Feedback: Town not ready for roundabout
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:03 PM
I have been stationed overseas and I know that roundabouts do work.
I grew up in a town where a roundabout was the centerpiece. But I don't think that placing the first and only roundabout in Oak Harbor on the worst section of Highway 20 is a good idea.
Some people driving on that stretch of Highway 20 can't figure out what a 40 mph speed limit is, or how merging traffic is supposed to work.
I can't even imagine what they are going to make of an interchange where the flowing traffic doesn't slow down and the merging traffic is supposed to speed up.
Why anyone want motor vehicle operators diverting their attention soaking in the view of the bay and the city instead of focusing on the task at hand, operating their motor vehicles, is beyond me.
I have a feeling that the learning curve on a roundabout in that location would be as steep as the hill going out of the south end of town.
What about addressing the right hand turn from the Ford dealership going south? Traffic NEVER bottlenecks there.
I have an idea, how about making Ault Field Road / Heller / Swantown a four-lane road and make it an alternative route to bypass Highway 20.
That's an idea that makes sense. I wonder why it has never been thought of before.
We all know Oak Harbor will never annex the county land or build more houses or put in more traffic signals along Heller Road. That would create more traffic.
Besides, the city wants all of that traffic going through town so that people can stop to shop at the unique Oak Harbor stores along Highway 20, stores like ARCO, Big-5 and Kmart.
How about this, we put a roundabout at the NORTH end of Highway 20 where it meets Oak Harbor. That way we can give the motorists at the north end of town a chance to soak in the view of Frontier Lumber and the old Navy dump.
As to the increasingly generic look of Oak Harbor, well, the city sold their soul to the corporate box store and strip mall devil a long time ago.
It's a little too late to make every building along the Highway 20 corridor look like Kasteel's.
Finally, if a roundabout is built I think that a nice young Garry oak tree should be planted there, not a statue of a rooster.
Can you imagine how much money the city would spend in naming studies if people started calling Oak Harbor Chicken Town?