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Updated June 7, 2022
Established: November 2006
Chair: Susan Harvey
Co-Chair: Mike Birdsall
Members: Warren Iverson, and Peter Rimbos
Mission: Investigate the area’s transportation issues and offer potential solutions by working with government agencies and community organizations to ensure the Rural Area Stays Rural.
The Joint Transportation Initiative (JTI) was founded in 2013. Chaired by the GMVUAC Transportation Committee, it is comprised of members from other Unincorporated Area Councils (UACs) and Unincorporated Area Associations (UAAs) within King County to address regional transportation issues and solutions. Current participants are: GMVUAC, Four Creeks UAC (FCUAC), Upper Bear Creek UAC (UBCUAC), Enumclaw Plateau Community Association (EPCA), Green Valley/Lake Holm Association (GV/LHA) and the Soos Creek Action Response (SCAR) Association.
JTI Mission: Investigate regional transportation issues through collaboration with multiple unincorporated organizations. Develop and offer potential solutions to State, County, regional and local government officials to help maintain the Rural Area’s character and quality of life.
Major Support Activities:
The Transportation Committee contributes analysis and comments to the GMVUAC in its response to the following: King County Comprehensive Plan Updates; King County Code Amendments; Countywide Planning Policies (CPP) Updates, and the Puget Sound Regional Council’s (PSRC) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) Update, which (as part of Vision 2050 adopted in 2020) is scheduled to be finalized in May of 2022.
Welcome to Historic Hobart/Ravensdale” Street Signs: The Transportation Committee investigated how to get signage identifying the boundaries of Ravensdale/Georgetown and of Hobart. In the Spring of 2020, thanks to the generosity (no charge) of the Department of Local Services (DLS) Roads Division, Hobart was provided with five “Welcome to Historic Hobart” street signs, placed along roads leading into Hobart, and Ravensdale was provided with four “Welcome to Historic Ravensdale” signs, place along roads leading into Ravensdale. The signs were placed as close as possible to the historic city limits of both Hobart and Ravensdale, but practicality took precedence and the signs were placed where safest and visibility was best.
Ravensdale Intersection (272nd at SE Landsburg Road and Ravensdale Way): On February 25, 2021, the Department of Local Services, Roads Division, installed a four-way stop at the Ravensdale Intersection. In the past, drivers approaching the intersection from Landsburg Road or from Ravensdale Way had to stop and yield to drivers traveling along 272nd, also known locally as the Kent Kangley Road. In recent years, this has become an extremely hazardous intersection, with frequent accidents. In addition to four-way stop signage, a new marked crosswalk was installed on the north leg of the Landsburg Road of the intersection. Stop bars were installed or re-applied on all legs of the intersection, and street lighting is scheduled to be updated the spring of 2021 According to Brent Champaco, Public Information Officer/Senior Community Relations Planner of DLS: “Again, the temporary four-way stop will be in place until at least 2022. Once installed, we will monitor the intersection to evaluate how well the four-way stop is working and determine whether more interim improvements are warranted. This approach of making safety upgrades in stages is necessary until the county secures funding to install a permanent traffic calming safety improvement, such as a roundabout or traffic signals, at this intersection”.
Mapping Emergent Traffic Corridors (ETCs): In conjunction with other Rural Area UACs and Unincorporated Area Associations (UAAs) throughout King County, the JTI has begun documenting Emergent Traffic Corridors (ETCs). ETCs are traffic patterns formed through neighborhoods or backroads (many of them through the unincorporated areas) to circumvent major thoroughfares, such as SR-169. While conducting various transportation studies, it has become apparent to avoid traffic congestion, people are creating shortcuts wherever possible to improve commute times. These shortcuts begin at least as far south as Bonnie Lake and continue up to 1-90 or I-405, where a majority of people need to drive in order to get to their jobs or destinations. A recent study by JTI Co-chair, Mike Birdsall, shows that during the last decade, the percentage increase of traffic along ETCs is actually greater than on some major highways. After the ETCs are mapped, a traffic analysis will be conducted on those of greater priority. In an ongoing basis, the JTI will highlight the intersections and trouble spots most impacted by increased traffic in King County’s Rural Area.
