Resolution 2286 passed with a five to one vote at the April 9 Bonney Lake City Council meeting. The resolution approved plans for a new sidewalk from Angeline Bridge To 192nd Avenue East.
Councilman Tom Watson voted against the resolution due to a concern about funds prioritization.
“I’m still not comfortable with this, where we’re getting the money to help pay for this and what’s being deleted from our plans for in the future … all of a sudden we’re gonna move this to the top of the agenda,” he said.
Watson said a citizen recently expressed that state Route 410 is being taken care of when Old Sumner Buckley Highway needs just as much, if not more, attention. More people walk on Buckley Highway as compared to 410, according to the concerned citizen. Watson asked the council if there had ever been a walking count performed on either road, to accurately determine which gets more foot traffic. No such count has been performed.
Though he wasn’t present for the vote, the resolution was pushed by Bonney Lake Councilman Donn Lewis, who has been advocating the need for more sidewalks since he took his place on the council. As a member of the Public Safety Committee, he said that Angeline Bridge is in desperate need of a pedestrian path.
Lewis said that the Department of Transportation has already proclaimed the bridge wide enough for a sidewalk on the north side, although a retaining wall will need to be built on the opposite side. However, even including the projected costs of widening a portion of the bridge, Lewis said that the project will be cheaper now than it likely will be in the future. This is in part due to the recent engineering contracts already completed on SR 410. Continuing the current projects will be more economical than beginning a new one in five years, said Lewis.
Lewis said that without public transportation, people are getting to the parks and youth center by foot — which means an increased risk of accidents along roads without a suitable walkway. He wants to take action immediately, as opposed to waiting for a tragedy to occur before taking safety measures.
“It’s an important project that has been disregarded before,” he said. “During my military career I learned that you need to think ahead to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.”