South Whidbey Record


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Transit needs a fire lane

November 30, 2012 · Updated 1:43 PM

To the editor:

Lighting is already an issue with the construction at Island Transit and I anticipate full involvement by EBLA staff and the general public living around IT in determining the level of acceptable light pollution from this large project.

We need to know the lighting plan now, because construction lighting is already polluting the night for up to a mile in all directions. The noise and view is also disturbing to all those who live around the area.

Is anyone talking about the lighting, or are they counting on the public forgetting about it — that is, the three or four members of the public who know about the fact that there is no lighting plan approved yet. Boy, write a grant with no money to do something you are supposedly required to do, and then have no lighting plans for a government building in the middle of Ebey’s national park. Goodness. Don’t forget the all but guaranteed light pollution that will inevitably be a violation of EBLA rules. I don’t hear anyone discussing that, and this area will never be the same once they throw the master switch on that. Already, just the work lights in the huge buildings seriously affect the night sky over here — 500 yards away.

Hasn’t anyone followed up on the indication from a concerned owner who was at the meeting when the hearing commissioner ruled that they must have a fire lane, but not a secondary full-use access? How can Island Transit not have money to do something it claims is required in the grant?

Also, it is the understanding of many local residents that the hearing commissioner required IT to have a fire lane access, and not a secondary access that would be used on a daily basis.

Fire lane accesses can be marked with posts known to the fire department and a flower bed can be planted over them — but with the underlying ground sufficiently prepared to handle fire trucks if they are ever needed. The other obvious place for a second ingress/egress, if they must have one — for which there is no evidence they do, is just to the east of Main Street Collision. If the roads are going to be widened for left and right turns in this area anyhow, then this is a natural and would cost much less. Making a left turn lane into the existing entrance is the cheapest and most sensible option that should have been thought of two years ago. All of the area residents thought of that within five minutes of hearing that the triangle was going to be turned into a circus. Again, a fire lane can be done right in front of the buildings, perhaps right where the temporary access is now located for the big earth movers to enter — just east of the entrance to the tree seed orchard.

Barbara Vaughan


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