H Street traffic revision near Burger King draws criticism


A new H Street traffic revision barring vehicles from turning left into Burger King has been met with pushback. 

Burger King employee Suzanne Dinkel said the fast food franchise wasn’t given notice that a C curve was installed on H Street in early May, just as McDonald’s was opening across the street. The C curve stops vehicles in the eastbound lane of H Street, such as trucks and other travelers coming from SR-543, from turning left into the Burger King parking lot. Instead, vehicles now need to turn left on 14th Street and drive around the Chevron gas station to get into the Burger King parking lot.

Public works interim director Gary McSpadden said the revision was included in the traffic study for the Blaine Retail development across H Street. McSpadden said drivers were dangerously crossing three westbound lanes on H Street to enter the Burger King parking lot, which goes against Department of Transportation standards. 

“It’s way too close to that intersection to have a left turn crossing three lanes of traffic without any proper turn lane,” McSpadden said. “That’s the whole focus of taking it down to the proper turn lane.”

McSpadden said the C curve was installed, in part, in anticipation of more traffic on H Street. He added there weren’t many options as an alternative to the C curve. 

Dinkel expressed concern to Blaine City Council during its May 22 meeting that Burger King was unaware of the traffic revision and it has significantly impacted business. Dinkel said she understood public works was understaffed but asked the city to improve its communication with the public.

“It was a shock to me and a lot of my customers who come in are not happy about it,” Dinkel said. “I’m here to tell you it’s not a very welcomed thing because you’re changing the way things have been done for 30 years.”

Dinkel said after the meeting that she’s seen trucks attempt to turn into the old H Street entrance and then back into traffic to correct the mistake. She said drivers have missed the C curve because it’s low and there’s no signage notifying people of the change.

“It surprised the tires of my car. I freaking hate it but apparently it must be best practices,” councilmember Richard May said during the meeting.

Dinkel said she was concerned Burger King employees would be financially impacted as they’re now taking turns going home early.

“We feel really picked on, at least all of us as crew members,” she said. 


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