Worst Traffic Lights in Yakima – Riggs’ Top Five
If you ever ride with me, you know I like taking back roads to most places around town. Not because I enjoy the scenic route, which is sometimes true, but it's just because I don't like dealing with traffic lights and other busy intersections. I swear there's a little camera looking for me that says “Here's comes John, let's make him wait even longer.” Here are my top five worst traffic lights in Yakima.
40th & Summitview
This is my least favorite by default. Since our radio station's studios are near here, I have to travel through this intersection an average of twice a day. Trying to turn left heading west on Summitview is the worst. Other things at your disadvantage is there's a nearby fire station that deploys units which can tie up time. Because of the congestion trying to turn left heading north on 40th, sometimes you can't turn left into Westbrook or our radio station, depending on which direction you're coming from. Avoid this intersection if you can.
1st & Nob Hill
1st & Nob Hill could be the worst intersection in town due to it's sheer volume of traffic. Tons of accidents every year happen at this intersection. Two of the busiest streets in town combined with travelers heading east on Nob Hill meet this intersection right after the overpass so you can't quite see what you're getting in to before it's too late. One of my major problems is there isn't a very convenient detour to get to where you're going without traveling farther away than you wanted so we just have to deal with it, like everyone else.
56th & Chestnut
I wanted to add this one to the list. Not because of how long it takes you to get from one side of the road to the other, but based solely on the fact that it's a 4-way flashing red light. What's wrong with that? It seems like most people in Yakima still don't quite know how to handle a flashing red light. Two arrive at the intersection, you both wave each other through, you both accept and pull forward a bit before you both hit the breaks at the same time, then inch through again, then hit the breaks again. That's about the time I put my car in park until they just go all the way through.
The Train Crossing on Ahtanum
“So close, yet so far” is the exact feeling you get when you're beating all the traffic lights heading town Ahtanum when along comes a train. Those train traffic lights serve both as a warning and sinks despair into your soul. Depending on where it's going, getting stuck behind a train could be anywhere from 5 minutes to half-an-hour it seems. The longest wait time I've ever had was just over 15 minutes with no where to turn around and find an alternate route. If you're near Ahtanum, that's my favorite street to get from Point A to Point B, but it's also a gamble not knowing if there's a train passing by.
Yakima Avenue (all of them between 7th Ave and the freeway exit)
I understand I got a little carried away with the X's as there isn't that many traffic lights, but yeah, that about sums it up. Unless I need something on Yakima avenue, I avoid it all all costs. I swear those lights are on a timer that makes you wait at each individual one on every block at every intersection. On a good, clear day if you travel at the right speed you can clear through each one in good timing, having them all turn red behind you like running through closing corridors in an action movie. Those chances are few and far between with the other traffic on the road. If you can, take an alternate route to where you're getting to in downtown Yakima. You'll save time, stress and your break pads.