Northwest NEWS

July 31, 2000


Letters to the Editor

Round-about a sensible solution to traffic problems
   This letter is to recognize an excellent concept. The City of Woodinville Traffic Department has proposed a "new idea" for traffic flow. The idea is actually one that has successfully worked in Europe for many years. It is the "round about." The way it works is that traffic flows around the center island of the intersection no longer the traditional stop and go at stop signs and stop lights. This way the traffic never stops but moves in a slow, but orderly fashion through the intersection.
   Just imagine no gridlock. This is proposed for the intersection of 145th NE and 140th Ave. NE, (the beginning of the "Tourist Overlay" area, Ste. Michelle Winery, Redhook, Columbia Winery). How does it work? Your vehicle comes up to the intersection and instead of stopping, your vehicle flows through the intersection by going in a half circle until you come to the street you wish to travel onto.
   The upkeep of the roundabout is minimal compared to traditional stoplights.
   Mick Monken, director of Public Works, presented this idea to the Woodinville Council in May of this year. The idea came from Joseph Seet, traffic planner for the City of Woodinville. Mr. Seet used to work at W.S.D.O.T., (Washington State Department of Transportation) before coming to the City of Woodinville. Mr. Seet has seen this concept work successfully in Factoria and Issaquah. Mr. Seet along with Patric Lynch and Andrew Laski under the supervision of the director, Mick Monken, have developed this concept for the Woodinville Tourist Overlay District. This concept, if acted upon, would be the icon of the "Gateway" into our beautiful City of Woodinville. These "round abouts" usually have flowers in the middle of the island. In Europe you would see fountains with statuary in the center of the "round about." The appearance is pleasant and in some cities it can be beautiful.
   Is this an intelligent idea? Yes. I am pleased to be a part of a community where the city planners are incorporating sensible solutions to traffic flow. Thank you for the good ideas and I hope we make this idea a reality.
   Barbara Nelson, Woodinville