EAST WENATCHEE – On Monday, October 9, 2017, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will have an electronic sign in place with a message reading “RIGHT LANE YIELDS” at the East Wenatchee roundabout exit onto the Sen. George Sellar Bridge.
Roundabout traffic heading onto the bridge will know they have the right of way, and drivers on southbound SR 28 already know they have to yield to the traffic exiting the roundabout.
Monitoring traffic at the SR 28/5th Street roundabout at the east end of the Sen. George Sellar Bridge after it first opened, prompted WSDOT to make striping and signing changes Sept. 21, ending the “zipper merge.” This was done to improve the flow of traffic onto the bridge and to prevent traffic from backing up into the roundabout.
WSDOT found that some drivers coming from the roundabout onto the bridge were still trying to zipper merge. Roundabout drivers have been stopping to let Southbound Sunset Highway slip-lane traffic in. At the same time, the Sunset drivers are trying to yield to the roundabout traffic, resulting in both lanes being clogged.
WSDOT found that traffic in the right lane has a clearer view of the traffic it is yielding to as it approaches the roundabout, therefore it is easy for traffic in that right lane to gauge whether they should speed up or slow down to smoothly find gaps in traffic and yield efficiently.
(Submitted by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT)