16th and Tieton Drive Intersection Improvements Continue
The left turn lanes on 16th Avenue at Tieton Drive will be disappear tomorrow as part of safety improvements at that intersection.
As part of a project designed to increase safety for both drivers and pedestrians at the intersection of 16th Avenue and Tieton Drive, as of Tuesday, August 9th, turn lanes on 16th Avenue will be removed. Left turns from 16th Avenue will still be allowed, but not from turn lanes.
For many years the intersection has ranked among the highest for accidents in the City. According to the City’s Streets and Traffic Division, a big part of the reason the intersection earned that dubious distinction is the narrowness of its lanes. While some vehicles measure 10 feet from mirror to mirror, the turn lanes on 16th Avenue at the Tieton Drive intersection were only 8 feet wide and the through lanes measured only 9 and-a-half feet from stripe to stripe.
“That sort of configuration just sets up a situation where accidents are going to happened,” said Streets and Traffic Manager Joe Rosenlund. “The change we’re making to the lane widths make drivers feel a lot more comfortable going through that intersection.”
Rosenlund said that the best case scenario would be to expand turn lanes at the intersection as well as the through lanes, but in order to do so a significant amount of land would have to be purchased from nearby homes and businesses. Doing that would be very expensive, according to Rosenlund, and the City does not have the financial resources needed to buy enough right-of-way to make such a project feasible.
Last week, crews repaved the intersection, which also will contribute to improved safety.
or you can call the City’s Streets and Traffic Division at 575-6005.