Friends of Rocky Prairie    

PO Box 140
Tenino, WA  98589



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Friends of Rocky Prairie

Traffic Concerns
About the South Sound Logistics Center (SSLC)

In a technical Memorandum done for the former owners, Citifor Inc, to Thurston County Development Services (dated May 12th, 2006) discussing the projected traffic for a proposed High-Cube Distribution Facility, 2002 estimates were used to project the potential traffic on area roadways, including Maytown, in a Maytown Aggregate Traffic Impact Analysis:

The amount of daily truck trips estimated for the High-Cube Distribution Facility was 1,335 -- with the number of other vehicle trips at 2,476 -- for a total of 3,751 trips through Maytown just for the warehouse facility alone. This estimate does not reflect any other industry to be located there, so we can assume the trips would be well over 4,000 per day. The survey also projected that 90% of the trips would be destined for the Maytown road. Again, these stats were based on 2002 surveys, and according to the report, for 2007 stats we can expect a 2% per year increase on Maytown Road (8% more than the aforementioned totals) and a 3.4% increase per year on Tilley Road.

• Please bear in mind these are traffic projections based on Citifor’s site plans for a warehousing facility, not the Port of Tacoma’s, but they serve as a baseline for possible future projections of SSLC-related traffic.

• Only two improvements were recommended to accommodate this high volume traffic. The improvements were:
               -  Construction of a northbound right-turn lane at the
                   Interstate 5 ramp and Maytown Road SW, and
               -  An eastbound right-turn lane at Tilley Road S and Maytown
The plan was aimed at funneling all traffic through Maytown

• We can only speculate as to what the final traffic plan may be, but with the Port of Tacoma assuming the expense of roadway upgrades, we may presume their plan will be based on similar traffic projections and traffic routes/patterns as that used by the former site owners.

Below is the City of Tumwater’s Ordinance, included here as an example of their intention to control large warehousing developments in their area and the associated traffic problems.

Agenda Item NO.2
From Tumwater City Council Meeting January 23rd, 2007

AN ORDINANCE relating to Warehouse Distribution Centers and amending the Tumwater Municipal Code Title 18, Zoning.

WHEAREAS, large warehouse distribution centers can generate large amounts of truck traffic and should be located on appropriate road infrastructure;

WHEAREAS, large warehouse distribution centers have high volumes of truck traffic and often have around the clock operations that can negatively impact other land uses, in particular residential land uses;

WHEAREAS, the proposed ordinance was prepared in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act public notification requirements of the City of Tumwater;

WHEAREAS, the Tumwater Planning Commission considered the amendments to TMC Title 18 and held a public hearing on ____________.


Section 1. A new Section, 18.04.644, is hereby added to The Tumwater Municipal Code to read as follows:

18.04.644 Warehouse Distribution Center
“Warehouse Distribution Center” means a building or premises in which the primary purpose is to store goods, merchandise or equipment for eventual distribution by boat, rail, air or motor vehicle and may include office and maintenance areas. A warehouse distribution center is not intended to include “big box” discount or warehouse stores that sell retail goods, merchandise, or equipment, or storage and mini-storage facilities that are offered for rent or lease to the general public, or warehousing that is accessory to a manufacturing use.

Section 2. Section 18.24.020 (B) of the Tumwater Municipal Code is hereby amended as follows:

18.24.020 Permitted uses.
Permitted uses in the LI district are as follows:
A. All uses having to do with buying, selling, and personal and professional services or offices, or of a general commercial nature.

Please read the article below from the Tacoma Daily Index newspaper concerning the problem of “container truck traffic” generated by the Port of Tacoma in Fife, WA. Similar truck scenarios would likely play out in other high-volume traffic areas, such as the proposed SSLC. To make matters worse, the travel routes around the proposed site would include non-Interstate rural roads -- a potential nightmare on wheels.

Fife city leaders, Port concerned over truck safety
By Todd Matthews
February 7, 2006

Two traffic studies conducted last year by the Fife Police Department have raised concerns about the safety of container trucks leaving the Port of Tacoma, according to a discussion Feb. 1 during a joint study session between the City of Fife and port commissioners.

The issue arose after police officers noticed a spike in the number of accidents involving container trucks on Pacific Highway East, which runs through the city. Officers operated emphasis patrols on Sept. 23 and Oct. 25 to inspect container trucks, and discovered that a number of vehicles operated in violation of safety laws.

On Sept. 23, police officers inspected 30 vehicles in 7 hours and found 90 violations. Officers issued 71 written warnings and 19 formal notices of infractions. Fourteen orders were issued placing vehicles out of service.

On Oct. 25, police officers inspected 25 vehicles in 7 hours and found 71 violations. Officers issued 61 written warnings and 10 notices of infractions. Nine orders were issued placing vehicles out of service.

During Wednesday's study session, police officer Dennis Diess shared photographs of some of the safety concerns discovered during the inspections, including broken slack adjusters, bent suspension brackets, cracked frames, defective steering, faulty brakes, and sliced inner side walls.
Brake concerns such as defective low-air warning devices, inoperable braking devices, air leaks, worn airlines, and brakes out of adjustment posed the biggest worry for police officers. During inspections on Oct. 25, 45 percent of the violations were related to brakes.

"We're looking for safe and efficient movement of containers in and out of the port," said Fife Police Chief Brad Blackburn.
According to port commissioners, many container trucks are privately owned and operated, making it difficult to enforce a safety standard. Though the port works closely with shippers and terminal operators, it is less involved with independent truckers.

Still, port commissioners and staff were alarmed by the findings. "No one should accept that kind of performance on the road," said Port Executive Director Timothy J. Farrell. "This is exactly the kind of issue we need to take up."
Chief Blackburn said police officers have shared their concerns with trucking companies. "We have gone back to specific companies and said, ‘we have a safety problem here’."

Commissioner Dick Marzano suggested working with terminal operators at the port to address the safety concerns. According to Marzano, terminal operators could require truck drivers to maintain their vehicles in order continue doing business.

"I think there's work we need to look into doing with regard to the operators," said Farrell.

Fife is a busy hub for trucks entering and leaving the port. The city has 10 routes designated for truckers: Pacific Highway East/SR99; 54th north of 20th Street; Alexander Ave north of Pacific Highway East; Port of Tacoma Road; 20th Street west of 54th and east of 70th; 70th Ave; Valley Ave east of 70th; Levee Road; Frank Albert Road; and Industry Drive.


Friends of Rocky Prairie
PO Box 140, Tenino, WA  98589

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