The recently added Washington Street traffic circles are a very important community traffic safety issue.
These traffic control circles are dangerous. They force motor vehicles to drive into the legal lane of travel of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorized wheelchairs. Because of the poor design, it is only a matter of time before a community member is seriously hurt or killed.
Furthermore, these traffic control circles do little to nothing to slow down traffic on Washington Street. Vehicles rarely slow down when they enter these traffic circles. A speed bump or a speed table would be a much safer and more effective traffic control design. Unlike the traffic circles, speed tables would not force motor vehicles to drive into the pedestrian and bicycle lane while also safely and effectively slowing down traffic.
We contacted two Port Townsend City Council members with our concerns. They connected us with the Port Townsend Public Works Director. The Public Works Director was very responsive to our concerns and we had a productive, open conversation. He said that the City would be making improvements to the traffic circles in late April. We hope these improvements fix the traffic circles’ current flawed and dangerous design.
We will be paying close attention to this community safety issue. We asked the City to notify us of the next Port Townsend City Council Transportation Committee meeting when this safety issue is discussed so that we can attend. These meetings are open to the public and held every third Wednesday of the month. Council members David Faber, Pamela Adams, and Owen Roe are on this committee.
If you have feedback about the Washington Street traffic circles, we urge you to contact these City Council members to discuss your thoughts. We are also more than happy to talk to any community member about this important community issue.