Highway group to meet at
“roundabout” for a rural intersection north of Enumclaw has sparked
plenty of debate over the past few months, and the idea will get a
public airing again tonight, Wednesday, at the Enumclaw Public
The Plateau Transportation Working Group, the
brainchild of state Sen. Pam Roach, will take over the library
conference room from 7 to 9 p.m. Citizens are encouraged to attend
and representatives from the state Department of Transportation will
be on hand.
At the heart of the discussion will be the DOT's
plan to build a roundabout at the intersection of state Route 169
and Southeast 416th Street.
A roundabout is a traffic design
system used at intersections to reduce the number of rear-end and
“T-bone” type accidents. Instead of meeting at a traditional
four-way intersection, autos follow a circular path through a
The DOT arrived at the roundabout plan after
determining the rural highway intersection had been the scene of too
many accidents. DOT engineers opted for a roundabout instead of
traffic lights and had taken early steps in the project before the
public got wind of the proposal.
Once the idea became known,
citizens and legislators objected - both to the proposal and the
DOT's failure to involve the public in the process - and the issue
has been on hold since.
last time the DOT gave the public the chance to speak on the
roundabout, citizens offered a resounding “no.” It seemed the idea
was being been scrapped when state Rep. Christopher Hurst received a
letter from the DOT's Lorena Eng. Her letter never promised the
roundabout idea was dead, however. A subsequent phone message left
by a DOT official to Roach indicated the roundabout plan was still
Realizing another roundabout meeting would
be scheduled, Roach went on the offensive and planned tonight's
She has adamantly opposed the way the DOT hosts its
public sessions, which are often spread over several hours and
involve displays spread around a room. Roach maintains that's part
of a DOT tactic to keep citizens from banding together.
senator intentionally scheduled the meeting for the library, where
everyone will be in close proximity, able to share their views and
get questions answered.
Kevin Hanson can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.