Merging from Green Valley Road onto SR 169: The JTI is working with WSDOT to create a safer way for cars merging onto SR 169 from the Green Valley Road. WSDOT is aware of the problem and is now studying the best way to resolve this safety issue.
Cedar River Landsburg Bridge Construction Closure Impact Study: In August 2019, King County performed month-long maintenance on the Landsburg Bridge. At the GMVUAC November 4, 2019 meeting, Mike Birdsall, Transportation Committee Vice Chair, gave a presentation on the substantial impact this road closure and detour had on traffic along the Issaquah to Black Diamond Road, SR 169, the City of Maple Valley and the Enumclaw area. Mike produced traffic data illustrating the before and after restrictions that were imposed on traffic and commuter routes. See his detailed report (Birdsall – Landsburg Bridge Closure Traffic Impacts Report) and companion slideshow (Birdsall – Slideshow in pdf Format).
Oakpointe Master-Planned Developments: The Black Diamond MPDs comprise a proposed total of 6,050 residences and 1.15M sq ft of commercial space. These two MPDs are expected to place a tremendous burden on the regional transportation infrastructure in SE King County and, as such, are of great importance to the JTI (see Mission above). We have followed the proposed MPDs from the first EIS Public Hearing in 2010 and have taken a great interest in the Traffic-Demand Modeling to predict traffic flows and the subsequent Traffic-Impact Analyses to determine possible mitigations needed to meet road/intersection Levels of Service. A wealth of information on the MPD Conditions of Approval and the development Agreements with the Master Developer (Oakpointe) can be found in Transportation Summary.
196th Ave SE Corridor: From May of 2018 to April of 2019, the Transportation Committee advocated for lowering the speed limit along 196th Ave SE from 40 mph to 35 mph; closing off entry to SE 195th due to the safety hazard; eliminate the passing lane on SE 188th St; and, lower the speed limit at SE 192nd St and SE 196th St. In March 2019, King County Road Services agreed to meet with the Transportation Committee in Issaquah for an in-person discussion. While progress was made to eliminate the passing lane on SE 188th St, the Transportation Committee was unable to get speeds lowered along the corridor. Road Services did place advisory speed placards and advisory speed revisions for curves at the most critical areas, and cleared vegetation for greater visibility. Please see our Situation-Target-Proposal (STP) to King County Roads: 196th Ave SE STP and our followup with King County: Discussions with King County Roads.
Hobart Area Speed Signs: The Transportation Committee has been working with the Dept. of Local Services, Road Services Division, to improve safety by decreasing speeding in the Hobart area. Within the 2018-2019 timeframe, radar speed feedback signs have been installed at SE 200th St – Southbound, SE 208th St – Northbound, SE 216th St – Northbound, SE 194th St – Southbound, and SE 198th St – Northbound.
Regional Summit Meetings: 2014 and 2016
The JTI convened the Transportation Summit Meeting with State and Local government officials and agencies in September 2014. See the four Situation-Target-Proposals discussed: Usage-Funding Imbalance; Assessing-Requirements-Accurately; Concurrency-Adequacy; and Annexation-Debt-Transfer.
The JTI convened a Regional Transportation Meeting with the PSRC in October 2016. The purpose of this meeting was to acquaint the PSRC with the activities and goals of the unincorporated area councils/associations, and to plan how to best work together in the future.
External Links: (see also King County and Links webpages):
Greater Maple Valley
The GMVUAC serves the residents of unincorporated King County living in the Tahoma School District No. 409 (outside the city limits of Maple Valley). Our Washington nonprofit corporation was established in 1977; we serve a population of 16,100 (2010 Census); and our service area is 116 sq mi. Below is a map of our Service Area and the four Community Areas: