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1st Avenue and Main Street improvements announced

1st Avenue and Main Street improvements. City of Ferndale graphic.

The removal of the electronic traffic and pedestrian signals from the intersection at 1st Avenue and Main Street has been a source of contention between those who feel it has minimized delays going through the downtown area and businesses and their supporters which have voiced concerns about the damage they feel it has caused businesses in the area and pedestrians and drivers who feel it has become an unsafe intersection since the change.

But at Monday’s regular meeting of the Ferndale City Council, City of Ferndale Project Manager Katy Radder presented information about an upcoming project intended to address some of the problems associated with that intersection since the signal removal.

According to Radder, they will first eliminate the north-south pedestrian crossing on the east leg of the intersection (red in the image above). Next they will install rectangular rapid flash beacons (RRFB) on light poles (yellow in the image above) at the ends of the north-south pedestrian crossing on the west leg of the intersection.

A rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) system mounted on a light pole. City of Ferndale graphic.
A rectangular rapid flash beacon (RRFB) system mounted on a light pole. City of Ferndale graphic.

RRFB crosswalk warning systems have been installed outside the Ferndale Public Library on Main Street and near Ferndale High School on Washington Street.

Radder said in an email that the concentration of underground utilities on the south side of Main Street creates potential for conflicts when relocating the existing light poles and installing new poles for the RRFBs. So the City has reached out to Puget Sound Energy about the pole conversion. “We are working to get the details worked out,” Radder said. “There’s generally a long lead time for electrical/poles, so it will likely take 22+ weeks (approx. 6 mos) to install the ped-activated portion of the project.”

In the mean time, Radder said, they plan on moving forward with eliminating the east crosswalk. This will involve “pavement marking changes, and removing the ADA ramps and crosswalk on the east side of the intersection.” 


  1. H. Cummings April 4, 2019

    wouldn’t a foot bridge be less expensive? Put it where ever you want.

  2. Karen Joseph April 4, 2019

    It’s not just people walking flustered by that intersection. It’s making everyone have to use 2nd Ave to turn, making it harder to get to Riverwalk, pioneer Park, star Park, Ace hardware, and all the businesses from 1st to 2nd Ave in that side of the street. It’s also made it impossible to turn left onto main St coming out of Hovander park as now there isn’t the pauses in traffic over the bridge. Just put the traffic lights back! Seriously. It hasn’t saved anyone any time and just messed up the traffic patterns. Want to fix the traffic? Finish the Thorton overpass. That will make a huge difference.

  3. Steve Eryt April 4, 2019

    Stupid, money wasting idea! Just put the light back!!

  4. M. Gray April 5, 2019

    What was the reason for taking out the light in the first place? Wouldn’t it more sense to have the lights on 1st and 2 ave be synchronized ?

  5. Ryan Walter April 5, 2019

    So the City has reached out to Puget Sound Energy…

    The City contacted Puget Sound Energy…

  6. Gordie Thomas April 5, 2019

    Is the city going to be responsible for the businesses that go broke because of of their stupid move by taking out the stop light? Typical move by a government agency that has no clue what is involved in running a business.
    Gordie Thomas

  7. James A. Groves April 6, 2019

    The removal of the traffic light fixed a problem that did not exist. Just put the light back in place at minimal cost and be done with it. You are overthinking this issue. Keep it simple.

  8. dave doran April 6, 2019

    Traffic needs a break at each business block coming into Ferndale to facilitate cars turning left onto Main and for business access parking as well. That light was needed and it still is – put it back since now, there’s no way to adequately meter traffic through downtown.

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