The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is running an online open house until Wednesday, Jan. 19 so people can weigh in on potential roundabouts slated for state Route 702 near Mckenna.
The proposed roundabouts are set to be at the intersections of state Route 702 at Harts Lake Road South and at 40th Avenue South.
Construction for the project is scheduled to begin in 2024.
“We want open and honest feedback,” stated Mark Krulish, WSDOT communications officer for the Olympic Region, in an email. “The feedback we receive during the open house will help us with the design of the roundabout.”
Specifically, WSDOT wants feedback from people who are well-acquainted with the region, Krulish said.
“We want to hear from people who use the road — folks who drive cars or commercial vehicles and those who ride bicycles and walk,” he said. “This helps us in the case that we’ve missed something, such as if the road is a heavily used bike route. Each roundabout location is different. The design looks at topography, right-of-way and traffic volumes.”
According to a news release from WSDOT, studies show roundabouts help reduce the potential of crashes, while allowing better traffic flow.
“They reduce vehicle speeds through the intersection, and the net result of lower speeds and fewer conflict points leads to fewer crashes that result in a fatal or serious injury,” Krulish wrote in the email.
He said roundabouts are also efficient because lower vehicle speeds can create a more suitable environment for walking and bicycling.
“Roundabouts are designed to promote a continuous flow of traffic,” Krulish said. “Drivers slow down as they approach the roundabout, but if there is no traffic in the roundabout, drivers are not required to stop, as opposed to sitting and waiting at a light or coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.”
A third intersection included in the open house is located south of Spanaway on state Route 507 at 208th Street.
Free Wi-Fi access for the online open house is available through the Pierce County Library System for people who want to participate but do not have broadband service.
To participate, go online to engage.wsdot.wa.gov/sr-507-and-sr-702-roundabouts-pre-design-study.
To learn more about roundabouts, go online to wsdot.wa.gov/travel/traffic-safety-methods/roundabouts.
Locations of the Pierce County Library System can be found online at www.piercecountylibrary.org/branches/branch-listing.htm.
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