March 9, 2020
As part of its plans to improve safety around the Washington Boulevard corridor on the city’s western border with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, part of the redesigned road will include the addition of up to 10 roundabouts.
The purpose of the roundabouts is to help traffic flow more smoothly, and to decrease speeds through the busy corridor that is traveled not only by residents but also by people accessing Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Additionally the city will see cost savings of about $25,000 a year with the removal of the existing traffic signals.
The city understands the proposal to add roundabouts will be a change for drivers.
In an effort to help residents visualize what the new roadway (as proposed) would look like, the city requested its design contractor create a video showing the traffic flow along Washington Boulevard with the roundabouts. Also shown are proposed improvements at Gravelly Lake Drive, Edgewood Drive and Northgate Road.
The traffic flow depicted in the video shows what traffic could look like by 2040 during peak hours (meaning when the most cars will be on the road). The traffic numbers were developed after analyzing traffic volumes along this stretch of roadway the first week of February 2020. The traffic counts assume a 1 percent growth factor per year.
The model takes you through each intersection the JBLM-North Access Improvement project will reconstruct starting at Gravelly Lake Drive/Nyanza Road and moving northwest along Gravelly through the Washington Blvd corridor before terminating at the western city limit.