Construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Lake and Everett is taking place to improve traffic flow, cutting down the wait time at the intersection. However, debate about the project is taking place among nearby residents on whether it will actually benefit traffic.
As heavy traffic has been a problem at the intersection, interest has sparked between residents of Camas to come up with a solution to the problem. On January 15th, 2020, design plans for the roundabout were finalized and construction has already begun.
According to the City of Camas website, the project will occur in phases. The first phase will take place from April to July of 2020.
Phase one is when most of the work will take place, consisting of tree removal, widening of lanes, and constructing the center of the roundabout.
Phase two is when “The roundabout is anticipated to be open for partial use by motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists” along with a temporary traffic signal through the month of August.
The completion of the remaining curb, sidewalk, and landscape areas will take place in phase three from September to October.
Finally, October through December, irrigation, and shrubbery are to be installed and the roundabout is to be fully functional in phase four.
“Currently, southbound queues (line of vehicles) waiting on Everett for the Lake-Everett traffic signal block 35th Avenue and cause delays on 35th Avenue for 3-5 minutes during the busiest times of the day.”
Camas High School Senior Josie Buzzell said it would take her 15 minutes to get to school (pre-quarantine).
As for Zachary Mello, a junior at CHS, he said he would sit at the traffic light for five minutes on average every day.
Mello likes and supports the idea of having a roundabout placed at the intersection so traffic won’t be blocked. “The roundabout has no stops, only yields, if there is an opening then people will get in and then get out,” he said.
Kristen Mitchell, a parent who regularly drives her daughter to CHS said, “I think the roundabout will keep traffic moving, preventing the long back-ups.” Mitchell’s current route takes “up to 10 minutes on a bad day.”
Mitchell said with the new roundabout “students won’t be able to blame tardiness on the signal because traffic should be continually moving through the area.”
For more information and construction updates, visit the City of Camas website: www.cityofcamas.us/lakeroadconstruction