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City prepares for Cleveland Streetscape next month, open house slated for Thursday

A rendering of the future Cleveland Street in downtown Redmond. - Courtesy of City of Redmond
A rendering of the future Cleveland Street in downtown Redmond.
— image credit: Courtesy of City of Redmond

Construction for the City of Redmond’s Cleveland Streetscape project is set to start in early February.

The project is part of the city’s effort to turn downtown Redmond into an urban neighborhood. Project manager Lisa Singer said it is also the final step before Cleveland Street and Redmond Way are converted into two-way streets.

To prepare for the upcoming construction, the City of Redmond will host an open house from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday evening in the Red160 Apartments lobby, located at 16015 Cleveland St.

The purpose of the open house, which will have light refreshments, is to share the city’s downtown vision and how Cleveland Street will transform into downtown Redmond’s new “main street.” Also included in the evening’s program will be updates on the Downtown Park Master Plan, arts and cultural programming and new parking options as they are helping to shape the future of Redmond’s downtown neighborhood.

“Staff is very excited about the transformation of downtown,” Singer said.

The Cleveland Streetscape will cost $5 million and is funded by a $3.37 million Surface Transportation Program (Urban) federal grant and the city’s Capital Improvements Programs budget. Work will be done by Tri-State Construction, Inc. and stretch from 161st Avenue Northeast to 164th Avenue Northeast and include various improvements.

For more information on the project, visit www.redmond.gov and click on “See What’s Happening in Downtown Redmond” or contact Jill Smith at jesmith@redmond.gov or call (425) 556-2448.

A UNIQUE STREET

As part of its intended “main street” feel, Singer said the new Cleveland Street will feature urban design and visual elements to make it unique from any other road in Redmond. The first main difference is that both the sidewalks and roadway will be concrete. Singer said roads are typically asphalt, adding that concrete may cost more initially, but it will not require as much maintenance in the long run. In addition, the concrete, which will be poured into a pattern, will offer a certain aesthetic look as it is lighter than the usual asphalt.

The Cleveland Streetscape will feature a curb-less sidewalk and include landscaped areas with benches as opposed to being lined with trees like the other roads throughout downtown, Singer said.

To prepare for the Downtown Couplet Conversion project that will turn Cleveland Street and Redmond Way into two-way streets, there will be some underground utility work and other infrastructural work done such as adjusting curb lines and moving traffic signals. Two new crosswalks will also be added between 161st Avenue Northeast and Leary Way.

Singer said they are doing all of this now so when the project is complete in early 2015, there will be minimal work required for the couplet conversions.

EASING FRUSTRATIONS

The Cleveland Streetscape will impact traffic along the street throughout the year.

“It’s a frustrating process,” acknowledged Anne Marie Peacock, communications specialist for the City of Redmond.

Recently, construction in another area of downtown Redmond has led the Redmond Police Department (RPD) and mayor’s office to field calls from drivers who were frustrated about how lane closures and limited left turns were affecting their drive.

“It’s a tough one for everybody,” said RPD officer and spokesperson Mike Dowd.

Singer said to prepare the community for the traffic impacts to come with the Cleveland Streetscape, the city will continue active outreach efforts during construction through multiple methods including an email list, message boards throughout downtown, traffic alerts and more.

“We know the resident businesses have been impacted,” Singer said about the construction.

She said they want to be sensitive to this, so the city has added staff to the project who will focus on community outreach to get information out to area businesses who will be affected — who in turn, can communicate the information to their customers. Singer said city staff will also meet with businesses throughout the year prior to portions of the projects that may have more significant impacts on their buildings.

Singer said this type of outreach work has led to fewer complaints from the community as they are more aware of what is going on and how to plan their drive accordingly.

Peacock agreed, saying the city’s outreach efforts have been helpful.

To sign up for traffic alerts and/or construction updates, vist www.redmond.gov and click on “Sign up for traffic alerts and other notifications.”

NEW PARKING OPTIONS

In addition to traffic impacts, the Cleveland Streetscape will also impact parking availability downtown.

To provide more options for residents, visitors and the business community, the city has recently expanded its downtown parking options.

The boundary for monitored on-street parking has been expanded to the east and south and is more inclusive of the downtown’s urban center. To view the monitored parking area map visit www.redmond.gov/transportation/downtownparking for detailed information. On-street parking permits are also available for a $50 monthly purchase by calling Diamond Parking at (425) 556-2433, and then press Option 1.

A new downtown paid parking lot, which adds 92 spaces to the neighborhood, has also been completed. It is located at 7541 Leary Way at the corner of Bear Creek Parkway and Leary Way, adjacent to the Redmond Central Connector. Users can enter the lot off Bear Creek Parkway. The lot is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is monitored Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All vehicles must register at the pay machine and pricing varies from $1 up to $5 for all day parking, with the first hour free.

For more information regarding either the city’s monitored parking program or the paid parking lot, contact Kim Keeling at (425) 556-2451 or khkeeling@redmond.gov.

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