Cameras detect vehicles to switch traffic signals

Kathleen Vaara of Everett writes: I see traffic information cameras all over town, they’re located high up on poles and pointed downward at the lanes of traffic. Yet I can’t find the camera feed posted anywhere.

On the state Department of Transportation website, I can click on Lynnwood and see all their traffic cameras. Everett should be able to post their cameras so we can check on road conditions, which we especially need to do when the roads are snowy and icy.

Does the city of Everett have a plan for this?

Ryan Sass, city engineer for Everett, responds: At this time, we do not have an active network of traffic information cameras. Over time, we intend to establish them on major corridors like Evergreen Way as we replace traffic signal equipment.

What you likely have seen is our video vehicle detection equipment. These cameras only focus on a spot near the intersection approaches to detect when vehicles are present so the signal can respond to them.

Most of our detection of cars and trucks at traffic signals in Everett is by loops buried in the pavement, but we do use the cameras at some locations.

Email reminders

Brian Laine of Arlington writes: I was wondering if you could find out why the Department of Licensing, when registering vehicles on-line, has such an unusual notice schedule. Only one email notice is given, and it’s two months in advance. Seems too early to register the vehicle, but you take the chance that you will forget if you don’t. Could they email notices weekly if the registration hasn’t been renewed, or at least make the notice sooner to when the registration is needed? That would be a help.

Brad Benfield, spokesman for the state Department of Licensing, responds: Right now we send one notice about 45 days in advance of the month of expiration. This is the same timeframe we have long used for our traditional paper renewal notices. Right now, we are working on updating our computer system to send out an additional reminder two weeks before the vehicle expiration date to those people who have not renewed.

This should be a benefit to those folks who didn’t renew right after they received their first notice to make sure they don’t forget. I don’t yet have a date we’re going to introduce that feature, but it should be within a few months.

Highway 530 slide

Merle Davis of Darrington writes: There was a slide on Highway 530, at about milepost 37, last fall. There was a big crew and lots of equipment working on it. Then they all went away, it is not finished and no one has been around for some time. What’s going on?

Bronlea Mishler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: You’re right, there was a lot of work happening on Highway 530 last fall.

Crews temporarily shifted the highway to the north away from the hillside near milepost 36. This created room for the contractor to build a 400-foot-long retaining wall to help stabilize the hillside. Crews finished drilling the shafts for the retaining wall and then shut the project down for the winter in January.

The contractor returned to work June 11 and has been pouring concrete panels for the retaining wall.

Once the panels are completed in July, crews will then shift the road back to its permanent location. The work should be wrapped up by September.

Email us at stsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your city of residence.

Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog at www.heraldnet.com/streetsmarts.

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