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Street Smarts
August 30  |  By Melissa Slager Herald staff
Back-to-school means a big uptick in traffic.

Cars taking kids to school account for up to 14 percent of the morning rush, according to national statistics.

Wednesday is the first day of school for many local students. Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Mukilteo, Northshore and Stanwood-Camano start Sept. 2. Other Snohomish County...

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August 28  |  Herald staff
Carol McDaniel of Lynnwood writes: “We own a 38-foot motorhome. I am wondering if we can use it in the carpool lane? We have at least two people in the vehicle. It says motorcycles, buses, etc., and I need to know if we qualify. Thank you.”“She is good to go,” says Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis.He points to a portion of Washington Administrative Code 468-510-010, which specifically mentions that recreational vehicles are OK if occupancy requirements are met.

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August 27  |  Herald staff
The Evergreen State Fair runs Aug. 27 to Labor Day, Sept. 7, and Community Transit will again offer special Fair Days bus service — for less than the cost of a funnel cake.

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August 27  |  Herald staff
BOTHELL — Northbound I-405 through Kirkland and Bothell will be funneled down to one lane and several area ramps will be closed for 55 hours, starting at 11 p.m. Aug. 28 and reopening at 5 a.m. Aug. 31.

The closures are to open new braided ramps from NE 160th Street in Bothell to...

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August 26  |  Herald staff
Street Smarts received a question from Roger Ohlsen of Snohomish about whether it was legal for drivers to cross double-yellow lines on Highway 9 to access driveways and businesses, including the stretch between Broadway/Lowell-Larimer and Cathcart Way.We found our answer to that in the state Driver’s Guide (it’s legal; illegal to pass).But it raises another good question: Are there any plans to limit left turns in that stretch in the future?

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August 24  |  Herald Staff
EVERETT — Lowell Larimer Road, west of 56th Avenue SE, is expected to be closed in both directions for paving work, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

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August 24  |  Herald Staff
EVERETT — Highway 526 near Airport Road and Paine Field is set for closure from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, while Boeing moves a large piece of equipment from Paine Field to the Everett plant. The work is scheduled to avoid peak Boeing traffic hours. A signed detour via Airport Road will be posted. Drivers are advised to add extra time to their trips.



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August 24  |  By Melissa Slager Herald Writer
With express tolls set to start on I-405, state still big on carpools Will we still carpool when the carpool lane as we know it is gone?

Express toll lanes will replace the high-occupancy vehicle lanes on I-405 from Lynnwood to Bellevue starting Sept. 27.

Trends in other states show carpooling often goes down when toll signs go up over "the fast lane." The...

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August 23  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
Carpooling is not the most popular idea among Snohomish County commuters. If the experience of other states is any indication, tolling on I-405 this fall could draw down that rate even further.

Express toll lanes will replace the high-occupancy vehicle lanes on I-405 from Lynnwood to Bellevue starting Sept. 27.

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August 21  |  Herald staff
Express toll lanes will eventually run a 40-mile length of I-405 from Lynnwood to Renton, and link with similar lanes on Highway 167.Washington State Department of Transportation hosts public meetings Aug. 24-25 to introduce Bellevue and Renton area folks to the concept, now that funding is in hand for a widening and express toll lane project from Bellevue to Renton.

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August 19  |  By Melissa Slager Herald staff
New zigzag line on Highway 9 not a mistake BRYANT — No, it was not some precise paint-spilling mistake. There really is supposed to be a zigzagging white line down the middle of the lane.

Washington State Department of Transportation crews painted the zigzagging pavement markings in both directions of

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August 18  |  By Melissa Slager Herald staff
When your child is born, you carefully strap her into her state-of-the-art car seat. You slap “Baby On Board” warning signs in the window. You slow down, keep two hands on the wheel, and suddenly marvel at the dangerous stupidity of other drivers.Then the kiddo grows up, rolls her eyes, and holds out her hand for the keys.A state Department of Licensing program hopes to bring some of the same Mama Bear and Papa Bear mode of the new parent to parenting the teen driver.

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August 17  |  Herald staff
The Washington State Department of Transportation has created a website with detailed closure information for the I-5 expansion joint replacement project between Everett and Marysville after receiving several questions from those who use the well-traveled highway.

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August 13  |  Herald staff
The intersection of 220th Street SW and 58th Avenue West in Mountlake Terrace was recently converted from a 2-way stop to an all-way stop. The change was made in response to an expansion of Brighton School, a private preschool through eighth grade school that will open in September after relocating from Lynnwood to 21705 58th Ave. W.

