By John Michael Gilday
The steel light pole situated in the center of the street at 11800 98th Ave NE in Juanita has been reinstalled even though it has been responsible for one death already.
The pole is structurally attractive with its four arms sweeping out tree-like over both southbound and northbound traffic - but the 15" diameter pole is a killer.
Located less than 3 feet from both lanes of traffic, the pole is a classic violation of the rule that 'Form Follows Function'. The function of this pole is to hold lights and traffic signs above lanes of traffic - much like the hundreds of poles located around Kirkland do. But the other poles are located beyond parked cars, beyond sidewalks and well out of the range of an onrushing car. They are rooted in a safe location and a sweeping arm brings their sign or light to its position 20' above the roadway.
How many times have we all glanced away from the road for some reason and found we'd strayed out of our lane? I have many times and the fault was always mine. But does that inattention deserve the death penalty?
Yes, the poles look cool in the middle of the street – no, we don't need another death to realize 'looking cool' just ain't worth the price.