Put back the sign on Roehl’s Road | Letter

Here’s a boring headline: Moving Truck Takes Wrong Turn. Here’s a more serious one: Furniture Truck Misses Chasm by Inches. Here’s an alarming headline: EMT Lost On Unmarked Road.

All of these are true headlines. And all of them are the fault of San Juan County and Councilman Rick Hughes.

Last year the county unilaterally and without the input or consent of the local residents decided to take down the Roehl’s Hill Rd street sign at Point Lawrence Rd and replace it with Stony Point with no auxiliary sign point out Roehl’s Hill. And, at the junction where Stony Point splits off of Roehl’s Hill there is a bare, empty signpost, that used to guide drivers one direction, or the other.

Since then, vehicles have been getting lost and our driveway, septic drain field and gatepost have been severely damaged. There are large ruts in our drain field; one big furniture van came just six inches from falling into a deep creek bed and one of the gate posts was run over. All of this was photographed in detail with explanatory notations and sent to the county and Councilman Hughes… not once, not twice, but three times. We spoke with the county over the phone and with Rick Hughes in person. Result: nothing, nada, nil. We were told it is our problem not their’s.

Yesterday a lost moving van drove up our driveway. We have done our part by putting up a highway-quality dead end, private drive, no turn around sign at the end of our drive. These lost vans must then back down and perform a multi-point turn, churning up our drive as well as the next-door neighbor’s. Then a substitute nurse from Anacortes’ Island Hospital came up our unmarked road, looking around. It was lucky for her that I was walking the dog at just that time to point out that there was no longer any street sign. For me, that was the last straw in getting the county to remedy their mistake in removing the road signs by communicating with them directly.

Now, I choose the Fourth Estate as my venue to vent. Maybe they will read this and be prompted (I substitute this phraseology for more vitriolic and adult language) to put up a sign or two which they took down in the first place. If they can re-pave the entire stretch of road from the park to Olga, they can put up a street sign. If they continue to demur on this, one day, that lost truck stuck in a canyon or lost first responder not being able to find their way to their emergency, will create a much more serious or even deadly headline than mine above.

Tim Bonner

Orcas Island