Left turn signal coming to Freeland
June 25, 2008 · Updated 1:15 PM
"A left turn signal will be added to the new traffic light at the intersection of Fish Road and Highway 525 in Freeland.Since the light was activated in January, the Island County Sheriff's Office and local residents have complained about the lack of a left turn signal for those turning onto Main Street from the highway. The situation has been partially blamed for a couple of accidents, including the injury of an anti-Exxon demonstrator who was standing on the sidewalk.We are fully aware of the urgency, said Simon Soong, a signal operation engineer with the state Department Transportation.Soong said Thursday that the signal was designed based on traffic volume standards, but after the light was in place it was obvious there were problems, some associated with other work that upgraded the intersection. Motorists' vision is impaired by what Soong termed channelization changes. In addition, motorists turning left can't see as far up the highway as anticipated once a line forms on the other side. It's pretty hard to detect in the design stage, Soong said.Adding the new signal won't be a technical problem. Soong said its eventual addition was included in the design, so all the wiring needed is already present. However, the rest of the parts have to be ordered from out of state. His best guess for an installation date is in about four weeks. "