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Originally published October 19, 2009 at 12:05 AM | Page modified October 19, 2009 at 12:26 AM

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Disabled parking by Jefferson golf course moving

Q: This past summer, the two designated parking spaces for the disabled near Seattle's Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill were removed says a Shoreline resident.

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Q: This past summer, the two designated parking spaces for the disabled near Seattle's Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill were removed, says Shoreline resident Winfred McCain. "There is now nowhere for us handicapped to park without having to walk sometimes several blocks," he said.

He hasn't noticed any loss of parking for the handicapped at the city's West Seattle Golf Course on 35th Avenue Southwest or the Jackson Park Golf Course on Northeast 135th Street.

So, why the loss on Beacon Hill? "Don't they have to provide some handicap parking?" he asked.

A: Disabled-parking signs and stalls on Beacon Avenue South, at the Beacon Hill course, were in the public right-of-way, without knowledge or approval of the city, says Mike Estey, the Seattle transportation department's parking operations and traffic permits manager. And because the city considered them nonconforming, they were removed.

However, Joelle Ligon, a spokeswoman for Seattle Parks and Recreation, which oversees the Jefferson Park course, says the city intends to install parking for the disabled on Parks Department property, on the back side of the course clubhouse. Signs have been prepared and are ready to be installed, she said.

Q: For more than a year, Highway 900 in the Issaquah area has been undergoing road-widening between Southeast 78th Street and Newport Way, just south of Interstate 90. Issaquah resident Thomas Westman, who lives in the newer Talus community on the slopes of Cougar Mountain just off Highway 900 and only a mile south of I-90, says the pace of the work is deplorable.

"The majority of the time there is little or no activity or in some cases one or two people stand around as if looking for something to do," he said.

Part of the project involves widening a bridge over a creek near Newport Way. Westman says that work has managed to reduce traffic to one lane in each direction, or sometimes one lane only, resulting in huge backups.

"I shudder if an emergency should occur, such as a fire," he said. There appears to be a great deal to be done before the project is completed, he said. So, what's the holdup?

A: State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meghan Soptich Pembroke says the widening project was slowed this summer by delays with utility relocations and a water pipeline installation. But she says the project, which was started in August, 2008, is still on track to open new lanes to traffic by the end of this year.

This fall, crews will be working on the bridge deck, paving the newly widened section, and putting finishing touches on retaining walls along the highway, which is also well-known to locals as the Renton-Issaquah Road. That will likely mean single-lane closures between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays.

Workers have already replaced the culvert at the West Fork Tributary to Tibbett's Creek, and replaced the culvert at Clay Pit Creek.

"We expect to come back in the spring to finish the final layer of paving and install permanent striping," she said.

Pembroke says the widening should reduce traffic congestion and increase safety by getting rid of the choke point at Newport Way, with a wider road through Issaquah from I-90. There'll be an additional lane in each direction, a bike-only lane and a raised sidewalk.

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