The City of North Bend announced on February 2, 2016, that it had negotiated a deal that could help improve traffic in the often congested downtown corridor.
At the annual North Bend City Council retreat held in mid January, the council identified an obstacle of achieving a pedestrian friendly and thriving downtown area – the noise generated by commercial semi trucks that frequently travel through the city’s small downtown core.
According to a recent traffic count performed by city staff, it was noted that about 600 semis drive through the SR 202(Bendigo Blvd)/ North Bend Way intersection each day. During the retreat, council members discussed how these large trucks challenged its efforts toward downtown revitalization and economic development, which includes implementing a brand of a premiere small town, outdoor adventure destination.
In response, North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos reached out to two of the city’s largest businesses that generate much of this truck traffic – Genie and Cadman, located in the I-90 exit 34 area. Rigos approached the companies about voluntarily re-routing their semis back onto I-90 to avoid driving through downtown North Bend, which in turn would help the city implement its brand and future vision.
According to a city press release, “both companies, Genie and Cadman, graciously agreed to this request and the City commends them for being such outstanding neighbors and businesses. This is just one more step in making North Bend “Easy to reach. . .Hard to leave. . .”
Councilman Martin Volken commented on social media, “This is a big win for the population of North Bend. The public works department was able to negotiate a voluntary agreement with two large trucking companies to drive their gravel trucks not through downtown any longer.”
The city did not identify what alternate routes would be used to re-route and access I-90 so the semi trucks could avoid traveling along SR 202 and the downtown cores of North Bend and Snoqualmie.