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Mukilteo ferry electronic sign awaiting repairs

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By Bill Sheets
Herald Columnist
Jeff Rexroat of Mukilteo writes: I am confused about the electronic information board on Highway 526 west of the Boeing plant that provides information about ferry wait times in Mukilteo.
I have not seen it working all summer long. There is one on the Mukilteo Speedway that does work and was installed at the same time as the Highway 526 sign.
For the money spent, and for the ferry riders, this should be working. This sign is also informative for Mukilteo residents to know whether to avoid congestion on the Speedway.

Bronlea Mishler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: The sign is currently out of order. The sign is missing some key electronic gadgetry and won't be up and running again until it can be repaired.
Unfortunately, the electronic parts are hard to come by, but crews have them on order and hope to repair the sign as soon as possible.
Lowell-Larimer repairs
Linda Anderson of Everett writes: Are there any plans to repair Lowell-Larimer Road in the portion in southeast Everett that has been made into a one-lane road?

Dongho Chang, traffic engineer for the city of Everett, responds: Yes, we are planning to restore the roadway to two lanes. Geotechnical engineers are investigating the hillside on Lowell-Larimer Road to determine what is causing the shoulder and portion of the roadway to slide. Part of the hillside is on private property and the agreement was signed early October to allow entry into the property for the engineering investigation. We will review our repair options once the results of the soil investigation are complete sometime in November.
Left-turn signal
Nelson Vander Vate of Everett writes: I'm writing regarding the reader who asked why they couldn't install a left turn signal at 56th Street SE and Highway 9 north of downtown Snohomish. The solution isn't as difficult and expensive as the state thinks.
The turn signals for eastbound and westbound traffic can be added without adding extra lanes. The signal could allow all eastbound traffic to go left, straight, or right while Highway 9 and westbound traffic have a red light. This works successfully at 52nd Street SE and Colby Avenue in Everett, and numerous other intersections.

Mishler of the transportation department responds: Our traffic engineers have considered several options for improving traffic flow at this very busy intersection, including Mr. Vander Vate's suggestion for retiming the traffic signal so that each direction gets its own green light for left, straight or right turn movements.
Unfortunately, allowing each direction its own green light would actually increase delays for all drivers at the intersection because they would have to sit through more light phases -- four phases instead of the current three (north and southbound left turns, north and southbound through traffic, east and westbound traffic). Not only would there be more light phases, the length of the cycles would be longer, too. Each cycle would have to accommodate not only the green light time, but yellow and red, as well as the pedestrian signals in each direction.
While we understand that this intersection is congested, our goal in operating the signal is to serve all directions of traffic as efficiently as possible. In this case, it means minimizing the delays for each direction of traffic. The current signal is set up so that each direction of traffic has to wait approximately the same length of time for a green light. Our engineers will continue to monitor the intersection and make any changes as needed.

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Story tags » EverettMukilteoSnohomishHighway 526Highway 9Road Repair

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