Posted by BPuhl on January 5, 2010
(Non-technical rant in progress…)
Interesting trend happening around Redmond lately. Over the past few months, there have been 5 different traffic circles built, 3 feeding into one another in Woodinville, and 2 on East Lake Sammish drive in Sammamish. Both cities border Redmond, and both happen to be roads that I drive frequently. In fact, I have to go through the 3 circles in Woodinville each morning after dropping my daughter off at school.
So what. Isn’t it a good thing when a city takes out half a dozen consecutive stop lights, and replaces them with a slow but smooth flowing traffic circle? Well, if this were in California where I grew up and learned to drive, sure, it would be great. But this is Washington, and if you’ve ever had the chance to hop on a freeway in or around Seattle, then you’ve probably noticed: The stop & merge.
Yeah, it seems that drivers in Washington don’t actually know how to merge with traffic, instead, they stop…sit…wait for the orderly flow to slow to a crawl and somebody to wave/honk at them, and then they gun it to try to catch up to speed…
So kudo’s to the traffic engineers (who I suspect live out of state) for picking a control device which allows for a nice, orderly flow of traffic through these intersections. It’s too bad they have to get screwed up by the stop and merge.
Oh yeah – and to the beige Toyota Highlander on East Lake Samm this afternoon – Although the sign is red & white – it’s an upside down triangle that says YIELD, it’s not an octagon that says STOP – there is a difference!