Lack of funds prevents fixes to Filbert Road

Ron Martinez of Lynnwood writes: I live in unincorporated Lynnwood on Filbert Road (Highway 524), which becomes 196th Street SW in the city limits.

My concern is the intersection of Larch Way and Filbert Road. It is a three-way intersection because Larch Way ends at that intersection. There needs to be a traffic light at that intersection for several reasons.

As traffic has increased on Filbert Road, it has become virtually impossible to make a left turn onto Filbert Road from Larch Way. Even making a right turn onto Filbert Road is difficult because of the volume of traffic. There is considerable danger for vehicles attempting to make a left turn onto Filbert from Larch Way. I am not sure why there is no light there by now, as it sure needs one.

As more housing gets built in this area, traffic is only going to get worse. There was a project to add a turn lane on Filbert Road from 124th to Bothell-Everett Highway. Bothell has taken care of their portion of the project, but the remainder of the project has run out of money, it appears.

Travis Phelps, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: We recently completed the installation of an active warning sign system at the intersection of Highway 524 and Larch Way. This system includes a sign with flashers and vehicle detection devices on eastbound Highway 524 approaching Larch Way. When the system detects eastbound vehicles slowing and stopped because of a driver waiting to turn left at Larch Way, the flashers will be activated to warn eastbound drivers of stopped vehicles ahead and help reduce the risk of rear-end collisions.

The section of Highway 524 (Filbert Road) between Lynnwood and Bothell was originally proposed by Snohomish County to be widened to two through lanes in each direction, including turn lanes and traffic signals.

The widening of Highway 524 from 24th Avenue W. to Royal Anne Road (vicinity of Highway 527) was included as part of the Proposition 1 ballot measure, the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID), which unfortunately was rejected by voters in 2007. At that time the cost estimate was $94 million in 2006 dollars. Since then, the city of Bothell widened Highway 524 between their western city limits and Highway 527 (Bothell-Everett Highway).

We’ve looked at smaller projects such as widening Highway 524 at Larch Way for an eastbound left turn lane, and extending the sidewalk along the north side of Highway 524 from the Lynnwood eastern city limits to approximately 196th Place SW. The cost estimate for the left turn lane at Larch Way is $3 million in 2010 dollars. However, we do not currently have funding for this work.

E-mail us at streetsmarts@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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