An exciting project has been under way for the past few months. After negotiations with both Enumclaw and Buckley city governments and administrations, a joint committee has been formed that has been named the Plateau Cities Collaboration.
The vision is, “A cooperative bridging of communities to share resources, enhance economic development, and combat regional hardships that our cities face. By working together may we become a better version of our former selves as we help each other on our cities pathway to success.”
The committee is made up of Enumclaw Mayor Liz Reynolds, Buckley Mayor Pat Johnson, Enumclaw City Administrator Chris Searcy, Buckley City Administrator David Schmidt, Enumclaw Councilmembers Kimberly Lauk, Mike Sando and Jan Molinaro (alternate), as well as Buckley Councilmembers John Leggett, Marvin Sundstrom and Beau Burkett (alternate).
Tuesday, May 31, at 7 p.m. was the first meeting of PCC in the Buckley Multipurpose Center on Main Street. The committee was joined that evening by Department of Transportation Olympic Region administrator Kevin Dayton, DOT Olympic Region signal operations engineer Ken Burt and DOT Olympic Region traffic engineer Steve Kim. The discussion focused on the traffic problems facing state Route 410.
Prior to this meeting, there were no actual plans in place to take on the issue of overcrowded roadways from poorly-planned development in our area. It was pointed out that SR 410 has the second-highest volume for a two-lane highway in this region. After engaging in a solution-based discussion and brainstorming session filled with lots of questions from the committee and helpful answers from the DOT representatives, Mr. Dayton offered a couple of actions that the DOT would commit to. The first is that they will immediately extend the rush hour signal timing through 6:30 p.m. The regional directors will also look into the other ideas discussed and bring back a feasibility report by the end of June.
Everyone knows how bad the traffic backups are from Enumclaw through Buckley. It is time to begin implementing some fixes and address what has caused this problem in the first place.
Enumclaw and Buckley are unique and charming small cities filled with rich history and wonderful people. Both cities have faced their fair share of adversity during the recession and bad blood caused by some former council members, but the time has come to start a new chapter. It is time to overcome the missteps of the past and build a foundation for a new relationship by learning to work together instead of against one another, or for individual personal political ambitions.
Issues like the traffic backup from Warner Avenue on SR410 past the traffic lights in Buckley are problems that we can address if we work in a more cooperative way. If we want to be successful, we need to work as a team. The challenges of traffic, infrastructure and development are regional problems that if not addressed cooperatively, will harm the quality of life in our historic rural communities.
Enumclaw City Council