by Richard Uhlhorn
Manson speeding issues:
“Manson is an accident waiting to happen,” Manson resident Pat Hautenne told the Manson Community Council at its Tuesday evening, February 21 meeting.
He mentioned to incidents that have happened in Manson; a vehicle losing control and driving into Buddy’s “My Place” bar and another accident where the driver veered off Manson Boulevard into Hautenne’s parked car that was off the main road.
“My neighbors and I would like to see something done,” stated Hautenne. He suggested a number of potential fixes to slow traffic down on Manson Boulevard which is already posted at 25 mph.
The problem is that no one seems to be following the speed limit on Manson Blvd. It has been a subject of heated conversation in the past at council meetings. The speeding issue seems to be from Lake Chelan Building Supply at the east end of town to the intersection of Manson Blvd. and Botske.
Apparently, it’s not just cars, but apple trucks also speeding through. “When they go through, they are hauling,” stated Hautenne.
Other areas of concern are the Manson School Zones and other narrow roads like Wapato Way which receives a lot of traffic.
Hautenne said that the Sheriff’s Department sent several deputies out to monitor the speeds and gave out nine tickets in front of his home in a short amount of time.
Hautenne stated that he called Chelan County Engineer Eric Pierson and asked if it would be possible to have some Speed Humps (not Bumps) installed to help slow traffic down. “He was totally negative and stated that the County would not be installing speed humps. It’s a bad situation and it is not getting any better.” Hautenne also said that the City of Seattle has spend $21 million on Speed Humps to slow down traffic.
Speed Humps are a lot more gentle than speed bumps and according to research tend to slow traffic by 10 to 15 mph. One issue Engineer Pierson brought up was snow plowing, but Jake Youngren, public works director at the City of Chelan said the speed humps up at Mt. Goat Field are temporary. “They are an operational challenge,” said Youngren. “We take them down in the fall and put them back up in the spring.” So they are temporary and a 20 foot wide hump costs about $3,000.
Chris Willoughby suggested that lowering the speed limit to 20 mph from the current 25 mph might also be a part of the solution. “I think the County will accept a speed change faster than installing humps.” He also stated that speeding tickets tend to be expensive over the posted speed limit.
The Council voted unanimously to request a speed limit change from the Lake Chelan Building Supply to the intersection of Manson Blvd. and Botske Avenue.
The idea of Manson incorporating is on hold and is just a conversation currently. According to Brian Patterson, the County should pay for the feasibility study. Manson resident Mike Kirk said he thought it was required state law that the County would pay for it. “I thought that too,” said Patterson.
The MRSC (Municipal Research and Services Center) states that “for the most part, the cost of incorporation attempts have been born by the county governments in which the incorporations have been proposed.” It continues: Incorporation initiators should contact the boundary review board, if there is one for their county, or the county legislative authority if no board exists, to determine what procedures exist for preparation and financing of incorporation studies. This should be done early in the process to ensure timely preparation of a study.
Chairman Kari Sorenson said that should be mailed to Chelan County Commissioner Tiffany Gearing, and that the study would most likely be over $100,000.
The Council still needs to determine if the community is interested in incorporation.
Commissioner Gearing emailed both the Manson Chamber of Commerce and Manson Community Council about the County’s plan to chip seal many of the road surfaces in Manson to discuss timing.
Both mid-June and late-July time slots will be considered, but the County would like feedback from both organizations.
Willoughby said the mid-June date would probably be better, but rain is always a possibility in June.