Contributed photo/Town of Friday Harbor Town officials state motorists often block crosswalks when making turns in this intersection. A painted roundabout could help alleviate this problem.

Should there be a painted roundabout at Argyle and Spring?

  • Wed Mar 1st, 2017 12:39pm
  • News

The Town of Friday Harbor is considering a miniature, painted roundabout at the Argyle Avenue and Spring Street Intersection.

The public is invited to learn about and comment on the proposal to install a miniature painted roundabout at the intersection of Argyle Avenue and Spring Street. The Town Council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 2 in the town council chambers located at 60 Second Street.

The intersection provides unique challenges in terms of congestion, traffic control and pedestrian safety. It is a high-volume intersection for the town during certain hours of the day and peak seasons. Motorists have challenges making turns and often block the crosswalks to turn effectively.

The town has explored traffic and pedestrian improvements at the location for years. Potential solutions have included expanding the intersection, installing all-way stop signs and the feasibility of traffic lights. A major concern is that these methods may increase congestion in other locations on Spring Street.

In 2015, the town authorized a study for the feasibility and preliminary design of a roundabout at the intersection. Town staff has suggested installing a painted, miniature roundabout to fully gauge the impacts to the downtown core.

“It’s an awkward intersection with potential hazards,” said Town Administrator Wilson. “Studies indicate that roundabouts can be safer and more efficient than traditional stop signs or traffic lights. A roundabout should decrease distractions for drivers, create a safer environment and give an alternative to circling the block to regain access to lower Spring Street.”

Other goals for installing a painted, miniature roundabout include:

  • Providing a low-cost (and reversible) street modification that can be installed in a short amount of time.
  • Measuring its effectiveness for traffic control before committing to a long-term investment and change.
  • Raising safety awareness and gathering community feedback by motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.

The conceptual design for the project can be found here. Other drawings and mock signage will be put on public display at town hall. Changes to the Argyle Avenue and Spring Street intersection would include:

  • Removing stop signs and replacing them with yield signs.
  • Installing a painted traffic circle at the intersection’s center.
  • Using paint on the roadway and installing directional signage for traffic control markings.
  • Moving crosswalks to appropriate locations.

More information regarding roundabouts can be found at these Department of Transportation websites:

The public is encouraged to use the intersection, give feedback and participate in upcoming meetings. Comments and concerns regarding this proposal can also be forwarded to the town by contacting Amy Taylor, town clerk at 378-2810 or amyt@fridayharbor.org. Take a survey about the issue at www.surveymonkey.com/r/W9GMQLW.