Thank you to everyone who took the time to show up at the City Council on January 22nd in the middle of a snowstorm! We filled the Council Chambers and overflowed into the lobby. Several people spoke in favor of the Friends of Leavenworth request to amend the City’s Comprehensive Plan to reflect the true time period of high traffic volumes–Friday afternoons and weekends. The City Council voted to add this issue to the list of topics that will be studied in 2019 for possible amendments to the Comprehensive Plan.
The Comprehensive Plan currently states that “peak” traffic occurs on a mid-week afternoon. What this means is that developers are only required to assess their incremental impact on traffic for this time period. The data from the Washington State Department of Transportation (traffic counters) clearly shows that the heaviest volumes of traffic occur on weekends. Yet the city has resisted changing the policy because it might require developers to do more mitigation of their traffic impacts, especially for tourist oriented projects. We will need to stay on top of this issue in the coming year to make sure that the study of this issue turns into a change in official policy as reflected in the City’s Comp Plan.