A roundabout proposed for Highway 2 to provide access for a new planned Costco store didn’t go over well with attendees at a public open house last night. According to the Spokesman-Review, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) says a roundabout would be safer than a traffic light at the entrance to the new store, planned just outside Spokane City limits on land currently owned by Kaiser Aluminum.

WSDOT engineer Brian Walsh says roundabouts provide a safer and more efficient option when making left turns onto and off of a highway. Neighbors of the Costco development were skeptical though. Many who live nearby worry the roundabout will make it harder for them to enter the highway as cars back up at the stoplight at Farwell Road.  Others were concerned about slowing traffic on a major highway. Walsh said the state has plenty of roundabouts on four-lane highways that operate smoothly, such as four roundabouts within 5 miles of Highway 539 in Whatcom County.

The Department of Transportation also has plans to eventually build a road leading into the west side of the roundabout, and re-do the intersection at Farwell Road and the highway, said Al Gilson, a department spokesman. Plans to build roundabouts along the highway at Day Mount Spokane Road and at state Highway 206 have been canceled, Gilson said.

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