From: Various Port Townsend Rural & Urban Property Owners
Subject: RE: My Roundabout SEPA comments Subject: SEPA Comment on Roundabout Dear Mr. Sepler:
PLEASE INCLUDE THIS IN THE SEPA PACKAGE!
After talking with numerous members of the business community about the proposed Roundabout, I have decided to come out FOR the proposal for the following reasons:
1) I have found no business community members to be for the Roundabout....in fact, they are vehemently against it. Port Townsend government has a well-established, well-earned, anti-business reputation It would be consistent with our Recent Historical, anti-business reputation to do make yet another anti-business move.
2) A key component of the roundabout is not merely the extravagent cost to build it but the ongoing repairs and maintenance. Roundabouts, especially those with regular truck traffic, take a terrible beating. It is well-documented that they are expensive to repair and make look nice.
Raising the cost of government unnecessarily is another thing Port Townsend government is reknowned for, so this would be right up your alley.
3) A huge issue on the State & National level is Mercy Killings. I have found many businesses in PT have closed recently and more are on their last legs. Both the construction of and ongoing impact of the Roundabout ought to put more businesses out of their misery. Seems like you have brutalized businesses with 3 major tax increases and excessive regulations to the point where they are literally gasping for their last breath.
Rather than continue to play with them like a cat with a mouse...killing them once and for all is akin to a Mercy Killing.
4) Seems like the desire of many new local part-time community members is to model PT after some tiny, remote 500 year-old villages in Europe. What great imaginations they have! While these dreams of a few well-heeled retirees and trust-funders may seem quite unreasonable and bizarre to most average people, it is important that we bow down to the desires of the wealthy for the 4-6 months per year they actually live in PT. Isn't it wonderful Rick to have these people travelling throughout the world bringing back all these ideas on how to make PT into their dream community?!! Taking all these YerAPeein' ideas and gluing them together in a Dr. Frankenstein-esque fashion will apparently make sense to us all someday....even though today, many of us uneducated low-brows find it ridiculous.
5) Any City Council that can orchestrate a sham transaction to justify giving $1 million of Public Money to the Maritime Center for an easement they could have negotiated for free as part of the permitting process, should have no trouble voting yes for this costly, unnecessary Roundabout project.
6) The City has Committees and discussions about Affordable Housing ad infinitum....with zero action to date. We even have Councilor Butler actually pleading for action. Yet Councilor Butler voted YES for the $1 million Maritime Center giveaway and will probably vote YES for this waste of tax dollars too... rather than take a strong stand demanding Affoirdable Housing be addressed first. Sure all this money could be used to address Affordable Housing and other more important issues like a Community Pool/Aquatic Center. But if the City actually DID something about Affordable Housing, rather than squander huge sums of tax dollars, Councilor Butler would no longer have anything to beg & plead for.
7) Roundabouts require fairly even traffic flow from all 4 directions.
Where proposed, the vast, vast majority is from 2 directions....Sims Way.
I can see a couple sources of potential revenue to the City. The first is selling tickets to folks to watch how this doesn't work, up close,....especially early in the morning, in the evening and during Wooden Boat and Rhody Fest weekends. We could also develop a manual for how not to build a roundabout unnecessarily...complete with pictures and testimonies to sell to other communities so they are not as wasteful and dumb as us. Kind of like PT "taking one for the Gipper"...sacrificing ourselves so others may be free of unnecessary roundabouts.
The list goes on & on.
Whatever you do, don't help local businesses. Let them speak and ignore their pleas. After all, healthy businesses are bad and business owners are greedy corporations.....except for Realtors, of course!
Perhaps after you jam thru the Roundabout, your new Chamber Director and Main Street could use it as a Tourist draw....advertising to YerAPeeins' to come visit PT Scandanavia-wannabe. Certainly tourists would come from thousands of miles away to gaze in amazement at the monument to stupidity at the entrance to town and how tax dollars, in the face of a recession, could be squandered so recklessly & needlessly when there are so many needs.
Build a roundabout...despite the fact a traffic light or 2 will do.
It's the Port Townsend Way cuz..."We're all here, cuz we're not all there"....right? Important for you to prove that statement with the "not all there Roundabout"!
Sincerely, Allen R. Frank PT
An idea for the Roundabout landscaping is to create an Organic Herb Garden with a Herd of Free-Range TOFUtabeasts roaming the vast expanses and paying folks to dress up like Hippies working the land. Too bad you have to pay the Pretend Hippies but all the real ones have left in disgust cuz they couldn't afford to live here anymore Quoting Jim B.
Michael; Thanks for taking the time to support our effort. You have taken a different approach than most of the letters I have seen from other members. That will keep them on their toes. Delivering your letter personally is the best way to ensure it's entry into the discussion. The letters have to be to the attn of Rick Sepler who is the lead on the application and when they are delivered to Scotty or Francesca at the planner's desk they must be registered in the log.
Also, please make time to attend our next noon meeting on Feb 18 if you can.
Steve Sawyer, the lead engineer working for Port Townsend to push this thing through has asked to be invited so he can "run his game" on us.
