We agree with Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz (Viewpoint, 7-31). Tillicum has benefited over the last few years with improved policing and upgraded infrastructure. Money, time and energy have been spent; let’s not undo the good that’s been done.
Improvements to Portland Avenue were completed last year, and work is continuing on some residential streets. Why now tear up Portland to accommodate a new Camp Murray gate? The $5.9 million federal and unspecified local tax dollars earmarked for this project should be used more effectively.
A solution has been previously suggested and summarily dismissed, but should be investigated: Using Exit 120 for both Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray traffic with a right- turn lane and new road parallel to the railroad to the camp’s perimeter where a new gate would be constructed. Cars for each gate would queue separately; each gate would handle only its own employees and security concerns would be addressed.
Money allocated for constructing the new gate, roundabout and raised crosswalk tables on Portland would be used to add a right-turn lane off the freeway, the new road, erecting a new fence along that road and building the new gate. City of Lakewood funds would be available for improvements to Union Avenue and the Berkeley intersection.
Traffic congestion in Tillicum and damage to our roads would be ameliorated, our children would be safer, our residents would be happier, the National Guard gate would be accessible, commute time would be shortened, security would be safeguarded and our tax dollars would be used effectively.