City Council Update: Possible changes to widen 400/450 may steepen residents’ driveways

The city council is considering including bike lanes, a sidewalk on one side, and a middle turning lane in a five lane road for the expansion of 400/450 East which connects with Washington Blvd.  A decision needs to be made by the end of March and construction is anticipated to begin spring of 2020.

City Engineer Matt Harvardson needed  the council’s input  concerning what should be incorporated in the road. He discussed the pros and cons of a median or a turning lane, street parking, sidewalks, and bike lanes. The council wants to do it right the first time and with a projected 42,000 cars traveling on the road south of 2600 N, the road needs to be two lanes wide each direction. However the council must make the road as narrow as possible for the residents with steep driveways. A wider road means purchasing property from residents and pushing their driveways back, thus making their driveways steeper. Harvardson said “Five homes are not accessible with a 92 ft. right of way,” and the road is currently 70 ft. wide.

Councilwoman Cheryl Stoker, Councilman Blake Cevering, and Councilman Phillip Swanson were not in favor of incorporating a center median. With a median residents could not turn across traffic into their driveways and instead, they would have to make a U-turn at a break and backtrack to their driveways. Dave Shupe owns Cold Water Animal Hospital and he is not in favor of a center median because it would restrict access to his business. Randy Winn also did not support having a median. “Have five lanes and leave a center turning lane.”

A center turning lane would take up more space than a median and a wider road means steeper driveways for the residents whose driveways feed into Washington Blvd.

Sean Martinsen said his driveway is currently a 14% grade and he has a hard time getting in and out of it as it is. He said it is one of the steepest in the city and he is concerned the city is talking about making it steeper.  “Any snow at all and I have to plow and salt it otherwise I slide right out onto Washington Blvd.”

The council suggested having a sidewalk on one side of the road, shifting the crown of the road, including bike lanes in the design, and eliminating street parking. If they decide to go with this plan, garbage trucks and delivery trucks would occupy the bike lane while they make their stops. The council also suggested making a cement pad for garbage cans so they aren’t in the bike lanes on trash pick up day.

Other items

The council approved the Interlocal Agreement with Weber County relating to obligations required for a small MS4 General UPDES Permit for Storm Water Management.

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