Ridgeview residents in Lacey oppose proposed roundabout at Martin Way and Meridian Road

Residents propose extending the bus route down the hill toward the I-5 Nisqually exit


Some residents from the community near Ridgeview Roadm east of Lacey’s city limits, object to the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Martin Way, Meridian Road, and Duterrow Road.

Intercity Transit (IT) signed a contract with SCJ Alliance in February this year to design and conduct preliminary engineering work on the roundabout. The roundabout will allow buses to reverse direction and begin westward trips on Martin Way.

Four residents spoke during IT’s board of directors meeting on Wednesday, April 3, to oppose the project. Resident Larry Taylor said that he collected 24 signatures from the community against the roundabout.

Taylor outlined several reasons they were against the roundabout, primarily due to safety concerns.

Ridgeview residents exit their community through a road east of Martin Way. With the current stoplight configuration at Martin Way, Meridian Road, and Duterrow Road intersection, vehicles slow down before passing through the road at which Ridgeview residents exit.

The Martin Way-Meridian Road roundabout will allow Intercity Transit to provide inbound service starting from Meridian Road.
The Martin Way-Meridian Road roundabout will allow Intercity Transit to provide inbound service starting from Meridian Road.

With a roundabout, Taylor warned that vehicles would continue to speed as they drive along Martin Way.

There are currently no stoplights at the exit, around 200 yards east of the intersection, as drivers taking Ridgeview Road yield to the traffic on Martin Way.

This safety concern is not limited to Ridgeview residents as the road is also used as a shortcut by residents from Nisqually Bluff and Steilacoom Ridge, according to Taylor.

If residents cannot make the exit to Martin Way, Taylor is concerned that they will have to drive down Steilacoom Road and turn towards Duterrow Road just to enter Martin Way.

Resident Bethany Davis added that should an accident happen on I-5, traffic would back up at Martin Way and even reach the intersection. If this happened again, as it did last year, according to Davis, drivers could not cross Martin Way to traverse Duterrow Road and Meridian Road.

"Traffic will become horrific once the two mega-apartment complexes at 31st NE and Willamette DR NE open,” commenter Claire remarked in a previous JOLT story. “What planning has the City of Lacey conducted for this eventuality?”

As an alternative to the roundabout, Taylor suggested that buses could reverse direction further east on Martin Way, close to the I-5 Nisqually exit. Doing so would not only alleviate their concerns, but IT could also provide a bus stop for those residing in the RV community in the area.


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  • AugieH

    "With a roundabout, Taylor warned that vehicles would continue to speed as they drive along Martin Way."

    Seriously? Oh, puhleeeze! It's been convincingly shown that roundabouts reduce speeding and allow pursuing police to catch up to speeders. I learned to love roundabouts when driving in the UK and would advocate for one over any stop light or stop sign regulated intersection.

    Friday, April 5 Report this

  • jimlazar

    Roundabouts reduce injury accidents, because people are traveling slowly. They allow traffic to move, even when there is a power outage.

    Intercity Transit is doing the right thing.

    Australia has taken out more than half of the traffic lights in the country since the modern roundabout was introduced 25 years ago. We are just beginning to catch up.

    Friday, April 5 Report this

  • Laceyreader11

    I see workers speeding up Meridian to the roundabout at Meridian and Orion and speeding back out from Orion. They don't slow down for the roundabout and think they have the right of way even if someone else is already in the circle. American drivers need to learn how to use roundabouts better, and this is taught in Driver's Ed. Drivers should be strongly encouraged to signal their intention. I totally see the Ridgeview people's concern. They didn't even mention the new complex built on the corner and the extra traffic from that (which will impact Ridgeview (I live on Hawks Prairie). Few drivers allow others to enter the roundabout, so if a line of cars goes in one direction, the other cars wait a long time to enter the circle, or they get impatient and try to zip into the circle. The roundabout by the Britton Parkway and Marvin is extremely busy and hard to enter. The building continues (Starbucks, 23 Kitchens), and apartments are planned near the Recycling Center, all adding more traffic.

    Saturday, April 6 Report this

  • chezeve

    To those with disparaging remarks , you obviously don’t live in this area because if you did , I believe you’d understand our concerns . You would know about the day to day maneuvering that’s required to enter/exit our subdivisions especially Ridgeview. We’ve had to install chicanes on our main road because of speedsters clocked over 60 mph ….. we had the skid marks to show it ( a little history for context).

    Drivers barrel up & down Martin Way East from the freeway often in excess of 50 mph. Traffic on Steilacoom has increased exponentially in the past 5 years. Growth in Lacey this past year has exceeded 14,000. During the summer months when traffic doubles , so do the accidents that happen near various choke points ( Martin/ Marvin, Nisqually, Center & near the Dupont/ Ft. Lewis locations. ) & when this occurs there’s the bumper to bumper overflow of traffic that locks us in on both sides not to mention all the roads affected by this proposed roundabout.

    I am not opposed to roundabouts in general when they are in good locations & not situated on top of the hill . This location is not a good one!

    Frankly, not only is it a safety issue but also a quality of life issue for all of us that have to deal with the increasing inadequacies of the city’s poor infrastructure planning.

    Saturday, April 6 Report this

  • coordinator

    The first comment was not a correct quote. I never said, "With a roundabout, Taylor warned that vehicles would continue to speed as they drive along Martin Way." Unfortunate journalism mistake. They would not go any faster than from a stop light. I'm coordinating for the group opposed to this roundabout. The intersection, as is, is a good one, and as good as it gets. Intercity Transit wants to put in a roundabout just so their buses can turn around and reverse course back to the city. We have 3 roundabouts on Ridgeview Drive just to slow speeders. But you wouldn't want one in the middle of I-5. So, there is a limit to traffic volume where they become a problem. The one at Marvin/Willamette/Britton is a problem. Why? Too much traffic. I know two drivers that had accidents there. Cops told them they go out of their way to avoid that roundabout. There is an accident a day and it should be put back to a lighted intersection. It's the same with Martin/Dutterow/Meridian. To remove the stoplights and put in a roundabout would be a huge mistake. Stop now. Stop wasting our money. They will ruin an efficient, working intersection. Once in, the county will never admit they made a mistake and go back. (We need to go back on the Marvin/Willamette/Britton intersection.) Intercity Transit needs to go thru the Martin Way intersection, down the hill towards I-5, and add two stops to serve the Nisqually Valley. One for the Nisqually Indian community, and one for the Nisqually RV Park. Serve the community, not disrupt it. This roundabout would be way beyond what voters approved in the 2018 Intercity Transit Proposition 1. We never would have approved it. Stop the overreach now!

    Saturday, April 6 Report this

  • JasonS

    I often agree with jimlazar on issues, but he and AugieH are citing very generic info about why roundabouts work in other countries, but the chezeve and coordinator comments address the specific Lacey intersection in question are more relevant in this case.

    Tuesday, April 9 Report this