No shoulders is dangerous, dumb

I do not have an engineering degree. I have no fancy letters before or after my name. I do, however, have over 14 years of law enforcement experience in Snohomish County. This is my question to the state Department of Transportation: Do you have a clue?

Ever wonder why Seattle has such traffic problems? One main reason: No shoulders! In areas where I-5 has no shoulders, every collision and every disabled motor vehicle blocks traffic, causing huge backups. Officers cannot enforce traffic laws because there are no shoulders to stop violators, which in turn means more high speeds, collisions and injured citizens.

A disabled vehicle or collision stopped in the lane of travel of I-5 is extremely dangerous. Fatality collisions are caused by this. It is extremely dangerous for officers who respond and sit in the lane with their lights on, wondering when, not if, they will get hit. I wonder if DOT engineers would like to place their desks in lane No. 2 of I-5 around 2 a.m.?

During construction, the DOT is taking away the left and right shoulders of I-5 throughout Snohomish County. Without these wide, paved portions of roadway on both the left and right, we can expect more congestion, longer delays, collisions, injured motorists, damaged vehicles and law enforcement officers getting hit. In my law enforcement experience, there have been a handful of times that my patrol vehicle has narrowly been missed on the shoulder by drunk and inattentive drivers. In the past few weeks, that number has quadrupled while trying to clear disabled vehicles and collisions in areas with no shoulders.

I wonder how many six or seven figure checks the DOT will have to sign for injured citizens or officers who have been hit in areas with no shoulders before they get a clue ?

Dave Clifton


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