It seemed too good to be true to Everett resident Andreas Tsircou when he first reached out to Street Smarts four years ago. His question about an inconvenient intersection quickly prompted the city of Everett to agree to install a right-turn arrow for drivers on westbound 112th Street SE wanting to turn north on 7th Avenue SE.
Asking was the easy part. He was hoping persistence was the key to actually seeing the project through. But it turned out to be a significantly more complex undertaking.
At the T-intersection, while vehicles are turning left from 7th to 112th, the light remains red for drivers heading the opposite way. From 112th, drivers have the option of coming to a full stop then turning right onto 7th.
Tsircou, who lives nearby, saw it as the perfect place to add a right-turn arrow.
With a dedicated right-turn lane and sufficient right turning volumes, the intersection met conditions set out by the city to install the turn signal there. In March 2015, the city anticipated it would be added within a year.
After 2½ years of waiting, Tsircou reached out again to Street Smarts. The project was more complicated than initially thought, the city said back in November 2017.
“The current controllers (for traffic lights) don’t have a key feature that would have simplified implementation,” Tim Miller, a traffic engineer, said then. “We will need to upgrade the controller and use overlap phases.”
“We do have a signal work plan in place,” he added, “and we expect we can accomplish this in 2018.”
That deadline passed and the intersection remains the same. So once again Tsircou contacted Street Smarts for an update.
“As it turns out, the installation of the right turn signal at this intersection is a significantly more complex undertaking than was originally anticipated,” Miller explained in a recent email.
To make the change, either an existing pedestrian crosswalk would have to be removed or “an advanced, non-standard signal controller configuration along with wiring changes” would be needed, Miller said.
At this time, he said, the city decided to keep the crosswalk. And the situation, in staff’s opinion, didn’t warrant the equipment necessary to make the change.
The existing exclusive right-turn lane will have to suffice.
Tsircou, did however, spur the city to further study the intersection. And if a change could improve operation or safety, there’s still a chance a right-turn signal could come. Stay tuned …
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