Not only has the Department of Transportation apparently fast-tracked their final decision for a roundabout at the state Highway 104 entrance to the Hood Canal bridge, but it will be metered, like entrances on I-5, so traffic on our only link to Kitsap will be forced to a complete stop in both directions before entering the roundabout during peak times.
At a public DOT meeting Aug. 29, the much lower cost of a solitary smart signal at that intersection was flippantly ruled out.
The DOT officials’ mantra to every challenge was that their only concern was safety, and that roundabouts are safer, based on national averages.
But in this seriously sloping, unique location, their conclusion ignores the certainty of increased congestion, road rage and high-speed pileups at the bottom of the grade.
An overpass is the superior solution if safety is the primary concern but was rejected due to cost.
With either an overpass or a smart signal, the existing highway would remain intact.
But months of constructing a roundabout, making folks late to work and doctor appointments is no small matter.
Nor is the mess we’re stuck with long after the non-resident, one-solution-fits-all planners have retired.
The public is virtually unaware of this “done deal.”
Transportation is required by the State Environmental Policy Act to analyze environmental impacts and consider alternatives but appears to have fast-tracked the process, cementing their plans in advance of fulfilling their mandated requirements in order to avoid public mobilization.