- Jim _____
Subject: Roundabout SEPA comments
Attached is a copy of my letter to the City addressing the poor planning and the lack of "future planning" for Sims Way that I will hand carry to the City on Monday, Feb 9, 2009.
Any comments and additions would be welcome.
Subject: Roundabout SEPA comments Importance: High WE now have until Saturday to get letters in the mail in order to meet the deadline of Feb 10.
Application: LUP-09-003 Proposal: Upper Sims Way (SR20) Improvement Project Application Date: 1/2/09 Determined Complete: 1/9/09 Notice of Application: 1/21/09 City of Port Townsend Attn: Rick Seppler Development Services Department City Hall
250 Madison Street Port Townsend, Wa. 98368 SEPA Unit P O Box 47703 Olympia, Wa. 98504-7703 A copy of comments should be sent to Sepa, so they will have a record of it as soon as the city does. The city of port Townsend and Rick Seppler in particular have proven to be untrustworthy. We cannot assume that letters going to them alone will not be discarded.
~~The intended roundabout at Thomas Street will require improved roadways on Thomas and 4th that have to be fully improved with curbs gutters and sidewalks to meet current DOT standards. The storm water off those streets currently spills into yards and vacant areas where it infiltrates into the ground. When it is all collected by curbs it has to be directed into a piped storm system that spills it out somewhere in greater concentrations. Where will this point of discharge occur? Normally this heavy concentration is mitigated by constructing retention (holding) ponds; this is what is required of developers. The plan shows no such concern for ten year, fifty year or 100 year events. The current plan seems to direct contaminated storm water directly into Port Townsend Bay.
~~West of Logan Street and East of Sims there is a canyon that leads to the bay. This area has steep sections that are prone to erosion and possible sliding. Accumulated water dumped into this canyon will endanger property and dump eroding soils into the bay along with accumulated roadway oils and fuels that wash downhill during storms.
~~Several years ago the city went to great lengths to produce maps defining wetlands and protective buffers of up to 150 feet. Several of these areas are located along the proposed Howard Street extension North of Sims. The city has mentioned just moving those wetlands elsewhere. This is fine on paper, but what impact will it have on vegetation in and around the buffer area as well as insects and other water borne life forms currently existing in that location?
~~The relocation of the Howard Street wetlands is proposed for an area south of Sims along what is a possible future extension of Howard that will naturally be fed by the roundabout proposed at Sims. Has the total wetland area north of Sims been recalculated to increase the existing area by that total square footage in addition to an increased area designed to adapt to a greater concentration of water occurring from the larger collection area?
~~A larger wetland area south of Sims will become a more sensitive area according to DOE standards. As the class of wetlands increases due to larger area and more accumulation, the buffer zone should also be increased.
Other areas of this nature are buffered by 150 feet on all sides. The city plan does not show a buffer consideration for this area of increased sensitivity.
~~Expanding this wetland and buffer should result in a permanent abandonment of Howard street south of Sims. This is not indicated on the plan.
~~Under DOT standards all new and improved roadways must have complete curb, gutter and sidewalks. From Howard street to McPherson the existing roadway is fairly flat. When curbs and gutters are installed they will have to have collection points and a storm drainage system. We have not seen that plan or an explanation of where the storm water will be dumped.
~~Storm water from the roadways will bear oils, fuels and other contaminates. Will this be cleaned through a separation system or dumped into the bay? The plan does not indicate storm water treatment facility.
~~At the north east corner of Thomas and Sims there is an underground retention tank and chemical separation system that was required when the Vintage Hardware and Museum was built. That facility is within the construction design of the roundabout planned at that intersection. If this facility is removed how will that runoff from the roof and parking lots be treated?
~~At the southeast corner of Sims and Thomas there is a floral business that used to be a gas station. There are underground tanks that have never been removed or properly addressed in the application. It seems like the plan is to try to grade over the tanks and then just bury them. How will the rusting tanks and residual chemicals in them be addressed?
~~At the entrance to town there is a landmark Madrona tree on the south side of Sims near Howard. Does the city plan to destroy this tree?
~~The plan shows a roadway off the roundabout at Howard that travels south then bends east behind the commercial property there. How will curbs and drains control storm water in this area. Will contaminates be separated before dispersion?
~~The city plan shows meridian strips running most of the length of the improvement section of Sims from Howard to Thomas. Traffic attempting to reach some business locations will have to go to a roundabout and make a complete loop and return to the business they want to reach because they can't make a left turn. The same process will be necessary for people leaving businesses where left turns are blocked. This will increase vehicle traffic and make pedestrian crossings dangerous.
~~ Increased traffic density from congestion created by the traffic circles will make pedestrian crossings dangerous in several places. Accident reports have been falsely represented since the turning pockets were painted last spring. They have worked very well.
~~The Thomas Street roundabout is located on a gradient of about 4%. In order to cut the required area for the roundabout the corners of existing properties will need retaining walls that are estimated to be 6 - 7 feet in elevation. How will handicap access be incorporated into these corners?