Evergreen lights try to limit wait times

Scott Freshman of Everett asks: Today, as I was traveling westbound on 75th Street SE and turning left onto Evergreen Way southbound, it took four complete cycles until I could make the left turn. Each cycle seemed to take forever (but was probably about 90 seconds). I sat there for about six minutes and I was just the seventh car in the left-turn lane. Why is there no left turn arrow at this intersection?

Dongho Chang, traffic engineer for Everett, responds: We checked traffic during morning, noon and evening peak hours to assess how the signal is handling traffic for 75th Street. Although we did not encounter delays longer than two cycles in our review, there is the potential for longer delays for left-turning traffic when yielding to bus riders and other pedestrians crossing Evergreen Way. During the evening peak hour we counted:

* 66 cars making the westbound left-hand turn from 75th Street;

* 91 cars travelling through eastbound and 63 cars making an eastbound right turn;

* 3,200 cars traveling on Evergreen Way;

* 18 pedestrians crossing Evergreen Way.

Evergreen Way carries significant traffic through the area and our challenge is to keep this traffic flowing. When traffic backs up on Evergreen Way, drivers will divert onto residential streets and less-desirable arterial streets to save time. Adding a left-turn arrow on 75th Street would increase delays for traffic on Evergreen Way by about 15 percent during the evening peak hour. Most of the green and yellow time for the new left-turn arrow would have to be taken from green time allotted for Evergreen Way.

Our records indicate there was one collision involving left-turning cars on 75th Street in two years. We won’t install a left-turn arrow based on our review, but we’ll keep an eye on this location.

Mary J. Veurink of Everett asks: I drive a vanpool and pick up and return people at the 112th Street park-and-ride station on I-5. Every morning and evening, we see single drivers using this as a freeway on- and offramp. We waited a long time for this to open and it is irritating for us to see people illegally using this park-and-ride and not getting caught.

Trooper Keith Leary of the State Patrol responds: A single occupant using the carpool lane could face an infraction after dropping a person off at the park-and-ride and then entering the freeway. Troopers on a daily basis routinely look for and stop carpool lane violators throughout the county. The amount of the infraction is $124.

For single-occupant drivers dropping off or picking up riders at the 112th Street park-and-ride, the carpool ramps are not a legal route to and from I-5. The nearest freeway ramps are at Everett Mall Way to the north and at 128th Street SW to the south. Drivers must take 112th either to Highway 527 to the east or to Seventh Avenue SE or Fourth Avenue W. to the west to reach these onramps.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

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