The Washington State Department of Transportation is trying to make negotiating the roundabout on the East Wenatchee side of the George Sellar Bridge less confusing. On Monday, an electronic sign with a message reading “Right Lane Yields” will be in place near where motorists merge with traffic headed west onto the bridge from the roundabout. They hope this will clarify that roundabout traffic heading onto the bridge will have the right of way. This is the latest of a series of adjustments that have been made on the roundabout since it opened.
In a press release, W.S.D.O.T. officials said the sign will make it clear for drivers on the roundabout heading onto the bridge 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.
DOT has found some drivers coming from the roundabout onto the bridge are still trying to zipper merge. Roundabout drivers are 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 claims motorists in the right lane have a clearer view of the traffic it is yielding to as it approaches the roundabout. 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.