Traffic flow part of Silver Lake widening project

Dennis McDonald of Everett writes: After reading about the planned widening of 112th Street SE in the Silver Lake area, I am unsure how this would affect the congestion on 19th Avenue SE. It seems to me that this should have been looked at long ago.

Traffic in this area has been bad for quite some time. It recently took me seven minutes to travel from 100th Street SE to 112th Street SE. I am wondering why the environmental impact statement for the nearby park-and-ride lot didn’t predict this.

Corey Hert, associate traffic engineer for Everett, responds: When the city of Everett widens 112th Street SE between 14th Avenue SE and 19th Avenue SE, the operation of the traffic signals at 110th and 112th should improve as a result.

When the project is completed, there will be a northbound dual left turn on 19th turning west onto 112th, which will allow more time for southbound through-traffic on 19th. There will also be a protected green arrow for the right turn from eastbound 112th to southbound 19th.

Even though the focus of the project is to complete the last section of 112th, the improvements will result in smoother southbound progression. Delays on 19th at these intersections should be reduced.

Joey Amposta of Marysville writes: After the widening job that was completed on Smokey Point Boulevard, there is an unnecessary traffic light operating in front of 14219 Smokey Point Blvd.

This is not an intersection and there is no business, just a vacant building. Is this really needed when the city is doing a lot of budget cuts to save money? Why not just turn it off until it can be used when needed?

John Cowling, city engineer for Marysville, responds: Installing the signal at this location was a requirement to secure more than $3 million in grant funding for the recent widening of Smokey Point Boulevard from 136th Street NE to 152nd Street NE. The project cost a total of $10.1 million.

The sidewalk on the west side of Smokey Point Boulevard in this vicinity is interrupted by the rail line. The grant required that a pedestrian signal be installed so people walking south along Smokey Point Boulevard would have a safe crossing point to the sidewalk on the east side of the road.

Without installation of this pedestrian signal the city would have not been able to secure the state grant, which resulted in a savings of $3 million.

Speed cameras coming to Snoqualmie Pass

Beginning this week the state plans to begin using speed-enforcement cameras in a work zone near Snoqualmie Pass.

The cameras are being installed per the authority of the Legislature. The Department of Transportation was directed to use the cameras in construction zones as a pilot program ending in June 2013 to increase safety for workers.

When winter weather hits and construction moves off the I-90 roadway, the state will move the camera to another location. In 2008 and 2009, the cameras were used in two work zones on I-5 south of Olympia, and they helped reduce speeds in both areas, according to the state.

A small sport utility vehicle parked near the highway will monitor speeds both eastbound and westbound and a camera will capture the rear license plates of speeding vehicles. Drivers caught speeding by automated enforcement in the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass work zone could face a $137 citation.

For more information visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/safety/atsc.

E-mail 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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