Saturday, March 26, 2011

Left Out

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Next year, Federal Way plans to overhaul the 21st/336th intersection in a major way: eliminate signalized left turns.  According to the project page, FW plans to introduce a first for Washington state - the "Median U-Turn" or "Michigan Left."

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Monday, March 21, 2011

RELEASE: City accepting applications for spring tourism enhancement grants

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Not-for-profit organizations planning to hold an event that will increase tourism and overnight stays in Federal Way can get a little financial help from the City of Federal Way. Applications for the City’s tourism enhancement grant (TEG) program are due March 31st.

Applicants will be invited to a committee review in April, and grants will be awarded by June. TEG supports the promotion of cultural, arts, sports, and community events that will occur in the Federal Way area. This is the first of two rounds of grants during 2011, with approximately $40,000 available for this year. There is no cap on individual grant requests. Funds will be awarded based on the following:

  • Eligible organizations: Non-profit 501(c) organizations, or municipal organizations of the State of Washington that plan, sponsor, or host eligible events. 
  • Eligible events: Amateur sporting, arts/cultural events, membership meetings, trainings, and conferences, or other events that will bring participants to Federal Way. 
  • Eligible costs: Grants can be used for securing, marketing, promoting, and advertising eligible events. Grants cannot cover entry fees, travel, salaries, material items, facility upgrades, capital campaigns, or operating expenses. 

Organizations and events that were funded in the fall cycle of 2010 include Federal Way Symphony’s Season Finales; CenterStage Theatre’s production of “Sleeping Beauty”, Flying AJ’s Track Club Hershey’s State Track Meet; and the Pacific Northwest Association of Synchronized Swimming’s 2011 eSynchro Age Group Championships.

Download an application by visiting and clicking on the “2011 Tourism Enhancement Grant Packet” near the bottom of the page. Applications also are available at Federal Way City Hall, 33325 8th Avenue South by contacting Administrative Assistant II Tina Piety, at 253.835-2601, or

The TEG review committee will meet in April at City Hall. Confirmation letters will be sent assigning time slots for the committee’s review and discussion of applications, and the city recommends that each organization send a representative to the meeting.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT:  Tina Piety; Administrative Assistant II -- 253.835.2601 or  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Borders Closures: Now ON the list

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An updated closure list from Borders has the Federal Way Crossings Borders closing in late May 2011.

So... what should take its place?  Post your comments below.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Recycling Event

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Tomorrow - Saturday, March 19 - 9 am-3 pm.  See the flyer (PDF) for more details.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Federal Way unveils pedestrian safety pilot program

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March 10, 2011

Brian Wilson
Police Chief

Cary Roe
Public Works and Parks Director

Federal Way unveils pedestrian safety pilot program

Can signs and reflectors increase pedestrian safety at busy intersections? The City Of Federal Way is set to find out with a pilot program “Stop Here on Red” reminding drivers to make complete stops at red light right-hand turns.

“We know that our busiest intersections carry an increased risk for pedestrians,” said Police Chief Brian Wilson. Between 2002 and 2008, there were 290 accidents in the city involving cars striking pedestrians. Six of those resulted in fatalities. “We’re hoping that by reminding drivers they need to make a full stop and look first, we can make our streets safer for pedestrians.”

Public Works crews began installing the first of several “Stop Here on Red” signs on Pacific Highway at S. 324th and S. 316th Thursday morning. The signs point to the stop line, where drivers are supposed to make a full stop on red lights, and check for pedestrians before proceeding with a right-hand turn.

Additional signs will be installed at Pacific Highway intersections at S. 312th and S. 320th, as well as at S. 348th and Enchanted Parkway. Crews will also install reflective raised pavement markers at several intersections to further highlight the stop line. The pavement marker installation is dependent on weather conditions. The total cost for installing the signs and markers will be approximately $9,000.

“Changing driver behavior at right-hand turns is one of the most important things we can do to make our crosswalks safer,” said Public Works and Parks Director Cary Roe. “We think this could be a relatively inexpensive investment that will save lives and prevent serious injury.”

City staff will evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program for six months. Based on the results, city officials will consider expanding the pilot program to other busy intersections.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I-5: SR 18/SR 161 Triangle improvements - New Map

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WSDOT's updated the "Phase II After Map" breaking it into 5 separate subphases with the costs broken out. Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Federal Way expresses concern for sister city Hachinohe in Japan earthquake

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March 11, 2011

Chris Carrel
Communication & Grant Coordinator

Federal Way expresses concern for sister city Hachinohe in Japan earthquake

Mayor Skip Priest today sent a letter to Hachinohe Mayor Makoto Kobayashi, expressing the concern of Federal Way’s citizens for the people of its sister city, Hachinohe, which was in the earthquake zone for Friday’s powerful earthquake. The Mayor issued the following statement: “All of us here at the City of Federal Way send the citizens of Hachinohe our best wishes and deepest sympathies in the aftermath of Friday’s earthquake in Japan. We sincerely hope that the citizens of Hachinohe are safe and unharmed and that the city and its people recover completely from the earthquake. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of our friends in Hachinohe and with all the citizens of Japan.”

Federal Way and Hachinohe have enjoyed sister city status since 1993.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review -- City: Rediscovering the Center

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(cross-posted from my personal blog)

City: Rediscovering the Center by William H. Whyte is a rather lengthy book written in 1988 that examines different elements of the city, from access to sunlight to what makes a successful sidewalk or public space. At the end, it careens into a quick look at what may prove why a city is unsustainable -- the cost (and execution) of housing and office space, as well as a look into companies that flee the city for the suburbs.

I cannot think of any of my friends, save Brett, who would be the target audience of this book. FederalWayan might find it interesting and I would definitely recommend it to the city planners and leaders of Federal Way, but it's not my usual fiction or business-related non-fiction. I'm not sure how I first came to put this book on my list of books to read, may have been from hugeasscity (I used to read their RSS feed, was a great site) or maybe it got cross-posted from Publicola (I don't follow) to Crosscut or Seattle Transit Blog or something.

Anyhow, the book seeks to figure out what makes a city work, borrowing from the author's life's work researching and studying the city. Interestingly (or maybe not so) is that most of the book spends its time outside, examining public spaces, parks created by developers as part of a new building, sunlight, sidewalks. Near the end, it briefly examines companies which have moved to the suburbs (almost always to location close to the CEO but a long commute for the average worker), the problems with towers (families don't want to live in them, small companies -- the kind that has the biggest growth -- can't afford them). In the end, one can't help wonder if the city (mostly New York City in this book) is a sustainable, ideal environment by the end. And maybe it isn't, the author closing to briefly extoll the virtues of the town, a smaller scale entity with a strict grid whose growth is carefully controlled by extending the grid in all directions, a few blocks at a time as needed.

Unfortunately, this, too, might not be possible as developers often get their own way since they're the ones willing to spend money. And developers, who are gone by the time the project is done, want large scale grid-destroying closed environments with large amounts of parking and big blank walls to keep everyone else out. It is these very things, the author suggests, that robs the city of its "center," a smaller human-scale pedestrian-friendly environment where casual, random interactions between strangers and friends make the world a slightly friendlier place.

That said, our city could take some lessons as it struggles with what to make of the large plot of land it finds itself holding on to now that the overly large towers won't be built. (P.S. Bellevue is held up twice as an example of things done right, at least as of the printing in the late 80's.)


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