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Beaver Lake Dr SE
Our small community is currently involved in a battle to save the unique character of a roadway and walking path that is treasured by local residents and visitors alike. The City of Sammamish is considering a proposal to eliminate two barriers limiting access to Beaver Lake Dr SE, plus creating a new connector that would dramatically increase vehicle traffic on this road. The Beaver Lake Community Club vehemently opposes this proposal.
It was only in the early 1970’s that the loop road connecting East and West Beaver Lake Dr SE was completed. The driving motivation at that time was to provide emergency services access to resident on the Eastern portion of the lake. The road then as now, was designed for a light traffic load at slow speeds. The road follows natural contours without adequate sight lines for higher vehicle speeds, and does not have sidewalks, wide shoulders or lighting. With the limited access currently available, the traffic load is light enough that Beaver Lake Dr SE has become a very popular recreational corridor where hikers, joggers, cyclists and others may enjoy the scenic and natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the development of the trail system, nature preserve and Beaver Lake Park has, at least in our minds, redefined the main beneficial use of this scenic corridor.
When controversial high density developments to the North and East of the Lake such as Trossachs were platted more than 10 years ago, there was an explicit understanding that these developments would not have access to Beaver Lake Dr. Connecting roads were roughed in to facilitate movement of emergency vehicles and these connectors with barriers in place do allow for this to occur as needed.
Concurrently, King County declined to make much needed improvements to Duthie Hill Road and Issaquah-Fall City Road with the result that traffic on the Plateau is problematic as it is elsewhere in the region. Meanwhile our civic leaders seem to have become seduced by a new mantra of “connectivity”.
The expedient and less expensive solution to improving connectivity is represented by the proposal to remove the barricades. To do so would be an insult to the resident of the Beaver Lake Watershed. For one it ignores the compromise that the barricades would be erected as a condition for approval of the developments. Second, the local residents are overwhelmingly opposed to this proposal. Third, the huge increase in vehicle traffic would represent a public safety hazard without extensive road improvements. Fourth, with or without improvements, the unique character of this road and its appeal for recreational uses would forever be diminished. In October of 2009, the Beaver Lake Management District Advisory Board unanimously drafted a resolution recommending against removing the barriers.
The position of the BLCC is “Reject the Connect.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 11:10|