County to modify traffic signal near Battle Ground to improve safety

BATTLE GROUND — Drivers might notice longer delays at an intersection west of Battle Ground after Clark County modifies the intersection’s traffic signal to reduce vehicle crashes.


The intersection is at Northeast 72nd Avenue and Northeast 199th Street, where 29 crashes occurred from 2011 through 2015. Many of these crashes resulted in injuries.


The most common crash is when an eastbound vehicle collides with a westbound vehicle turning left, or south, onto Northeast 72nd Avenue. Drivers making left turns can be frustrated by short gaps in oncoming traffic and miscalculate the speed of vehicles approaching the intersection, resulting in T-bone crashes that tend to be more severe than other types of collisions.


The safety issue is exacerbated by the lack of left-turn lanes on Northeast 199th Street. Drivers making left turns at the intersection must stop in the travel lane and wait for a gap in oncoming traffic, resulting in vehicle backups and potential rear-end crashes.


To address this safety issue, Clark County will modify the traffic signal so eastbound vehicles will have a green light and left-turn arrow while westbound vehicles are stopped by a red light. Another cycle of the traffic signal will provide a green light and left-turn arrow for westbound traffic while eastbound traffic is stopped by a red light.


Drivers traveling north and south on Northeast 72nd Avenue have left-turn lanes at Northeast 199th Street. They might notice longer red lights because of signal timing adjustments for vehicles traveling east and west on Northeast 199th Street. However, any additional delays will be offset by improved safety.


Changes to the traffic signal will be made in late December or early January. Temporary signs will alert drivers to the change as they approach the intersection.


“We understand this change will create longer delays for some drivers,” said Carolyn Heniges, Clark County’s transportation manager. “But public safety always is our top priority. This is a prudent step that should reduce severe crashes at the intersection.”

This information was provided by Clark County.

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