Waterfront Connector should be stopped | Letter to the Editor

Jun 18, 2019

Action on the Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector should be tabled, and for good cause.

Last month, the annual Fire District report identified that emergency services generally failed to meet city of Edmonds' standard for compliance in 2018, assessed based on timely response to 90% of emergency calls; up to 10% of emergency responses may exceed the established criteria.

Calls to the waterfront account for only 1% of total call volume, and the one marine call was responded to timely, in accordance with the standard.

Some justification for delay of emergency response services was attributed to snow. No remark was made which would attribute delay in emergency responses to blocked rail crossings.

Therefore, it is premature to proceed with the Waterfront Connector on the basis of emergency services' need since that need has not been established.

The information presented at the public hearing last September was misleading and inaccurate, which may have artificially inflated support. Only five of the 11 incidents cited in the presentation actually involved a train blocking both crossings.

And as described above, the "need" for the Connector in order to meet the standard for delivery of emergency services has not been established.

The proposed Waterfront Connector was reported at the public hearing to have superior emergency access. However, with its proximity to the rail crossings and reliance upon Railroad Avenue to reach points south, it was the least reliable option presented, and most likely to be compromised by a single incident in which the crossings are also blocked.

This fact is revealed based on the scenario contemplated by the Fire District as presented during its annual report to Council July 21, 2015. With that training exercise, there would have been no access from the Waterfront Connector beyond the parking lot at the underwater park.

Please table the Waterfront Connector until the public is accurately informed and the need for compliance with standards for emergency service responses is actually demonstrated.

Further, the consultant should be ordered to correct the errors in its reports and presentations, and hold another public hearing, all at the consultant's cost.

Brian Thompson, PE
AEGIS Engineering


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