Was roundabout the right decision

Record Editorial

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 2:38am
  • Opinion

Has anyone driven eastbound on I-90 at the South Fork interchange, Exit 31, and noticed the line of cars backed up onto the freeway?

I received a few calls from anxious drivers within the last few weeks worrying about who was going to end up in an accident due to the length of backup on the freeway. I checked it out for myself and was amazed at the backup, even on weekends, at the exit.

Yes, the roundabout is under construction, but so far it seems to have done little to alleviate the backup. Maybe when people figure out how to use two lanes of the roundabout rather than just one it will get better, but it’s only going to take one major accident for the state to be facing a large lawsuit.

This will be the true test to see if a major off-ramp can handle a roundabout at the bottom and frankly, I don’t have a lot of faith that it’s the right solution. It currently has traffic backed farther onto the freeway than ever before.

I’m not hopeful that this was the correct solution at Exit 31 and hope that someone holds the state Department of Transportation traffic engineers accountable if it does not work.

From an economic point of view, we want people to stop in town and spend their money. But a backup at the off-ramp isn’t going to do a lot to attract people to town.

The state should hurry to finish the roundabout, then decide if it’s really applicable to high traffic on off- and on-ramps. If not, we want our good old reliable stoplight back.

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Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
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