Four-way stop returns to Troxell and Monkey Hill

The people spoke and the county listened, resulting in a change in plans for a North Whidbey intersection.

More than 60 concerned citizens crowded the neighborhood fire station on the corner of Troxell Road and Monkey Hill roads Nov. 25 to hear about the recent stop sign changes at that intersection.

The meeting began with a short informational presentation by County Traffic Engineer Connie Bowers, who explained step by step the county’s decision-making process to switch the stop signs from Monkey Hill Road to Troxell Road.

The presentation highlighted the efforts of the county to design roads that are safe and efficient. She also indicated the importance of conforming to national standards to meet drivers’ expectations.

North Whidbey Fire and Rescue District Commissioner Bruce Carman said the traffic survey indicated approximately 60 percent of the vehicles that passed through the intersection traveled on Troxell Road while 40 percent were on Monkey Hill Road and this was the reason the county gave for making the stop sign change.

After the presentation, a flurry of hands went up to comment about the neighborhood’s experience with the intersection and the changes that have been made. The concerns centered around perceived safety through the intersection. Four issues repeatedly came up: the proximity of the fire station to the intersection, the nearby transit bus stop, the rise of Troxell Road at the intersection and the offset of the Troxell Road centerline through the intersection.

County Engineer Bill Oakes thanked the crowd for coming out and sharing their opinions. Oakes stated in a press release that the county rarely sees this amount of community participation even with major road projects.

At one point, he asked the crowd how many would support the return to the interim step of a four-way stop. All but one hand went up. As a direct result of this community meeting, the county engineer instructed the traffic engineer to conduct an engineering study evaluating the possibility of a four-way stop at Monkey Hill Road and Troxell Road.

Carman reported that many of the people who attended the meeting said they would “prefer safety” over what the county was trying to tell them about the placement of the stop signs.

“The consensus of opinion was to return to a four-way stop at the intersection,” Carman said.

As a result of the study, the intersection will be converted to a four way stop for a trial period of one year. At that time, the performance of the intersection will be reviewed.

Neighbors can expect stop signs and stop bars to be placed on Troxell Road at its intersection with Monkey Hill Road during the week of Dec. 8 through 12. The installation is dependent on dry weather.

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