Early tomorrow, Wednesday, morning, work crews are expected to begin removing the traffic signal heads at the intersection of 1st Avenue and Main Street. The signal heads have been flashing red for 1st Avenue traffic and yellow for Main Street traffic since April 26th. At that time, COF staff said the changes may be temporary and were being done in order to evaluate the result.
In addition to removing the signal heads, work crews will uncover stop signs along with “cross traffic does not stop” signage on the 1st Avenue legs of the intersection.
City of Ferndale Public Works Supervisor Bo Westford said crews will use bucket trucks with extended arms that can park on the side of the road while allowing crews to work over the intersection. This will minimize the impact the work will have on traffic flow.
The flashing yellow and red lights confused some drivers. Some Main Street drivers took the flashing yellow as a reason to stop at the intersection or to yield to traffic on 1st Avenue. Some drivers on 1st Avenue traffic took the flashing red lights to indicate a 4-way stop and would enter the intersection expecting cross traffic would stop.
Pedestrian crosswalk signals were also disabled and pedestrians were advised to cross only when it was safe to do so.
Surprisingly perhaps, there have not been any accidents reported in the intersection since the change although there was a recent rear-ender on Main Street just outside the intersection.
According to Public Works Director Kevin Renz, “the plan is to gather new traffic counts and determine the change in the level of service (traffic volumes per hour) once the modifications have been in place long enough for the change to get programmed into driving habits.”