Two transportation projects are pending on West Bakerview Road that should improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders and vehicle drivers in an area of extensive development. Both projects begin this summer.
Over the past decade new development along West Bakerview between Interstate Five (I-5) and Northwest Avenue has significantly increased the volume of traffic as well as vehicle collisions. Many collisions occur as drivers attempt to cross multiple lanes of traffic to access a business.
The first project is the reconstruction of sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks and bike lanes at the intersection of Bakerview and Northwest Avenue. This is project number five in the City's 2020-2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) which, after a public process, was approved by Bellingham City Council in June 2019.
The second project is the installation of a raised median in the center of West Bakerview from Arctic Avenue 1,900 feet east to the first landscaped center median. The new median will be a continuation of the raised median installed in 2017 between I-5 and Arctic Ave. It will be similar to the median installed by the State Department of Transportation on the Guide Meridian between I-5 and Kellogg Road. The high number of vehicle collisions along that stretch has dropped significantly since the median was installed in 2013, consistent with the Federal Highway Administration's finding that raised medians reduce vehicle collisions.
The new median in the center of West Bakerview Road will:
- Restrict westbound left turns out of the east Fred Meyer driveway;
- Restrict the shared driveway for LaQuinta Hotel, Starbucks and the Hampton Inn to right-in, right-out only;
- Restrict the Jack-in-the-Box driveway to right-in, right-out only; and
- Restrict the driveways for the Heritage Bank, BioLIfe and Villa Santa Fe apartments (812 W. Bakerview) to right-in, right-out only.
The decision to install the median is based on findings from the 2015-2016 West Bakerview / I-5 Interchange Study and the 2016-2017 Northwest / Bakerview Intersection Safety Study, which focused on the high number of collisions at driveways near that intersection.
Property owners, businesses and neighborhoods directly affected by these two city construction projects have been notified. For anyone with questions or seeking more information, please contact City of Bellingham Transportation Planner Chris Comeau, via (360) 778-7946 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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