Vancouver police continue focus on downtown intersection

By Bob Albrecht, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: February 17, 2011, 8:45 PM

 

Vancouver police netted 16 drivers on the second day of a concerted effort to cite drivers who ignore a sign posted adjacent the traffic signal on westbound Sixth Street that prohibits left turns from 7 to 9 a.m. onto Washington Street.

On Wednesday, 30 drivers received $124 tickets for ignoring the more than 1-year-old sign, which was installed after conversations between police, city and neighborhood officials led to the decision it would make the intersection safer for pedestrians.

If not reduced, two days’ worth of tickets would yield $5,704.

The police department’s traffic unit launched the crackdown after noticing that drivers increasingly of late have taken to avoiding delays on southbound Interstate 5 by driving through town and re-entering the freeway in downtown.

Sgt. Patrick Johns, however, said despite traffic flowing smoothly Thursday on I-5 and state Highway 14 drivers steadily traveled through the intersection.

Asked if Wednesday’s emphasis was putting drivers on alert, Johns responded, “Unfortunately, no. I’m not sure why these drivers decided they needed to take this turn.”

Johns said drivers have complained the sign is not sufficiently visible. He disagrees.

“It’s clearly visible a block away from the intersection you’re going to,” Johns said. “You have to stop at Main and Sixth and from that vantage point you can see the sign. There’s not much more we can do there.”

The police department plans to monitor cameras on the website of the Washington Department Transportation and respond to the intersection on days when there are delays on the freeway.