KENNEWICK — Motorists in a hurry to shoot through the roundabout at 27th Avenue and Vancouver Street in Kennewick now face a flashing yellow light on one approach.
City officials installed the caution light last week to help alert eastbound drivers of the traffic circle that has a history of being accident-prone.
The owner of property at the southeastern corner of the intersection has seen his chain-link fence repeatedly damaged in recent years because vehicles keep missing the curve.
John Deskins, city engineer, said the yellow light should help alert drivers to slow down.
"I felt like that's the best choice we could do there because speed has been a factor," he said.
But property owner Richard Pritchard would prefer the city set up large concrete blocks called Jersey barriers as a more substantial deterrent.
Deskins said there have been 37 wrecks at the 27th Avenue roundabout in six years. Almost all of them went into Pritchard's property and fence.
In September, a stolen car being chased by police crashed through their fence and hit their home.
Pritchard met with city officials Friday morning to talk about his suggestion.
City attorney Lisa Beaton said putting up concrete barriers on city property to protect private property could lead to other issues involving liability for the city.
"A barrier just might aggravate the problem," Beaton said.
She said she would prefer Pritchard to simply file a claim against the city, but Beaton said that's not what he wants.
"I keep telling him he has a right to protect his own property. But he just wants the city to fix it," Beaton said.
Friday's meeting didn't resolve the problem, but City Manager Marie Mosley said it was beneficial.
"We are working with him to come up with a solution. He made some suggestions, and we are going to consider it for a couple of weeks," Mosley said. A second meeting is scheduled for later this month.
Pritchard could not be reached after Friday's meeting.
John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org