Suggests refinery help with traffic

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 2, 2014 

The northbound I-5 exit at Slater Road has become dangerous over the past several weeks. Dozens of double dump trucks exit daily to turn west on Slater Road destined for the crude oil rail facility being built at the Phillips refinery. At certain times of day, especially in the afternoon, the entire northbound exit ramp is filled with five or more of these trucks. Their ability to turn safely onto Slater is delayed by their length. The exit ramp pile-up directs newly exiting vehicles into the breakdown lane so as to avoid coming to a stop in the driving lane of I-5. It is now necessary, and has become common practice, for cars to proceed in the breakdown lane as if it is a driving lane. I have been in my car on the exit ramp fearing I'd be rear-ended if the drivers behind me didn't know enough to pull off the highway into the breakdown lane. The Phillips refinery should have been required as part of the permitting process to account for the regional impact of these trucks along their route. At the refinery, workers are stopping traffic to give the trucks priority on and off Slater to the refinery, nearly a dozen flaggers one afternoon by my count -- could Phillips place some of these flaggers at the I-5-Slater Road exit to direct the refinery's truck traffic where it is impacting so many vehicles worth guiding safely to their destinations?

Therese Landry

Bellingham

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