There’s just no easy exit on this one.
A reader called in to Street Smarts about striping changes on 27th Avenue NE, for those exiting the Costco complex in Marysville’s booming Smokey Point area.
There is now one lane instead of two for right-turning traffic onto eastbound Highway 531 (172nd Street NE), toward I-5. The caller described close calls as drivers realize the change late, and switch into the far right lane without yielding or signaling.
The city of Marysville and the Washington State Department of Transportation made several changes that aim to increase safety in the increasingly busy shopping district.
One change eliminated westbound U-turns on Highway 531 at 27th Avenue.
“As part of that process, WSDOT required a northbound right-turn overlap signal phase to add capacity to the intersection,” Marysville spokeswoman Connie Mennie said. “This required creation of a right-turn only lane and conversion of the center lane, which used to have both straight-through and right-turn traffic, to straight-through only.”
Drivers were definitely confused at first, Mennie said. But they have seemed to adapt.
“There have been no reported traffic collisions since the change was made in June,” she said.
Traffic counts have increased each year in the Smokey Point area.
“As we head into the holiday shopping season and expect periods of increased congestion, drivers may want to consider using Twin Lake Avenue/171st Place NE to exit the Costco and Target shopping areas,” Mennie said. “Marysville shoppers east of I-5 can also use the 156th Street overpass to reach that area and avoid 172nd Street (Highway 531) altogether.”
Marysville has long-term plans to address congestion at Lakewood Crossing by creating a new entry and exit to the shops. Plans call for extending 169th Place NE to meet 23rd Avenue NE, which meets Highway 531 at a roundabout.
Design work was scheduled for this year. Construction could begin as early as 2018.
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