Everett Street analysis enters 3rd, final phase

Camas hopes to improve 1.5-mile corridor for drivers, walkers, cyclists

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(Kelly Moyer/Post-Record)

The city of Camas has entered the final phase of its three-phase Everett Street Corridor Analysis project and hopes to have a set of “preferred alternative” plans to improve the 1.5-mile portion of state Route 500 that stretches from the Lake Road-Everett Street roundabout to the city limits near Northeast Third Street by the end of summer.

Camas Public Works Director provided Camas City Council members a project update during the Council’s June 5 workshop.

“We are likely not talking about one single project … but multiple projects that will take quite a bit of time and money to (complete),” Wall said.

City staff kicked off the Everett Street improvement project in the summer of 2022, and have been meeting with stakeholders — including people who own businesses, work and live along the improvement corridor — for several months.

“We’ve done a lot of outreach,” Wall told the Council on June 5, adding the city had gathered input from members of the public, technical advisors, business owners, property owners and members of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The city has held two open houses and conducted two surveys to gauge what these various stakeholders would like to see happen along the Everett Street Corridor.

“The corridor is really long, so we’re looking at: How do we break it into manageable sections?” Wall said.

He told Council members to think of the corridor in terms of “north and south sections” with the south section stretching from the Lake Road-Everett Street roundabout to 43rd Avenue and the north section running from 43rd Avenue to the city’s northern boundary near Northeast Third Street.

“The south section is more developed, while the north section is still more rural in nature,” Wall said. “The right-of-way (in the north section) is wider and (doesn’t have such) intense commercial activity.”

Wall said the city also wanted to look at the corridor’s various intersections and possible lane configurations for drivers — as well as how the stretch of road could safely accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

Many people who attended the open houses for the corridor improvement project asked city staff if they were planning for future traffic coming from Camas’ North Shore area, and Wall said the answer to that question is “yes.”

“We have had input from regional transportation commissions that incorporates development inside and outside the city,” Wall said. “We’ve made sure this can handle traffic and growth for the future.”

Some options that have emerged during the city’s second phase of planning include two scenarios for the more-urban south section: a two-lane road that would prohibit left turns and, instead, rely on roundabouts for u-turns to access businesses or homes on the opposite side of the road; or a three-lane roadway with a middle turn-lane and traffic signals at intersections.

Options for the more-rural north section include both of the south section options as well as a third configuration: a three-lane road with roundabouts at intersections.

“All of the options would have improved lighting,” Wall said.

The options also take into account how accessible the corridor will be for emergency vehicles. For instance, Wall said, if there is a two-lane roadway in the south section with roundabouts, the plan would likely call for a median down the middle that emergency vehicles could straddle but that would also “prevent normal vehicles from turning left.”

“The emergency vehicles would have to straddle the median and travel up the center of the road,” Wall said. “With a three-lane (road with traffic signals), people could pull over and leave plenty of room for emergency services to travel in that center lane.”

WSDOT has given city staff specific guidance for the bicycle-pedestrian lanes they’d like to see in the corridor, and Wall said the city’s surveys have shown there is a desire for the corridor to include bicycle-pedestrian lanes that would be safe not only for serious bicyclists but also those who are casual cyclists and perhaps not as comfortable riding right beside vehicles.

Some of the bicycle-pedestrian lane options that have emerged from the city’s second phase of planning include: a bike lane with a sidewalk; a shared-use path on both sides of the roadway if the final option includes a two-lane road; an elevated bike lane with a sidewalk; and a bi-directional bike lane and a sidewalk that would go on just one side of the road.

Wall said the city will hold another open house to discuss options and gather input on preferred alternatives and will come back to a Council workshop later this summer to review what staff has heard from the public.

“There could be two or three concepts, depending on where you’re at on the corridor,” Wall told the Council members.

Once the city has nailed down its preferred alternatives, Wall said city leaders will need to decide which sections have priority.

“We want to figure out our priorities and what we want to (work on) first, then we’ll start chasing money in the forms of grants and low-interest loans and figure out how we’ll fund the improvements moving forward.”

For more information about the Everett Street Corridor project, visit