As a nearby resident who uses the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Bishop Boulevard almost daily, I was appalled to read of the Pullman City Council considering approval of a 13-story apartment building at this already congested traffic spot. Two county roads, busy with local traffic as well as from Moscow, spill out onto Johnson. To turn left off Johnson onto Bishop is already hazardous with a wait to seize the moment. Before advancing, a driver must check separate entrances into and egress from three pot shops and a busy restaurant.
To read further that the builder will request a conditional use permit allowing for more renters than the current law calls for raises the ante. Although the builder promises “plenty of parking,” that begs the question of how much will be in a parking garage. After all, apartment dwellers of the proposed 13-story finger who lose the parking lottery can surely find spots in the nearby church, restaurant and mall lots. No problem. There is no reason to trust the City Council on the issue of waiving such a variance for less than needed parking, citing the Soviet-style construction that looms over Main Street.
Can one trust the city to come up with a traffic light at the intersection? With an October beginning of construction, such heavy equipment required will find competition with grain trucks hauling crops to the river or to the Lewiston highway via Bishop.
Then, there’s the issue of buses, both city and school, having to stop at the unused railroad tracks right there at the intersection. Will a traffic analysis, considering the addition of 2,700 more vehicle trips make a bit of difference to this City Council? Yes, this is my ox being gored. How many others find this exceedingly poor planning.