Safe Routes to School grant in the works for L.S.City staff working to build more sidewalks BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR With the weather becoming warmer and the sun setting later, kids in our community are out and about more frequently and the City of Lake Stevens along with Lake Stevens Fire District, the Lake Stevens Police and the Lake Stevens School District would like to see more sidewalks built, especially around schools.
The City of Lake Stevens has applied for a $1.4 million grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to improve sidewalks around North Lake Middle School and Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School.
While this number may seem a little steep to some the cost of the sidewalks also include purchasing right-of-ways from current landowners.
“People could say that they will donate their portion but we can’t expect that from people,” Scotty Swift, Lake Stevens Community Programs Director said. “It would be awesome though.”
Currently, 222 students who ride buses to and from both schools, could walk to school if there were sidewalks to facilitate them.
The grant proposal includes sidewalk paving on 22nd St. NE from 117th Ave. to Grade Rd; 20th St. NE from 123rd Ave. NE to the Centennial Trail and Grade Road from 22nd St. NE to 20th St. NE.
The city now has $400,000 in developer contributions (mitigation fees) from the past few years, which they will use towards the new sidewalks whether or not the city is given the grant.
“I think this is a good way to show people we are trying to leverage the money we have with the resources available to improve the infrastructure within the city,” City Administrator Jan Berg said.
The grant was just filed last week but will go onto a priority list before it is presented in the next session of legislature. Part of the grant requires that cities who receive the money have programs in place that will enforce, educate and encourage the use of the new sidewalks.
Lake Stevens Fire Marshal Robert Marshall currently runs the Risk Watch an
ing sidewalk rules and safety.
“The goal is to get that connectivity to get kids safely to the downtown area including the library and Main Street Center,” Swift said.
For now the city wants to impress upon the minds of drivers that safety should be a top priority, especially when kids are present. Keep your eyes open around schools, public beaches and other places kids tend to gather. Soon there will be more sidewalks to keep our kids safe. d Safe Kids programs throughout the Lake Stevens School District and will continue to educate kids regard