Yarrow Point residents take on WSDOT over roundabout

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by ELISA HAHN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @ElisaHahnK5

KING5.com

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 10:43 PM

YARROW POINT, Wash. -- The small upscale community of Yarrow Point has always enjoyed its quiet and safe streets, despite the fact it's nestled right next to a bustling 520.

But when the 520 project began, residents knew change was coming to the off-ramp into their neighborhood. Bulldozers would move in, trees would be cut down, and they would get what they thought would be a quaint traffic circle like the current one in neighboring Hunts Point.

What they discovered a few weeks ago, is that it would be much bigger.

The roundabout would be about 120 feet wide, the length of two articulated buses. The stop signs at the top of the exit, would be removed as well.

"Frankly, I'm more concerned about the safety issue and what it does to traffic patterns, and to people like me who like to walk," says resident Jennifer Odle.

"My concern is about the safety of our children," says town council member Tim Dillon. "My kids ride bikes through here."

WSDOT says engineers came up with the design based on the movement of traffic, speed, and safety. It says redesigning it could cost up to 5 million dollars.

Now the issue is pitting Yarrow Point against the state. Wednesday night, the town council passed a resolution stating it wants the construction to stop, even if the resolution falls on deaf ears.

At least two residents who spoke at the meeting say there are more important issues than an intersection.

The mayor seems to be the lone dissenter on the town council over this issue. But at the town council meeting, he said he would represent his constituents, who seem to be overwhelmingly against the current design.

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