Northwest NEWS

September 10, 2001

Editorial

Why no try out a roundabout similar to the one being considered

Dear Mr. Korff:
   Thank you for you comments and concerns regarding safety at this intersection. We too share your concerns. Safety was one of the key reasons that a roundabout is being considered.
   Under the current design, vehicles approach this intersection head on at approximately 40 plus miles per hour. While we have been fortunate that there has been no loss of life, we have seen an increasing number of vehicle accidents.
   Also, with the increase in traffic volumes, we are seeing a higher number of people running through as the light turns red. If only lanes are added to improve capacity, it also increases the potential for more vehicle conflicts.
   The roundabout, on the other hand, slows vehicles down to 25 miles per hour and aligns all vehicles in the intersection going in the same direction. In all cases for high accident intersections, the number of accidents have significantly declined.
   This is proven in a number of countries and in the United States over the past few years. In the U.S., there is no record of a fatality at any roundabout due to vehicle collisions. We have a U.S. insurance study to support this finding. If you are interested, please contact Joe Seet, the city's Traffic Engineer, at (425) 489-2700.
   There are also a number of other benefits besides vehicle safety. These include improved pedestrian crossing and bike safety, high capacity to relieve congestion, no wait for vehicles during non-peak hours, and improved access to the local properties in the vicinity of the intersection.
   If you are interested in trying out a roundabout of the potential size as being considered in Woodinville, Monroe has just opened one at the exit of SR 522 at Main Street.
   Thank you again for your contact. Please do not hesitate to contact me or Joe if you have any further concerns or questions.
   I hope that this has addressed your concern for safety.
  
   Mick Monken, P.E.,
   Director of Public Works