I was one of the many drivers who got caught in the huge traffic snarl caused by the fairly widespread Lakewood power outage Wednesday. Read our story here.
The intersections at Orchard and Bridgeport along South 72nd-74th Street (it changes names, a Lakewood thing, I think) were virtually at a standstill because the signal lights were out. At rush hour, when the outage occurred, both intersections are heavily congested with two lanes of traffic in both directions, as well as turn lanes.
At least drivers were slowly getting through the Bridgeport intersection, thanks to a firefighter directing traffic. The one at Orchard was a total mess.
I hit the jam about an hour after the outage, so I don’t understand why there wasn’t better traffic control at that point. For many drivers heading to the west part of the city, there was no alternate route to get where we were going, except maybe to backtrack and go through University Place and Steilacoom.
Fortunately, most drivers were being patient and courteous, letting others in when they signaled to change lanes. But I think the police could have helped move traffic along more efficiently. It’s also possible they were just overwhelmed by the rush-hour problem.