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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Letter to the Editor: Ensign Lane woes come as no surprise

Scott Widdicombe
By Scott Widdicombe, Warrenton, Thursday, February 13, 2020

I do not know anything about traffic management.

However, I am familiar with the problems at the Ensign Lane exit of Tsunami Plaza directly adjacent to Wendy’s and opposite the southside exit from Home Depot.

It seems to me a new exit behind Dollar Tree on the southwest corner emptying onto Dolphin Avenue would offer a new exit for access to Highway 104 going north if you turn right and go toward Warrenton by exiting left onto alternate Highway 104.

If Oregon Department of Transportation would grant access from Tsunami Plaza on the east side it would allow access to join the merge lane on Highway 101, which would be an option in place of Dolphin for anyone wanting to travel south without exiting next to Wendy’s.

I do not know if eminent domain would be required for this potential new exit. However, solving the traffic problem should have preference over any particular property owner’s desire.

A second option would be to add a stop sign on the Tsunami Plaza west entrance at Ensign Lane, which would provide normal right-of-way access to allow people to get out of the Plaza when traffic is heavy at the Ensign Lane exit.

There also would need to be a stop sign placed on the south exit of Home Depot to allow people to turn onto Ensign Lane from Home Depot.

There is a four-way stop sign at North Main and Highway 104 going toward Hammond in downtown Warrenton which works fine for normal traffic flow and is a reasonable possibility for the exit next to Wendy’s and the Home Depot south exits.

I do not know the contract specifications for the technical experts who stated there would be no traffic issues at this corner. However, I think it’s poor contracting to not require a performance bond to protect against bad advice from people who were paid to know what they were recommending.

For the city to have to use taxpayer funds to correct this problem, as was mentioned in the Columbia Press story, is poor planning by whomever was responsible for processing the application that created the problem.

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