Arlington traffic fixes lack funding

Mark Stout of Arlington writes: You have addressed the curbing on 172nd Street NE in Smokey Point, from I-5 to 43rd Avenue NE.

How about curbing or a turn lane from 43rd to 51st (Shoultes Road) and west from 67th? There are backups every day because of people turning left.

Bronlea Mishler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: At this time, we can’t restrict left turns from eastbound 172nd (Highway 531) west of 67th. We’d be leaving eastbound drivers with no reasonable way to reach nearby businesses; instead they’d have to take a miles-long alternate route to approach the driveways from the opposite direction.

Though there’s a gravel road off 51st that reaches some businesses, it isn’t designed to handle a large amount of traffic. Restricting turns and directing traffic on to that road would also require approval from the Arlington City Council.

The transportation department recently recommended potential improvements (www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr531/corridoranalysis) that would help reduce congestion, but we don’t have funding for any of those improvements.

The report will serve as a blueprint for elected officials when funding becomes available.

The city of Arlington also is planning a new street parallel to 172nd that would follow the path of that gravel road, but they don’t have funding for the design and construction yet.

You can read up on the city’s project here at http://tinyurl.com/173rdStreet.

Restricted visibility

Erik Robins of Lynnwood writes: The intersection where 45th Place W. forms a “T” with 153rd Place SW (near Lynnwood) has restricted visibility and no stop sign.

When driving west on 153rd Place SW, I have had cars pull out in front of me on several occasions. It is not possible for drivers to see each other because the property on the southwest corner has a lot of large shrubs planted along the sidewalk. These were planted years ago and have grown up to where they are blocking drivers’ views of each other.

I feel that the shrubs need to be cut back and a stop sign needs to be installed on 45th Place SW to make this intersection safe.

Snohomish County engineer Owen Carter responds: The intersection of 45th Place W. at 153 Place SW. is an uncontrolled intersection.

The majority of neighborhood intersections throughout unincorporated Snohomish County operate in this manner.

Neighborhood roads and intersections can have a potential inherent danger created by unexpected intrusions into the travel path from many points. Roads are designed to reduce potential dangers, but drivers must be alert and practice good defensive driving techniques.

Sight distance for this intersection exceeds the minimum standard from all approaches. Installing a stop sign is not recommended. The bushes on the southwest corner should be trimmed to the proper height for a corner lot, and we will work with the adjacent property owner to make the corrections.

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