Photo by John Fannin
Motorists on Ninth Street wait for traffic to clear on Edison Avenue.
As of Tuesday, May 31, 2016
SUNNYSIDE A nearly mile-long gauntlet of traffic along Edison Avenue has motorists complaining, and city officials getting creative with ideas.
Even as the city prepares for sidewalk improvements along Edison, leaders are thinking outside the box for a solution to the street’s traffic congestion.
That includes discussion about a roundabout at Ninth Street and Edison Avenue.
The intersection at Ninth Street can be especially tricky, with traffic going from a two-way lane onto one-way lanes immediately after Edison.
“I think a roundabout at Ninth and Edison would be cool by the Jerry Taylor Veterans Plaza,” Mayor Jim Restucci said.
Restucci, who unsuccessfully pushed for a roundabout during improvements on South First Street, said the city will likely lean toward more traditional solutions, due to the layout at Ninth and Edison.
City officials are looking for answers as they develop “calming policies” to address traffic on Edison between Seventh and 16th streets.
Motorists on Edison currently go nine blocks without a break. That gives those trying to turn left onto Edison or cross on to the other side a pause.
“There’s nothing to break up the traffic,” City Planner Jamey Ayling said.
A roundabout would require grant funding, Restucci said. And, there are practical difficulties, namely the need to acquire land.
Ayling agreed, noting a roundabout likely wouldn’t fit in the current location.
There are supporters for a downtown roundabout.
“If there’s room, put it in,” Morris Floral and Gifts owner Mark Cook said.
Debbie Hazzard, branch manager at Yakima Federal Savings at 801 East Edison Avenue, said she and her staff often see crashes at Ninth and Edison.
“We hear the sirens and see the blue lights,” she said.
She’s supportive of a roundabout or any fix for solving Edison.
Ayling said the city is on it.
“We’re looking at testing a 4-way stop at 13th Street and Edison,” he said.