Have you see the new, permanent yellow dividers that have been installed on Ambaum Blvd. SW since the recent road changes inspired by King County Metro’s new RapidRide H Line?
The new dividers are in the centerline of Ambaum between SW 130th to SW 134th Streets. We recently experienced this firsthand, and also heard from some residents who were curious about them.
“How can people make left hand turns out of their driveways or returning?” one resident asked. “What’s the purpose?”
We reached out to King County for an answer, and got the following response from Jeff Switzer, Public Information Officer for the county:
“The median dividers are a permanent addition to the roadway and part of the integrated improvements on Ambaum Boulevard.
“The project changed the previous right-lanes into Business Access & Transit (BAT) lanes, and general-purpose traffic is in the middle two lanes (one lane in each direction). The dividers accomplish two things:
“1. They keep traffic flowing reliably in middle general-purpose lanes by limiting left turns and stoppages along the corridor; and
“2. Safety: minimizing rear-end collisions caused by abrupt stoppages in the single lane.
“Drivers who want to make a left turn are directed either to continue past the driveways (or go right out of driveways) and make U-turns to head in their desired north or south direction.”
Switzer also directly addressed a resident’s concerns about not being able to turn left and/or access his property like before:
“Northbound drivers are permitted to make a U-turn at the intersection of Ambaum Boulevard SW and SW 128th Street to access properties and the southbound direction of the Ambaum Boulevard SW.
“Southbound drivers are permitted to make a U-turn at SW 136th Street to access properties on the northbound direction of Ambaum Boulevard SW.
“Signage is posted where U-turns are allowed.”