Since mid 2011, the City has been preparing for the installation of two mini-roundabouts along North Davies at Vernon Road and at the Frontier Village shopping center north access. Planning is near completion and installation will begin in mid May through early July of this year. The work is expected to take up to four weeks to complete and is dependent on weather and traffic volumes. The improvements are expected to greatly improve the safety of traffic movements and increase operational efficiency.
Work will be performed while the roadways remain open but expect delays during construction as traffic lanes will be closed to a single direction during most of the work. The work will be performed in stages with the pavement marking being performed first, followed by the construction of the islands. During the construction phase, all approaches will be marked with stop signs and will operate as a full stop intersection. Once the center islands have been constructed, the stop signs will be replaced with yield signs and will operate as a roundabout.
For the past two years, the City has been developing the subarea plans for the Lake Stevens Center (LSC) and 20th Street SE Corridor. The outcome will be an adopted master plan for the development of these two areas which will include addressing transportation needs.
Early in the public process, it had been brought to the City’s attention that short term fixes, more particularly the LSC area, were needed. The top concerns voiced were the north access from Frontier Village onto North Davies, near Safeway, and the North Davies/Vernon Road intersection. Options were considered such as stop signed intersections, traffic signals, and roundabouts.
The City, in conjunction with Gibson Traffic Consultants and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reviewed the options and determined that the best operating service life and safety improvement were the mini-roundabouts.
While the mini-roundabout is not a new traffic improvement tool, the usage has been slow in coming to the United States. Where it has been proven to be highly successful. The City anticipates that Lake Stevens will see the same success and a long running problem of access in this area will be significantly improved.