SeaTac City Council hears about traffic snarls as well as City Hall rental

By Jack Mayne

At the regular SeaTac City Council on Tuesday (July 27), councilmembers were updated on a traffic study where for-hire vehicles are slowing traffic emerging from a parking area, primarily because some smaller vehicles are unable to quickly negotiate a traffic-slowing hump.

Summer also produced a relatively short hour and a half hour meeting that considered a new rental tenant for City Hall as well as appointments to boards and committees.

Slowing traffic
A study jointly financed by the city and the Port of Seattle was launched after users of Master Park Lot C and city police observations noted taxis, including Uber and Lyft, and limousines queuing on the streets blocking the ingress and egress to a lot at South 160th Street corridor between Air Cargo Road and International Boulevard, said City Engineer Florendo Cabudol.

He said a water berm at the entrance of the lot forced vehicles to slow down to cross the raised area without damaging their vehicles and Cabudol said altering the berm would help transportation flow in and out of the parking lot, along with pavement channelization marking to better direct drivers.

Deputy Mayor Pam Fernald said she heard nothing about the impacts on private residents of the area, only on business and airport users.

“I would like to see a little more consideration given in that whole area to people who live here who use that street,” Fernald said. “Before the Uber and Lyft people moved in there it was tolerable” but now it is a “nightmare.”

Councilmember Peter Kwon asked where these cars used to park and City Manager Joe Scorcio said they were parked on neighborhood city streets and the Port of Seattle came up with this solution to consolidate ground transportation into a single lot and moved the cars out of residential neighborhoods.

But the Port made change without the city’s participation, Scorcio said. The city could have addressed some of the access problems as the facility was established.

“The intent was great, the coordination was not and we are trying to figure out solutions afterwards to a problems that was generated,” he said. Now the question is other questions that arise and need to be fixes.

Mayor Michael Siefkes asked if police were checking the problem and Scorcio said there were emphasis patrols which “had some beneficial effects” during peak traffic times.

City Hall rental
Senior Management Analyst Tim Ramsaur told the Council about a $108,384 contract with Fresh Property Management of Kent for city hall security and capital improvements. Ramsaur said there has been a $30,579 addition for contingencies and unforeseen expenses.

Mayor Michael Siefkes said the contingency amount was rather high and Ramsaur said tearing into City Hall walls and ceilings has the potential of expensive work and the extra amount is so that city staff does not have to bring unexpected cost changes back for Council approval.

Council approved a three-year lease for $130,000 for the unoccupied second floor of City Hall space to Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school group.

Council also approved a contract change order amendment of $53,381 with Nordvind Co. for the changes and additions to the Riverton Heights Neighborhood Park project. The money came from a Community Development Block Grant.

Mayor appoints
The Council also confirmed Siefkes appointment of Stanley Tombs and Tejvir Basra to the Planning Commission; Dennis Anderson to the Senior Citizen Advisory Committee, and Clyde Hill to the Arts, Culture and Library Advisory Committee.

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