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August 12  |  Herald staff
Roadside brush fires nearly double Summer is usually a busy month for Washington State Department of Transportation crews. But with roughly double the number of roadside brush fires this season compared to last year — more than 100 since April 1, including several in the Marysville area — crews are changing up their routines.



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August 11  |  Herald staff
Have a great photo of a ferry? Ferries are a unique and integral part of our state's transportation system — and they are also highly photogenic.

Submit your best ferry photo on Twitter, and you could win a tour of a ferry and see your work shared by Washington State Ferries.

Photos and ferries can be old or new, as long as you're the photographer. Jeannette Mills, director of Visual Services at the University of Washington School...

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August 10  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
It will be safer for students who walk and bike to Sherwood-area schools in Edmonds once a new sidewalk goes in on 238th Street SW.

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August 7  |  Herald staff
Community Transit is sponsoring a Moves Moment video contest on Facebook as part of its Nobody Moves Like Transit advertising campaign. Through Aug. 20, members of the public may submit their own 10-second video showing their moves on a bus or at a bus stop or transit center. Detailed information and contest rules are available on Community Transit's Facebook page,

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July 23  |  Herald staff
Major renovations are underway at the cramped Ash Way Park and Ride and Swamp Creek Park and Ride lots that will result in more parking.Most of the work on the Community Transit projects is taking place over the weekends to minimize disruption, though some parking has been temporarily lost to construction equipment.

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July 20  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
Inaugural Snohomish County Bike Bash is July 25 It's not that Dorothé Reijnders didn't bike before.

"I'm from the Netherlands. Over there, we bike because we need to go from A to B," she said.

But it wasn't until she bought a road bike and then started training two years ago for a 200-plus mile ride that she "got hooked."

"It took me a long time to figure out you can do this for fun," she said.

In no time, Reijnders was joining group rides...

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July 20  |  Herald staff
For more information on free group bike rides in Snohomish County, click on the calendar links for these groups:BIKES Club of Snohomish County, www.bikesclub.orgCascade Bicycle Club, www.cascade.orgA few upcoming examples:

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July 16  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
Floyd Ply rides a motorcycle. Every once in awhile, he hits a light that doesn’t know he’s there.“Even trying the turn lane does no good,” he wrote. “What are the rules about going through this light? When is it legal to go through the red?”There’s a relatively recent state law that answers Ply’s concern.

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July 15  |  Herald staff
Work is scheduled to start July 20 on a Tulalip Tribes project to improve the interchange of I-5 and 116th Street NE.From 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays, up to two lanes in each direction of I-5 at 116th will close and traffic will shift for a center work zone.

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July 14  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
It’s not just a hunch. There really is more spandex on the road.And I’m not just talking about the recent Group Health STP (Seattle to Portland) Bicycle Classic, in which my husband was one of 10,000 cyclists. (I drove a car. I was very comfortable.)Since 1999, bicycling has increased as a share of total trips by 44 percent, according to travel surveys kept by the Puget Sound Regional Council.

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July 13  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
Work on Lakeview Trail in Mountlake Terrace is underway.

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July 12  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
When it comes to restricted lanes on the interstate, don't mess with senior citizens, moms in minivans — or motorcyclists.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has been hearing from a lot of motorcyclists, including via Street Smarts, who are flabbergasted that they will need a special transponder in order to use the express toll lanes on I-405 this fall. Motorcycles are among those who can currently...

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July 10  |  Herald staff
Extra ferry sailings will be added on the Mukilteo-Clinton route to and from Whidbey Island to assist travelers while the Highway 20 Deception Pass bridges are closed for overnight paving.The additional trips are:Leaving Clinton at 9 p.m., 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 a.m.Leaving Mukilteo at 9:30 p.m., 2, 3 and 4 a.m.

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July 10  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
What would make you commute more by carpool, vanpool or transit?

A recent Puget Sound Regional Council travel study asked participants a string of hypotheticals, and it found that most people would be unwilling to change at all — though gas prices of $5 or more per gallon would be the most likely to...

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July 6  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
Your local pothole may soon be filled.

The summer road work season is under way in unincorporated Snohomish County areas with paving or chip sealing planned for a total of 107 miles of roadway.

By the end of October, Snohomish will see the most road miles treated with paving or chip sealing, at 14.86 miles, followed closely by Monroe at 14.34 miles. Eastmont will see the most roads get attention, at 24 locations.



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July 1  |  By Melissa Slager Herald writer
My expired child’s car seat is still sitting in our basement, waiting for some fate other than the landfill (and another layer of dust).The folks at Old Car Seat, New Life may have come up with an answer.

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