Question: Since the yellow caution lights, slower speed signs and large black arrows have done little to alleviate the danger of the sharp left turn onto Sprague Avenue from the offramp of state Route 16, I question why the state Department of Transportation hasn’t placed a well-lighted stop sign at the top of the ramp, making drivers come to a complete stop before trying to negotiate that turn that’s hazardous at any speed.
Even if temporary, it could certainly eliminate the ongoing crashes that are prevalent there. Some sort of traffic control will, no doubt, be a fixture there eventually anyway. – Ken Upton, Lakewood
Answer: Claudia Bingham Baker, the Transportation Department’s Olympic Region communications manager, had this to say:
“We considered adding a stop sign at the curve, but since there is no oncoming or conflicting traffic, a stop sign wasn’t warranted.
“Instead, we opted to open the ramp and reduce speed limits to the point that people could safely drive it. We also added some features to help drivers maneuver the ramp, including the flashing lights, raised pavement markers, striping and warning signs. We also installed a second line of barrier at the top of the ramp and a screen to reduce driver distractions. When the ramp first opened, we did notice scrapes on the barrier along the curve. Interestingly, none of those collisions were reported to law enforcement. Nonetheless, we installed a temporary camera on the ramp so we could watch how drivers maneuvered the curve. It was soon clear that drivers were driving along the ramp just fine, so we removed the camera. To my knowledge, we have only had one reported collision on the ramp.”
Bingham Baker noted that the current construction project will complete the interchange by adding two ramps.
“When that construction is complete, we will have a signal at the ramp terminus and drivers will stop at the end of the exit, just like they do elsewhere,” Bingham Baker email@example.com