Northwest NEWS

July 29, 2002

Front Page

Roundabout report on proposed Hollywood Hill project

by Bronwyn Wilson
   Senior Staff Reporter
   Reid Middleton, consultants hired by the City of Woodinville, continue to work on the design of the roundabout project proposed for the Hollywood Hill intersection. "They're doing the design right now," says City Engineer Joseph Seet.
   The design phase involves developing an initial conceptual two-dimensional layout and then a three-dimensional model. The City looks for completion of this phase at the end of 2002.
   "Right now we have funding for the design but not for construction," says Seet, adding that the City has begun to focus on garnering the funds needed for construction.
   In the meantime, the City continues to meet with stakeholders. "We're trying to address adjacent property owners' concerns and comments," Seet says.
   The proposed roundabout will be based on a "gap acceptance" principle and Seet explains: "A vehicle will come up to the yield line at the roundabout and if there is a gap available for the vehicle to enter the roundabout, the vehicle can do a rolling stop and merge into the roundabout traffic.
   "If there is no gap available, the vehicle can then stop and wait at the yield line for an available gap before merging into traffic.
   "With the roundabout, the pedestrian crossing point is behind the first car. The second car stops behind the crosswalk and the location of the pedestrian crossing will compel both pedestrians and car drivers to make eye contact and become aware of each other."
   Seet points out that in addition to safety for pedestrians, car occupants also benefit.
   "Studies have shown that accidents involving slow moving vehicles traveling in the same general direction typically result in property damage with reduced likelihood for injuries. You have low speed property damage in case of a collision," he says.
   Two roundabout intersections were recently installed at intersections in nearby cities. One opened in Monroe at Tester Road and the other within the last six months in the city of Sammamish.
   According to Seet both have proven successful and he mentions that Reid Middleton designed the Monroe roundabout.
   How well is it working? "Super!' says Seet. "That's what I'm hearing from WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation)."