understanding of actual conditions. This involves determination of motor vehicle, bicyclist and pedestrian numbers. This data dealing with the characteristics of vehicle or people movement is obtained by undertaking traffic counts. 

Just like motor vehicle counts, counting bicyclists and pedestrians at specific locations helps us to more accurately estimate demand, measure the benefits of investments, and design our projects. The information helps us target safety and mobility projects and improve our traffic models.

How do we collect the counts?

The documentation project uses a data collection protocol similar to and consistent with the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project. We work with a network of city staff, bicycle club members, and other volunteers to collect counts and document them using this consistent process.

Are the counts collected by volunteers valid?

Yes. This documentation project uses a very traditional method involving placing observers at specific locations to record bicycle or pedestrian movements. Observers use tally sheets to record numbers consistently. In addition, city and state staff conduct a quality control effort to cross check many of these count locations. 

Collecting manual traffic counts in this manner can often be superior to using mechanical counters or sensors and is much less expensive. In addition to their expense, mechanical sensors only cover limited areas of the traveled way frequently missing counts. They are easily displaced and damaged which can lead to inaccurate readings. Manual traffic counts are often required even when mechanical counters are used to ensure accuracy.

Here is a list of items scheduled for discussion at the Lakewood City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016:

  • Joint Community Services Advisory Board meeting
  • Review of Fiscal Year 2017 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership Act grant funding policy statement and proposed use of funds
  • Review of amendments to Chapter 15A.05 of the Lakewood Municipal Code relative to the International Building Code
  • Review of policy and procedures for the naming or renaming City parks and facilities
  • Review of sponsorship guidelines for City events, programs, projects, sites and public facilities. – (Memorandum) (32) 6. Review of Preliminary 2017-2018 Revenue Estimates and 2017 Property Tax Levy

The Lakewood City Council meeting begins 7 p.m., at Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main St. SW.

The following is the construction schedule for the South Tacoma Way project for the week beginning Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, according to the Lakewood Public Works Department:

  • Expect lane closures as work continues on the east side of South Tacoma Way. Contractor will be continuing work on the waterlines and electrical systems. Additional work will occur off the roadway on the West side as curbing is placed behind the sidewalk. No traffic impacts are anticipated on the West side due to this work.

Here's a roundup of actions the Lakewood City Council took at its meeting Sept. 19, 2016 :

  • The City Council voted to not take a position regarding the ST3 ballot measure as proposed by Sound Transit.
  • The City of Council approved several grant-funded projects related to Public Works projects, including:
    • An agreement with Transpo Group, Inc., for $85,317, for traffic signal design at the intersection of Military Road Southwest and 112th Street Southwest.
    • An agreement with BCRA, Inc., for $299,828.62, for design services to construct a non-motorized trail along Gravelly Lake Drive from Washington Boulevard Southwest  to Nyanza Road Southwest.
    • An agreement with BCRA, Inc., for $99,915.18, for design services to construct pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the east side of John Dower Road Southwest from Custer Road Southwest and Steilacoom Boulevard Southwest.
    • An agreement with BCRA, Inc., for $49,987.42, for design services to construct pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the west side of Phillips Road from Steilacoom Boulevard Southwest and Agate Drive. 

(This message is from Sound Transit)

Sound Transit’s contractor Stacy Witbeck will be postponing the full road closure at the intersection of North Thorne Lane Southwest and the rail crossing until mid-October.  The intersection will be closed to through traffic from 7 p.m. Friday evening until 6 a.m. Monday morning. The work will occur 24 hours per day for the duration of the closure.

Vehicle detour:

  • Northbound traffic: Take Exit 122 and turn left onto Berkeley Street Southwest. Turn right on Union Avenue Southwest. Turn left on North Thorne Lane Southwest.
  • Southbound traffic: Take Exit 122 and turn right onto Berkeley Street Southwest.  Turn right on Union Avenue Southwest. Turn left on North Thorne Lane Southwest.

The road closure at Clover Creek Drive will be extended until Friday, Sept. 23. Sound Transit's contractor has paved the intersection and now they must wait until the asphalt has set before they can re-open the intersection.

Access to residence and businesses will be maintained through Nyanza Road Southwest and Glenwood Avenue Southwest.

 

Postponed – Full North Thorne Lane Road Closure

Sound Transit's contractor Stacy Witbeck will be postponing the full road closure at the intersection of North Thorne Lane Southwest and the rail crossing until mid-October.  The intersection will be closed to through traffic from 7 p.m. Friday evening until 6 a.m. Monday morning. The work will occur 24 hours per day for the duration of the closure.

Vehicle detour

  • Northbound traffic: Take Exit 122 and turn left onto Berkeley Street Southwest. Turn right on Union Avenue Southwest. Turn left on North Thorne Lane Southwest.
  • Southbound traffic: Take Exit 122 and turn right onto Berkeley Street Southwest.  Turn right on Union Avenue Southwest. Turn left on North Thorne Lane Southwest.

 

Sound Transit Conducting Civil Improvements in Your Area

Starting as early as Thursday, Sept. 29, neighbors, drivers can expect daytime and nightime work along the at-grade railroad crossing at 41st Division Drive South. Work is anticipated to last until the morning of Monday, Oct. 3. There will be a full road closure at 41st Division Drive during this work.

What to expect

  • Noise impacts sound similar to a truck engine running, with occasional beeping
  • Construction lighting at night
  • Traffic detour signage

(This message comes from the Washington State Department of Transportation)

Drivers who use southbound Interstate 5 near DuPont can anticipate backups and slowdowns during overnight hours Saturday, Sept. 24, while Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews close lanes near Mounts Road to repair a concrete panel.

 
Lane closure specifics

From 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, until 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, drivers will encounter single- and double-lane closures on southbound I-5. Single-lane closures begin at 8 p.m. Double-lane closures begin at 9 p.m.

Southbound traffic delays are expected to build after the first lane closes at 8 p.m. on Saturday, with backups potentially reaching up to five miles between the hours of 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Traffic volumes are expected to build again Sunday morning, but dissipate quickly after the lanes reopen at 10 a.m. While the new concrete is curing, motorists may not see active construction occurring at the site.

The work is weather dependent and could be re-scheduled at a later date.

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The City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin is a roundup of news items, happenings and other items of note for the City of Lakewood.

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