State traffic engineers hope an unusual intersection between Snohomish and Lake Stevens gets easier to navigate now that they’ve removed a stop sign — though it likely will take drivers time to get used to the switch.
Drivers exiting westbound U.S. 2 for Highway 9 must first stop at Bunk Foss Road, then turn left and go about 500 feet before reaching the highway. (Going right at the intersection takes drivers toward South Machias Road.)
Up until recently, that T-intersection had been an all-way stop.
A safety study showed there was uncertainty about who had the right of way — particularly for drivers coming from nearby Highway 9, a major intersection controlled by a traffic signal. Crashes resulted when eastbound Bunk Foss Road traffic often failed to notice the stop sign so soon after leaving Highway 9, state staff said.
So, state crews took out the stop sign. Drivers heading eastbound no longer have to stop.
Bright signs at the intersection notify those getting off U.S. 2 that “traffic from left does not stop.”
Confusion has still followed, though.
“I’ve seen numerous near-misses,” said Kerry Horner, of Snohomish, who travels through the intersection regularly.
Horner has seen the signs of the collisions that the state is aiming to prevent — such as broken glass and pieces of plastic in the roadway. Yet he worries new collisions could follow the supposed improvement.
“Maybe this is ultimately the best fix. But until people are re-conditioned, it is really dangerous,” he said.
The state Department of Transportation said it plans to add additional striping and arrows to help guide drivers. That type of improvement typically requires dry weather.
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