At the November 23, 2015 Snoqualmie City Council meeting some bad news was delivered to residents of the Ironwood and Woody Creek neighborhoods wishing to see a new traffic signal at the intersection of Snoqualmie Parkway and Fisher Ave – the ‘gateway to their large neighborhoods, a big school bus stop, as well as the location of busy, re-designed Fisher Park.
City officials said a new 4-way traffic signal won’t be happening anytime soon.
According to a presentation made to the city council, the intersection doesn’t meet the legal requirements of Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is issued by the Federal Highway Administration.
Basically, the intersection doesn’t meet specific minimum thresholds for a signal, including traffic accidents (collision rates below the state and King County averages) and Level of Service measured by peak hour wait times – as well as others.
According to city records, in the past eight years there have only been three accidents at the intersection, including a vehicle vs. light pole; a car vs. pedestrian that resulted in minor injuries; and a bicyclist crash that did not involve a vehicle. Additionally, the wait time at the two-way stop sign managed intersection is approximately 19 seconds during peak hours, which according to the council presentation is better than city standards.
Now that doesn’t mean a signal will never happen for residents of Woody Creek and Ironwood. It just means a 4-way traffic signal may have to wait. The city estimates the intersection possibly needing one (and meeting legal requirements) in the year 2032.
For now, though, the city proposes installing a pedestrian-activated signal called a Hawk signal – one alerting drivers to stop for a crossing pedestrians – because a city intersection study does show existing pedestrian demand for crossing Snoqualmie Parkway in the often times busy area.
The City is currently designing that Hawk signal (90% complete) and will be applying for grants in the coming year to fund a pedestrian signal for the Fisher/Parkway intersection.