Right-turn lane disputed in Coupeville

A proposal to add a right-turn lane at the intersection of North Main Street and Highway 20 sparked a round of questions during a June 29 Coupeville Town Council meeting.

The proposal, which is part of the town’s six-year transportation improvement program that the council authorizes every year, would install a right-turn lane on North Main Street. That lane would help reduce traffic congestion.

The desire to widen North Main Street at the intersection surprised several members of the Coupeville Town Council.

“I’m just amazed that we have to build out for 15 minutes,” council member Molly Hughes said, referring to the time Main Street is congested in the afternoon when hospital and county workers get out at the same time.

The Coupeville Town Council updates a six-year transportation program each year. The plan contains a laundry list of projects town officials would like to complete. Projects on the plan include extending Fourth Street from N. Main Street to Broadway and repaving Madrona Way from Broadway to the town limits.

The town doesn’t have any money allocated for any project listed in the plan. Potential projects need to be identified in the plan to qualify for state and federal dollars.

Councilwoman Ann Dannhauer said she would be against any street-widening projects, and questioned whether park impact fees would be used to fund projects. She also wanted to know if the town could institute a traffic impact fee.

She didn’t get her answers. Instead, Councilman Bob Clay said the council has discussed the projects at one time or another and suggested Dannhauer contact Town Planner Larry Kwarsick to discuss any concerns she may have.

The Coupeville Town Council eventually approved the updated plan with Clay, Hughes, Dianne Binder and Tom Tack voting in favor and Dannhauer voting against.

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