By Meg Olson
Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) members are in disagreement about whether traffic circles are a good idea, but they agreed to ask the county if they could be feasible at two intersections in Point Roberts: Gulf Road and Marine Drive, and Benson Road and Tyee Drive.
At the June 6 PRCAC meeting, taxpayers association representative Ron Clark said his organization was proposing a roundabout at the corner of Benson Road and Tyee Drive. “There are a fair number of people doing rolling stops and not stopping at that stop sign,” he said. “Not only would it address that safety concern, it would have an esthetic benefit.” He suggested it might be a good location for a “Welcome to Point Roberts” sign.
From the audience, Arthur Reber, former PRCAC chair, said a roundabout at Gulf Road and Marine Drive had been suggested earlier, but there were concerns about the design being able to accommodate large trucks. “One of the questions is how much room is really there,” he said.
Reber said roundabouts could certainly fall under transportation projects, and would be an allowable use of gas tax funds accumulated in the Point Roberts Transportation Benefit District (TBD) fund.
Committee chair Joel Lanz, representing the voters association, said while the project might qualify as a use of TBD funds, he didn’t think it was a good one.
“The voters association is dead set against this,” he said. “It’s a ridiculous expense of TBD funds. We have law enforcement. Why spend to put in a traffic circle when you just need the cop there doing their job?”
“Another factor is beautification,” Reber said. “The ones in Bellingham are gorgeous.”
Committee member Keith Glading made a motion to ask the county about the feasibility of the project. “Can it be done and for how much?” he asked. Committee members agreed and approved the motion unanimously.
The next PRCAC meeting is July 14 at the community center at 7 p.m.