Well over a month after the closure of Algiers Road, several members of the public attended the Yelm City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 24, to voice concerns that were created with the shutdown of the popular sidestreet.
The closure of Algiers Road has worsened the accessibility of several businesses, including PT2Excel’s physical therapy office, according to those in attendance.
Dr. Tammi Stewart, the owner and a physical therapist at PT2Excel, said her business no longer has a storefront that faces a roadway. Stewart said the closure of Algiers Road has left her patients scrambling to find parking or unable to find her business.
“It’s not particularly safe for them to be walking across the road to come to physical therapy. One of those patients was 93 years old with a compression fracture in her spine,” Stewart said. “Luckily it was on a day that wasn’t raining, wasn’t icy or snowing, and wasn’t dark yet. I’m concerned for the safety of my patients and their ability to find my businesses.”
Stewart said that aside from making her business hard to find, the closure of Algiers Road has negatively impacted PT2Excel.
“Patients are kind of glazing over, thinking they’ll figure it out,” Stewart said. “But now patients are showing up late to their visits and even patients that have come to my office many times are having trouble figuring it out.”
After seeing the effects of the road closure and after receiving several complaints at her office, Stewart just hopes to see the road reopen and become a public road. While the closure affects her business, she added the impacts go further than just the four people who own the roadway.
Yelm City Council Member Brian Hess responded to Stewart’s comments and reiterated the financial challenges present in order to fix the road. Hess said it was estimated to cost $1.5 million to repair the street.
Mayor Joe DePinto added that he’s spoken with the property owner of the post office, who wasn’t made aware about the regulation requirements and was unhappy with the situation at hand. DePinto added the property owner will reach out to the other road owners to discuss their options.
“If there is something we can share in the future, we would absolutely make the citizens aware,” DePinto said. “Although it is a private road, I understand how it affects our citizens.”
Jen Carmody, a resident and local business patron, also took to the podium to discuss her concerns about the closure.
“I’m here to talk about the same issue as Tammi, but not from a business standpoint,” Carmody said. “I frequent Crossfit Yelm and PT2Excel. Crossfit Yelm does have a sign on the back of their building, and if you’re entering from the Gymnastics Center, you can see the sign there. But to be honest, I go to gymnastics and most people that go there probably don’t realize the Crossfit Gym is there.”
Carmody added the access from Algiers Road allowed people to notice businesses on the stretch of roadway, instead of having to thoroughly search for the now tucked away businesses.
Jason Preston, a coach at Crossfit Yelm, saw other problems with the closure of road, which included additional traffic and congestion on Creek Street. Preston said he arrives at Crossfit Yelm at 6:30 a.m. and has recently noticed a change of traffic flow due to the road closure, even in the morning hours.
To view the entire Yelm City Council meeting, visit their YouTube page titled “City of Yelm Government” and find the Jan. 24 meeting.