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Council looks at high school traffic jam

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By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Cars, kids and traffic lights became a hot topic at the City Council workshop Oct. 4.

Council members and city staff wrestled with the solutions and problems surrounding the glut of cars hitting the road due to Bonney Lake High School.

When the high school and Mountain View Middle School begin the day and end it, cars and kids converge onto the surrounding roads. Much of the traffic feeds onto 199th Avenue Court East, which turns into 200th Avenue Court East, which intersects with 104th Street East near the high school and South Prairie Road within one-quarter mile heading east.

Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman would like to see a traffic light installed at 104th Street East and 200th Avenue Court East.

Cascadia is scheduled to put the light in place by 2010 as part of the developer's traffic mitigation plan.

”It is an incredibly unsafe intersection,“ Swatman said at the meeting. ”We have our most inexperienced drivers making decisions there.“

Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said he thought the congestion was manageable at this time.

”Like any short-term event there is congestion,“ Grigsby said. ”It starts at 2:22 (p.m.) and it's over at 2:32 (p.m.)“

Interim Police Chief Buster McGehee said no accidents have been reported along 200th Court East and 199th Avenue East since school opened.

Councilman Jim Rackley noted next year the school would add hundreds of seniors.

”There's no questions there will be more bumper problems then,“ Rackley said.

Councilman Neil Johnson suggested the city gather car count information.

”We need to do something now,“ Johnson said. ”We need information about the peak times and we need to be proactive.“

Bonney Lake High School has issued about 140 parking passes to students. There are 317 parking spaces for students and a total of 561 parking spaces for staff and students.

”I'd really like to see something done sooner rather than later,“ Swatman said. ”I want to put it (the signal light) in next year's budget. We don't need a permanent light (at 104th Street East). We can use a temporary one like at South Prairie Road intersection (with state Route 410 East.)

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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