Letters to the Editor

City bungles construction zone | Letters

A road construction project is expected to reduce congestion at 21st Avenue SW and SW 336th Street in Federal Way. - Courtesy image
A road construction project is expected to reduce congestion at 21st Avenue SW and SW 336th Street in Federal Way.
— image credit: Courtesy image

You would think by now that our city (i.e. the public works and police departments) would know how to set up a construction zone and run it properly, but apparently not.

The problem is they didn’t follow “Rule No. 1” which says to never set up a construction zone unless the traffic lights at the affected intersections are working properly.

Case in point: on Thursday (Sept. 19) morning, they set up a construction zone on 348th Street from the intersection where you turn left to go to Fred Meyer/Saghalie Middle School to the end of the shopping center west of 21st Avenue SW, closing two lanes so it was one lane going both directions.

I was traveling west on 348th on my way to Brigadoon Elementary, and it took me approximately 10 minutes to get through the intersection of 21st Avenue SW. When I finally got to the intersection, I asked one of two policemen there what was going on. He responded “they are trying to fix the traffic lights.”

So my question to Police Chief Brian Wilson is, if that was the case, why were these two policemen just standing around talking to each other instead of directing traffic, which I thought was part of their job?

As a result, a lot of traffic going north-south was getting through the intersection, but very little from the east-west direction. The same problem existed when I returned four hours later. It took me five minutes to get through the intersection because this time there was a cop directing traffic (the traffic lights were blinking red so apparently the city had not been able to fix the traffic light problem in four hours).

The city made the mistake of “putting the cart before the horse” because they never should have set up the construction zone until they fixed the traffic light problem (again, Rule No. 1).

This was a tremendous “disservice” to the motorists of this city. Lest they forget, we are paying their salaries (through taxes we pay) and the bottom line is that they need to do better.

Gary Robertson, Federal Way

Editor's note: The city re-striped this intersection Sept. 19. Click here for an update on construction.

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