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Intersection destined to get worse
(In response to the editorial in the Feb. 8, 2006 edition of the Snoqualmie Valley Record.)
Yes, downtown North Bend is kind of a mess and will only get worse if something is not done.
I am not sure if extending Southeast Cedar Falls Way to Orchard Drive is the answer, as that traffic will eventually have to go someplace: back to North Bend Way off of Park Street (not good), or take a left on 202 (not good at all) or a right on 202.
What about shutting off Southeast Cedar Falls Way where it meets North Bend Way and putting a roundabout further to the east (424th/Maloney or 432nd/Mount Si Road or 436th Avenue Southeast/Exit 32)?
Not sure who could pull off "shutting off/cul-de-sacing" a road but this would open up that area around Les Schwab and take some of the danger out of there. That, combined with removing the landscaped island in downtown (allowing for more cars to get left, for going south on 202) would make traffic back up less and flow better. Or how about making Southeast Cedar Falls Way a "west" only one-way beyond Maloney (at least, no more left turns at Les Schwab and Cedar Falls Way)?
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I would be in favor of a roundabout at Les Schwab, if that means no more left turns out of the post office or Orchard. They would have only a short distance to turn around in the roundabout.
I am a real estate appraiser and drive in lots of traffic throughout King County. There is no place that brings my blood pressure up more than the QFC/post office area of North Bend during heavy traffic. With QFC shoppers taking a left, post office people taking a left, heavy traffic going both ways and a middle lane that is kind of a "let's play chicken" area, etc., it has to be one of the worst traffic areas in the county. If that Les Schwab roundabout would help correct that problem, then it would be worth it for that reason alone.
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Bring in the experts, people who do this kind of thing for a living, well ... never mind on that idea.