Cities agree to explore Strahorn alternatives

One-way designation in place since last fall

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HAYDEN LAKE -The cities of Hayden and Hayden Lake have done more than agree to disagree on the one-way section of Strahorn Road.

On Tuesday night the cities agreed to explore alternatives together, and draft a schedule for the process, to include public hearings in both communities.

City council members for both sat around a table at Hayden Lake City Hall for more than an hour to hammer out the verbal agreement - without too much hammering on the table.

The idea is to reach a solution to solve more of the problem than the current one-way designation does.

"This sounds good," said Hayden Mayor Ron McIntire. "It's a good starting place."

Hayden Lake Mayor Nancy Morris said if there is another solution identified, she's open to seriously considering it.

Hayden officials complained earlier this month that Hayden Lake acted alone in designating the one way, which was officially to be a temporary fix, but it was never made clear how long the test would run. Hayden officials want the decision re-evaluated, using professional planning and engineering principles.

The Hayden Lake designated the half-mile section of Strahorn - between Miles Avenue and Hayden Avenue - a southbound one-way in September.

Hayden officials have said northbound traffic on Strahorn is being channeled through Hayden residential streets like Hillview Drive to the west.

Some northbound Strahorn traffic has gone to Lakeview Drive to the east.

Tom Gorman, of the Hayden Lake City Council, said the city opted for the one way to reduce traffic on a deteriorating road surface and slow speeds there.

Safety was another consideration because the road is only 18 or 19 feet wide, while Hillview, by comparison is 25 to 30 feet wide. Walkers and bicyclists have found the road dangerous, he said.

Improving the road wasn't an option, he said, because it would cost $800,000 to $ 1 million. Improvements also would spell the end of about 50 mature pine trees along the edge of the Hayden Lake Country Club. Gorman said the city's comprehensive plan calls for maintaining the semi-rural atmosphere and trees.

With Tuesday's agreement, both cities will seek a mutually agreeable alternative, if possible.

Hayden officials have asked for traffic counts or other traffic planning data that show the one-way is helping matters. They said Hayden Lake acted without doing the necessary research, making the change more for emotional reasons.

Gorman said he lives there and has seen the improvement first hand. He said the citizens of Hayden Lake love it.

The full Hayden City Council and McIntire attended the meeting; while only Gorman, Morris and Hayden Lake Councilman Chris Beck attended.

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