Letters to the Editor

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SR 16: What’s the fuss? Simply pay attention

Letter by E. B. Hoveland, Fircrest on July 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm with 25 Comments »
July 18, 2011 5:33 pm

There are plenty of warning signs and flashing lights indicating a 90-degree left-hand turn is coming up soon when exiting eastbound state Route 16 to Sprague Avenue.

I am not a big fan of governmental big brother things like red-light cameras, but in this case we are missing out on an entertainment opportunity. The WSDOT should install an idiot cam there. If you crash, and the camera gets your license plate number, you get a ticket for inattention.

If you really blow it, I believe that is called thinning the herd.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. alindasue says:

    That’s a rather overpriced form of entertainment…
    Our tax dollars could have been spent better.

  2. While the Evil Knievel exit is reeking havoc in clear, 70 degree weather, just imagine the carnage on this road when there’s ice and snow. I predict tort lawyers will have little card boxes posted on the exit like real estate agents do at open houses….

  3. tree_guy says:

    “If you really blow it, I believe that is called thinning the herd.” E.B.

    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/07/18/whats-the-fuss-simply-pay-attention/#ixzz1SYup93PA

    So, if an out of control tractor trailer shoves a mini van full of children over the edge and they plunge to their death this would be “thinning the herd?”

    That’s a little insensitive isn’t it?

  4. ItalianSpring says:

    E. B. I agree.

  5. Omega6234 says:

    tree_guy says: So, if an out of control tractor trailer shoves a mini van full of children over the edge and they plunge to their death this would be “thinning the herd?”

    That’s a little insensitive isn’t it?

    Really reaching, arent you??

  6. alindasue says:

    Omega6234 says, “Really reaching, arent you?? ”

    Not really. There have been many cases of accidents – and deaths – caused by a vehicle losing control and crashing or rebounding into another vehicle. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read about whole families or large portions of families dying this way over the years. Even once is too often.

    I had a friend die once because the gravel truck in front of her lost control. The truck itself didn’t hit her, but the load that the truck lost in the accident did. She was six months pregnant at the time.

  7. itwasntmethistime says:

    Omega6234 says, “Really reaching, arent you?? ”

    But that can and does happen anytime, anywhere. It’s the type of thing that is more likely to happen to those who feel their environment is so secure and safe that they no longer take extra care to keep an eye out for that which should not be happening. It’s why people get run over in crosswalks — they think the crosswalk will keep them safe so they don’t look for speeding cars. They’re right, but they’re dead. It’s not enough to follow our traffic laws. You also have to keep an eye out for people who aren’t.

  8. Omega6234 says:

    We are tallking about the sprague exit again arent we??? How would a Tractor tralier shove any car over the edge???? its a one way exit. No one will be stopped?? I have also seen the Space Shuttle blow up, doesnt mean its going to happen everytime.

  9. scott0962 says:

    The fuss is that drivers using the exit will have to slow almost to the point of stopping in order to safely make the turn and if you get enough of them using the exit (like at rush hours) it could back traffic up all the way down the off ramp and back onto Hwy 16.

  10. Omega6234 says:

    So its just pure speculation at this point. An Assumption. OK. got it.

  11. gonefishin69690 says:

    I don’t know, but I have NEVER seen a “Brand new” road construction project with so many skid marks.

  12. alindasue says:

    Omega6234 said, “How would a Tractor tralier shove any car over the edge????”

    As the example of my friend’s death demonstrates, the truck or car car doesn’t necessarily have to “shove any car over the edge” to kill. All it takes is a vehicle simply losing control enough that it loses all or part of its load.

  13. itwasntmethistime says:

    We’ve come full circle. Slow down and there won’t be a problem.

  14. scott0962 says:

    Any way you rationalize it it’s still a sorry excuse for a freeway offramp design and a testimony to DOT’s incompetence that it ever survived the planning stage.

  15. Wrapper98439 says:

    How is a semi going to push the car over the edge if traffic is one way? How did the kids get killed up by Federal Way on a one way freeway? Oh, they got hit from behind. The debate isn’t even about safety. It is about designing roads to make traffic flow better. That was the whole reason for fixing highway 16. Building the ramp so it has a gentle curve down to Sprague would keep traffic flowing better off of 16. Where else can you find an exit from a state or federal highway that comes to a 90 degree turn that has no cross or oncomming traffic?

  16. nwcolorist says:

    Anywhere you have hundreds of thousands of cars using any roadway over time, you,re going to get standard percentage of “idiots” qualifying to inflict mayhem.

    The goal of any highway project should be to factor out the probability of these kinds of occurrences – to ‘idiot proof’ the system, so to speak. DOT came up short on the Evil Knievel exit.

    The Northbound I-5 exit to highway 16, on the other hand, is so much better than the old one.

