Drivers who get to state Route 512 from Steele Street or Pacific Avenue in the Parkland area take note: Ramp meters to regulate the flow of traffic onto the freeway are expected to be activated next week.
The signals could be turned on as soon as next Tuesday on the on-ramp from Pacific to westbound state Route 512 and the on-ramp from Steele to westbound state Route 512, the state Department of Transportation reported.
“Ramp meters are becoming more common because they are a cost-effective and proven way to help keep people moving,” said Kevin Dayton, the Transportation Department’s Olympic Region administrator. “They allow cars to merge onto a highway in a controlled way that lessens disruptions to traffic.”
Transportation Department officials plan one day to have the meters on every on-ramp to state Route 512 between Interstate 5 and state Route 167, spokeswoman Claudia Bingham Baker told The News Tribune in February.
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There already are such meters along the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Lacey.
Workers will monitor traffic for the first month or so and adjust the Pacific and Steele ramp meters to best handle traffic flows, said Tony Leingang, Transportation Department freeway operations engineer.
“It could take a bit for us to fine-tune the ramp-meter operations,” Leingang said. “Our goal is to balance the needs of drivers merging onto the highway with the needs of the drivers already there.”
Never been stopped at a ramp meter? Here’s what you do, according to the Transportation Department:
▪ Stop at the white line near the signal.
▪ Proceed when the signal turns green.
“Usually, one vehicle is allowed to proceed,” the department stated in a news release. “Exceptions to that rule will be signed accordingly.”