Medical Lake citizens voice concerns about traffic on Brooks Road, city to explore options to reduce issues
Several Medical Lake citizens have become concerned with the increasing amounts of traffic on Brooks Road.
Tammy Roberson is one of many Medical Lake residents who live along West Brooks Road. She approached the City Council at the May 20 meeting with a petition that details their concerns of the heavy traffic — specifically large commercial vehicles — that pass through the city limits.
According to City Administrator Doug Ross, Brooks Road is an arterial that connects to Highway 2 and is supposed to have a high volume of traffic. Construction projects along the road also contribute to the increase of traffic.
Ross said citizens have complained about the traffic in the last couple of years.
“There’s a two-mile stretch of Brooks Road in the city limits,” Ross said. “It’s unfortunate, but trucks use it to get to the highway.”
Another issue Roberson brought up is the speed of vehicles that drive on Brooks.
Brooks Road has a speed limit of 45 miles per hour. When the road reaches city limits, the speed limit is reduced to 30 mph. According to Roberson, many drivers do not reduce their speed, which causes problems for pedestrians walking along those streets. She added that many of these drivers are not Medical Lake residents and are merely passing through the city.
“They are not invested in the speed limit or the safety of our local residents,” Roberson said.
Roberson said the noise from these vehicles is another issue. The Washington state standard for a residential area is 66 decibels (dB) — average readings from the commercial trucks that pass through Brooks Road are above with highs of 88-90 dB.
Bill Trout, who lives on the corner of Jefferson Street and Brooks Road, said the noise has gotten worse over the years. He added he hasn’t seen police officers handing out citations to drivers who don’t follow the speed limit.
“If you would like, I could start taking down license plate numbers and turning them into the police,” Trout said.
Ross said the concerns of the citizens are valid and that the city has had their own issues with large commercial trucks causing damage to the road.
“We have road restrictions in the spring because the road gets soft and truck drivers will call and complain to us about the restrictions,” Ross said.
Roberson presented several suggestions to help the city regulate the traffic, such as reducing the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph for the two miles of the road that is within city limits.
“If the traffic speeds are lowered the noise will decrease and the roads will be safer for residents,” Roberson said.
Roberson also suggested the city empower SCOPE officers to issue citations and fines for drivers not following the speed limit or weight restrictions.
Ross has asked deputies to put an emphasis on patrol in the mornings to watch out for trucks that are speeding, not only on Brooks Road but also in other trouble areas within in the city.
Ross added that the city is also looking at other legal options to see what they can do about reducing the problems on Brooks.
“Hopefully we can work with residents and meet somewhere in the middle,” Ross said.
Al Stover can be reached at email@example.com.