Watch for bikes when passing

The days are getting shorter, but because gasoline prices have remained high, bicyclists aren’t as quick to park their bikes for the winter.

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Have a question about traffic or street rules around Snohomish and Island counties? We can help find an answer. E-mail The Herald at stsmarts@ heraldnet.com.

For that reason, bicycle safety advocates are asking drivers to pay extra attention to their more vulnerable companions on the road. They’re also reminding drivers that there’s a new law in place that could save lives.

The law, which went into effect in July, prohibits automobile drivers from passing a vehicle in front of them on a two-lane road if there’s a bicycle coming in the opposite direction.

The idea is to treat cyclists like another vehicle on the road, said Mike Dahlstrom, an Everett-based biking enthusiast.

“According to state law, we have a right to be out there on the road,” he said. “This is just one more step toward protecting us and pedestrians.”

The new rule aims to prevent a passing vehicle, which usually speed up to pass, from injuring or killing a cyclist.

The law was adopted after a passing vehicle killed a woman near Walla Walla in 2004.

Question: I know that they are working on 41st Street. But how traffic is now redirected for getting on the freeway heading north is ridiculous.

There’s a huge patch of cement that cars must drive around. And they never seem to be doing any work; it’s just empty machinery sitting there.

Since I live in the Lowell neighborhood, I have to go through this junk twice a day.

Ann Washburn, Everett

Answer: Permanent survey control markers have been placed in the center of the roadway for future survey work. They require precision placement by a survey crew, and as a result, traffic was routed around these areas.

Over the course of the next few weeks, crews will stripe the pavement, and you should see detours winding down.

Work on the project will continue with the focal point of the work moving east, where it will become less apparent to drivers on 41st Street.

Ryan Sass, Everett city engineer

Question: I live in a neighborhood in a part of unincorporated Snohomish County between Lake Stevens and Everett.

The posted speed limit is 25 mph. It is not uncommon for drivers to travel between 40 mph to 50 mph as they zip around the streets. There have been numerous complaints to police with little or no impact.

The neighborhood has an abundant number of children, I have two who routinely play outside doing things normal kids like to do (riding bikes, playing basketball, etc).

What can we do to slow traffic down before a terrible accident occurs? It would be very much appreciated.

Gary Greer, Everett-Lake Stevens area

Answer: This is part of the county’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. Details about the program can be found on the county’s Web site at: www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/ Departments/Public_Works/ Divisions/TES/Traffic_Oper/ntcp .htm.

Jim Bloodgood, traffic engineer, Snohomish County public works

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