Building ban kept on 164th Street

A ban on development near 164th Street SW will remain in place for a few more weeks as Snohomish County officials mull how to improve traffic flow for the clogged street.

The County Council decided Wednesday to wait until Dec. 17 to renew debate on whether to dub 164th Street at “ultimate capacity,” a technical term that would allow the county to approve more housing without widening the road.

It might cost $100 million to widen 164th Street, including work on a new I-5 overpass.

The road runs from Highway 99 across I-5 to Mill Creek.

Despite notices mailed to 20,000 people, and reserving a room for 1,200, fewer than three dozen people spoke out on the county’s proposal.

The council is also considering increasing developer fees from $150 to $650 per new home. The money would pay for traffic demand management programs, which persuade people to take the bus and leave their cars at home.

Builders also would be required to improve sidewalk links to bus stops and push new residents to buy bus passes.

Reporter Jeff Switzer: 425-339-3452 or

Managing traffic

County experts are focusing on a handful of techniques to reduce future traffic jams on 164th Street near I-5, Mill Creek and Lynnwood.

Traffic signals: During periods of congestion, traffic engineers will change the signal by remote control, using traffic cameras.

Fewer driveways: Future businesses might be forced to share driveways on 164th Street or might only be allowed to put driveways on side streets.

Fewer cars: Developer fees could be raised from $150 to $650 per home to subsidize bus programs and other efforts to encourage people to alter their commute times.

More information is available at by searching for “164th street.”

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