Join the Conversation on Edmonds’ Controversial Five Corners Roundabout

Poll is evenly divided between supporters and non-supporters.

We now know what the City of Edmonds’ at Five Corners will look like.

And when Public Works Director Phil Williams unveiled an artist’s depiction at a City Council meeting this week, he acknowledged he’s heard resistance for the project from many residents.

But Williams, in making his case for the roundabout, said research from other cities with roundabouts show that initial opposition to the traffic circles eventually turns to support after they are in place.

Williams gave a number of reasons why the city should adopt the roundabout, whose initial design and engineering cost comes from a $463,000 air-quality grant from the federal Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program, as well as $73,000 of the city’s money.

  • It is necessary because a 2008 transportation plan, based on traffic delay time, congestion and other factors, gave Five Corners an “F” rating (“A” is best).
  • It will speed up traffic. Williams said that, at peak traffic hours, the average delay is almost two minutes. This figure can be pared down to 10 seconds with a roundabout.
  • It will approve the look of the intersection, a major gateway to Edmonds, with a possible design to tie into the fountain at Fifth and Main (which is not a true roundabout since it has stop signs).
  • It will encourage new business and future development.
  • It will decrease pollution and save 93,000 gallons of fuel per year.
  • It will make it easier, and safer, for pedestrians to cross the intersection.

Williams pointed out that Washington has added 205 roundabouts since 1997, and more than 3,000 have been installed nationwide during the same period. In the Puget Sound cities of Woodinville, Gig Harbor and Sammamish, roundabouts have proven to be popular among a majority of residents, he said. .

Edmonds secured a federal transportation grant in 2010 to fund the design and right-of-way phases, the latter of which will likely include widening the intersection. The city will be pursuing additional transportation grants next year to fund the construction phase of the project, which is expected to be about $2 million.

The public is invited to comment on the roundabout during the City Council meeting on Dec. 20.

Bette Bell March 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Brian...did you receive the last comment I sent? If so where is it? I can't seem to find it.
Brian Soergel March 16, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Bette: Hi Bette. Not sure what post it was. Why don't you post again? Thanks for being part of the conversation.
J. Roe March 16, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Brian, you ask for more people to comment who are if favour of the proposed roundabout. MAybe you have heard from ALL of them. I am completely against the idea. Traffic flows very well 90% of the day, and only slows down during the usual peak hour between 5-6pm. This is an invitation for for finiancial disaster. Cost over-runs, and windfall profits for the contractor. Have you seen the asphault job done recently on Dayton street by the ferry toll booths? Too use pollution as a reason for replacing the 5 stop signs, and public safety is a ruse. Can anyone list the latest accidents that have occurred there? Another city Proposal is a light at 9th and Caspers Street. If stopping at 5 corners causes pollution and must be fixed, then why would the city think a stoplight here would be a good idea? A little hypocritical? I am open minded and wiloling to look at good improvements for this great little city, but should we go down the path of dumping money into something that isn't a problem. Others have commented that Edmonds should pour sidewalks for public safety where they are long overdue. Sounds like a good use of liimited public funds. These items should be on the ballot for voters to approve, not the city council. Learn from Lynnwood who is in debt over the $28 million dollar public pool-recreaction center. And yes I do live here.
Courtney April 10, 2012 at 09:35 PM
I have lived at the corner of 196th and 88th for almost a year now and I have seen at the very least a dozen car accidents. One of them resulting in a death and several of them resulting in injuries. Although, I do like the idea of a roundabout, for better traffic flow, I think the money would be better spent addressing intersections that are actually hazardous. I believe the main hazard at the 196th & 88th intersection is line of sight. People who are making left or right hand turns onto 196th from 88th have a hard time seeing cars traveling east or west on 196th.
Barry Stone September 14, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Thank you, Marlene. While they are at it, maybe they can get a pedestrian crosswalk on 196th somewhere between 88th and 84th. I take my life in my hands everytime I take a walk and am going to cross 196th at 88th.


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