Enough with new intersections

Record Editorial

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 3:03am
  • Opinion

Why is it every time the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) or some other government agency thinks they have the key to solving traffic problems, it involves a roundabou? This time (pay attention Forster Woods folks) there is one planned for the off-ramp at eastbound I-90 at the South Fork interchange.

But wait, there is more. This time it’s not a true roundabout planned but a “water drop.” It appears, as is typical, the decision has been made to move forward to the tune of nearly $1 million before we have a chance to provide input.

Why do we in Snoqualmie Valley need to be the guinea pig for some new design? What happened to a good old-fashioned traffic light? We continue to try and provide expensive solutions to cut down the number of accidents, but no water drop is going to cut down accidents due to stupidity. Also, based on the drawings of the project I have seen, the roundabout is far more complex than any traffic light. It also doesn’t appear to make pedestrian use any easier, either. Remember, most roundabouts are a yield into the flow of traffic and drivers are more concerned about “jumping in” than looking for pedestrians.

The WSDOT is touting safety and congestion relief as the reasons for the project. But a traffic light has not even been tried. Do the surrounding neighbors of the project really want a water-drop shaped roundabout? Do businesses that will be impacted when travelers are too frustrated to stop really want this project?

Public comments can be directed to Mike Newman at (206) 440-4334, NewmaMi@wsdot.wa.gov.

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