Feedback: How to fix traffic problem
July 3, 2008 · Updated 10:12 PM
I've lived in Oak Harbor for the better part of 18 years and like many, I've seen much growth in our small town. I read in the News-Times that there is an expansion project in works for Highway 20 from Swantown Road to Beeksma Drive. That is a much needed improvement. I know it will be expensive and also saw that the target date for that is 2009.
One area that needs immediate attention is on Highway 20 westbound at the intersection of SW Erie Street. Currently there are two lanes before hitting SW Erie Street that quickly merge into one lane right after the light. The right hand lane is expected to yield to the traffic in the left hand lane. The problem is, too many drivers in the right lane do not yield. Many also seem to make a game of beating the traffic in the left lane to the merge. I have seen numerous accidents because of that, yet a solution seems so simple.
Make the right hand lane a right turn only lane, so the right hand lane's traffic has to turn onto SW Erie. Drivers traveling on SW Erie who want to turn right onto Highway 20 could still do so, knowing they would have to yield.
They are never the problem. The problem is when traffic travels through the light at SW Erie and doesn't pay attention to the yield. This could be aaccomplished with a small concrete median, some paint and a few signs. I'm confident the accident rate at this intersection will go down significantly.
This isn't going to help rush hour congestion at this part of the highway, but will make the highway safer. Anything that we can do to make our roadways safer should always get immediate consideration.
Writing from the
USS John F. Kennedy