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Senator supports traffic light

OLYMPIA — News of the dangers of the Bond and Gunderson Road intersection near Poulsbo has finally reached Olympia.

Washington State 23rd District Sen. Phil Rockefeller (D-Bainbridge Island) announced Thursday that he will do whatever he can to get the much-requested traffic light installed at the intersection as soon as possible.

The Washington State Department of Transportation currently has the signal budgeted for placement by October 2006. But after hearing from his constituents about the latest fatality accident and the numerous near-misses that have taken place there, Rockefeller, like the rest of the community, wants to get it installed sooner.

“It seemed to me there was clearly a community concern,” he said. “The family of the last victim is very concerned. It seems to me one of my responsibilities as a legislator is to represent the concern of my constituents and this is a very good example of that.”

Arlone Elaine Johnson Turner of Suquamish was killed at the intersection Dec. 14, 2004, marking the second major accident within a year. Turner’s husband, Jim, and his family have been leading a grassroots effort to get a light in the intersection ever since.

So far, the family has collected 850 signatures for its online petition at http://gundersonbond.home.comcast.net.

In Olympia, Rockefeller has started to work the upper rankings of the system and sent a letter to WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Doug MacDonald asking that the traffic light be installed this year.

“I said I would do everything I can,” Rockefeller added about his efforts to work with MacDonald to get a light there.

Rockefeller also plans to meet with Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, (D-Camano Island), who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee in Olympia, to secure any additional funding that may be necessary.

“I understand that there’s a process in place,” Rockefeller said. “But we can’t let process and paperwork get in the way of public safety. I’m committed to getting the funding to accelerate this critical improvement.”

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