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Troxell, Monkey Hill stop sign changes

Island County has completed a staged intersection revision at Troxell Road and Monkey Hill Road resulting in increased traffic flow while maintaining safety.

Last year it was discovered that the stop control was on the primary road, Troxell Road, meaning all the cars on Troxell Road had to stop at the intersection with Monkey Hill Road. Traffic on Monkey Hill Road did not have to stop.

“This inhibits traffic flow by requiring the greatest amount of cars to stop. It can even increase rolling stops or disregarding of the stop sign as there is often no conflict from the lesser volume road,” said Connie Bowers, county traffic engineer, in a news release. “For this reason, national standards recommend that stop signs be placed on the road with the lowest volume of traffic.”

In this case, that would be Monkey Hill Road.

Island County defines Troxell Road as an arterial road, which means it is designed to carry large volumes of traffic between locales. Monkey Hill Road’s function is to provide local access, carrying a fewer amount of cars.

“These functions were validated in the latest traffic counts which indicate that Troxell Road currently carries 60 percent more traffic than Monkey Hill Road, Bowers said, adding that safety is always a concern for Island County Public Works.

“A staged approach was devised which would allow drivers to be aware of upcoming changes and provide time to adapt to the changes,” she said. “First, variable message signs were posted to alert the public of the upcoming change in traffic patterns. Next, stop signs were placed on the Monkey Hill Road approaches. This turned the intersection into a 4-way stop controlled intersection.”

The intersection remained as an all-way stop for a number of months as drivers became used to stopping on Monkey Hill Road and variable message signs were used again before the final switch.

In August, the stop signs and stop bars were removed from Troxell Road at its intersection with Monkey Hill Road. The intersection is now in what Bowers describes as “the optimal configuration for traffic flow stop controlled on the Monkey Hill Road approaches.”

The Island County Public Works staff invites users of this intersection to attend a meeting to explain the traffic engineering perspective, better understand the concerns of drivers, and explore alternatives.

The meeting will be held on from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, at the Cornet Bay Fire Station, 395 Troxell Road.

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