  17. northbound I-5 to W16 is ok unless you want off on Union. whoever thought of having an exit along with an entrance has to be nuts. Especially in such a short distance. You would think with all of the planning and funds spent it could have defiantly had better planning along with the funds spent That portion is as bad as the 90 degree turn

  18. “Leper says:
    July 19, 2011 at 6:55 am

    While the Evil Knievel exit is reeking havoc in clear, 70 degree weather, just imagine the carnage on this road when there’s ice and snow.”

    Good point, & truly frightening thought. What were the idiots formerly known as engineers thinking??!

  19. sunlover says:

    This has been fun reading point after counterpoint. All I think is for the cost it was very poorly designed. NB I5 has a shorter distance to merge onto 16 when those heading south on 705 collector distributor don’t move over. The Union ave weave is ridiculous and then of course we have the Sprague design. This may go down in history as a new design offered to states who have plenty of taxpayers money and want to throw it away on lawsuits after the first death. Sad design and again, incompetent spending of taxpayer dollars. Certainly it eased the temporary construction closures but at least those collisions were at a slower speed and in the rear where we all are taking it from WSDOT mismanagement.

  20. I just want to meet the guy who put the thing up backwards. Like, how far into it were they when someone said, “Hey fellas? This doesn’t look right.”

  21. Am I the only one who thinks they just moved the old Sprague weave a little further down the road? What was the point of that? I have TONS of complaints about California but freeway design is not one of them.

    Why not just copy from a successful system? Better yet, why not hire CalTrans to do our upgrade designs?

  22. Funny. So many concerned about “out of control trucks” when year after year the federal government conducts a study, and each time they discover that 90% PLUS (I’ve seen numbers in the 93-97% range)of all car/truck accidents are caused by THE CAR DRIVER!

    Not to mention if there is a concern for loads falling off (which is so rare as not to be a concern), or any other unexpected situation, how many times have I had to adjust my speed and position in my truck to move some half asleep boneheaded “expert” away from my truck while they pace alongside in a dangerous place, completely oblivious to the risk they take. (Ever experience a semi tire EXPLODING? Those things are inflated at 90-100 psi!) and how many times have I had some goof blindly plodding along next to me just a couple feet from one of those tires? Yeah I know im droning on to deaf ears…no one gets it!)

    As far as that ramp….you wont find a semi truck on it anyway. (yeah most wont get that either)

    But it is typical and humorous to see that sure as day, someone was bound to point a finger at trucks….how about some mini van full of kids gets run off the ramp by some screwball in a beemer who thinks the road belongs only to him? Maybe the guy who passed me IN MY LANE the other day. nearly running under my tires because he was too impatient to wait for a clear road to pass me? Or the many, many car drivers I see squeezing in on my right, in my blind spot, as THEIR lane ends.

    Or what the heck, maybe the FEDEX van driver ( no folks THEY are not truck drivers!) who passed me on a curve, over a railroad crossing, then cut too close in front of my fully loaded fuel truck to slam on his brakes to get into the driveway where he made is next small package drop?

    You folks have a heck of a lot more to worry about than some truck drivers! ;)

  23. One detail on this whole set up seems to have missed mention. I look at it every time I head west on 16 at Sprague.

    Just as you are heading into that left hand curve ( which shoves itself into one lane by the way) you see on the ramp above, a big yellow RIGHT HAND CURVE-20MPH warning sign.

    You’d think they’d have enough sense to conceal or re-position the sign intended for the flyover ramp above, so that some goon on the highway below, heading into a left hand curve doesn’t think he has to slow to 20 to make a right hand turn that doesn’t exist.

  24. Dale – The other day I was passed by a complete idiot in a semi-truck near the Tetons. This jerk almost did a head-on to get past me (I was driving 58 in a 55 zone). Then he did the same thing to the guy ahead of me and forced him onto the shoulder to a complete stop to avoid an accident. Further down the road I saw this menace doing the same thing to other drivers.

    It really stood out as it was an exception to the usually excellent driving I expect from professional drivers. I hope he didn’t kill anybody and the cops caught him.

  25. I hope so too Beerboy…..

    I will however say that in my opinion dangerous menaces like that are few and far between. But once the public sees one, instantly ALL truck drivers get the blame. I do think the industry is steadily weeding idiots like that out. And many aren’t experienced, nor stay with it long enough to be experienced.

    One detail I dont think many people realize as well….the next time you see a semi truck driving aggressively, take a look at the license. Unfortunately many have a British Columbia plate! Not trying to pick on Canadian drivers, but its just a reality. Many, many times, I have been passed on the right to have them cut in too close, so they can continue weaving down the freeway to tailgate and push some other legally compliant driver out of their way while they cruise along up to 10MPH over the posted limit.

    I will add as well however, that if you see one in 100 truck drivers behaving like maniacs, you will see one in 10 car drivers doing the same. I watch it every day.

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