Potholes can be fixed, money permitting

Vern Cammack of Bothell writes: I’ve lived off of Grannis Road (196th Street SE) for 15 years and have seen the fields and forests give way to many housing developments. Needless to say, traffic on the narrow, two-lane road has increased exponentially as a result.
What’s most disconce

rting is the neglect of the highly traveled roadway as people travel between Bothell-Everett Highway and 35th Avenue SE.
Today I counted seven major potholes in the 1½-mile stretch, most measuring at least a foot in diameter and two to three inches in depth. Several of these have been “noticed” by my tires and only get worse over time.
Hitting these at the speed limit of 35 mph, or even less, causes a loud thud and can be damaging not only to the tire but to the car’s entire alignment and suspension as well.
While I know weather and traffic — especially from those who leave studded tires on when they are not needed — are all contributing factors, shouldn’t the county take into account the need for increased road maintenance when granting all those permits for housing development?

Snohomish County Councilman Dave Gossett responds to the policy question: State law does not allow the county to charge developers for maintenance of roads, only for capacity improvements necessary for the new development.
What this question points to is the major shortfall in county funding for transportation, a shortfall that has nothing to do with the current recession and is in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 15 years.
There are three options to deal with this: increase density in urban areas and put severe restrictions on rural development; allow ever-increasing congestion and reduced levels of service; or find more money.
Some combination of the three is also possible. Last fall the council wrote a budget note to have Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon propose a framework for dealing with the shortfall.
This spring, as chairman of the council Public Works Committee, I intend to focus on this issue and bring a proposed solution to the public for discussion.

County engineer Owen Carter responds regarding the potholes: We ask that residents call 425-388-7500 to report the location of the pothole. A service request will be created and the county’s patch truck will be dispatched as quickly as possible.
Turn lane needed
Tony Reina of Stanwood writes: When I drive west on Highway 532 in Stanwood, there are parallel parking spaces just before the intersection at 102nd Avenue NW. The parking spaces seem to be out of place given that the businesses along this route have their own parking lots.
It’s even a bit dangerous given the high volume of traffic along the highway. I think it would be helpful to have a right-turn lane going west at the traffic light at Highway 532 and 102nd Avenue NW. As it stands now, there are parallel parking spaces almost right up to the traffic light. Can those parallel parking spaces be turned into a right-turn-only lane?

Bronlea Mishler of the transportation department responds: During design of the recently completed Highway 532 improvement project, we considered removing the street parking in this area. At the time, city of Stanwood officials wanted to keep the downtown parking, so we didn’t pursue the issue further.
According to our engineers, a right turn lane at 102nd Avenue NW could be an asset to drivers. We have contacted the city and asked them what they think about the possibility of removing several parking spaces and adding the right turn-lane.
If it is possible, the turn lane could be installed next summer.

E-mail us at stsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your city of residence.

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