Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bellevue to begin ?Safe Routes? program

Sidewalks to be constructed along Fifth and Cedar streets

Express Staff Writer

The city of Bellevue will begin building sidewalks early this summer along Fifth and Cedar streets as part of its "Safe Routes to School" program.

The new sidewalks will provide pedestrian safety for schoolchildren walking and biking to Bellevue Elementary School, and mark the first step in developing street design standards under the city's 25-year Transportation Master Plan. The sidewalks will run on the north side of Cedar Street from state Highway 75 to the elementary school, and on the east side of Fifth Street from Beech Street to Pine Street.

"This is the first opportunity we have to apply some of the concepts under the Transportation Master Plan," City Administrator Tom Blanchard said.

Former City Councilwoman Beth Robrahn will conduct a community meeting and workshop on Feb.19 and 20 at Bellevue City Hall to provide information on the proposed sidewalks.

The sidewalks will be built 10 feet from property lines and snake through town to avoid tall trees. The plan also provides for the 10-foot snow storage requirements already in place in the city.

A public comment period will follow the workshop before sidewalk construction begins this spring.

In other news:

- Tammy Eaton, the longest-standing City Council member, was voted in as City Council president Thursday evening.

- The Bellevue Fire Department reported 45 emergency calls in 2007, with an average response time of 5.25 minutes.

- On Thursday, Feb. 14, the City Council will discuss a lease agreement with Idaho Tower Co. for a cell tower in Bellevue during an executive session before holding the third and final reading of an ordinance amendment allowing the tower.

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