I-5 signs prohibit trailers in left lane

Steven M. Lowry of Camano Island writes: Between Everett and Smokey Point heading north there are no signs stating that vehicles with trailers, or vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, are prohibited in the fast lane. I travel this road daily and end up following semis and trucks pulling trailers in the fast lane all the time.

What would it take to get the state to put up a few of these signs along here?

Bronlea Mishler, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, responds: We partnered with the State Patrol back in 1997 to install signs reminding drivers with trailers or vehicles in excess of 10,000 pounds not to use the left lane. Based on discussions with the State Patrol, we decided to install the signs at five-mile intervals, and alternate them with the “slower traffic keep right” signs. Some of the signs got moved in the course of construction projects, so today, they may not show up precisely every five miles.

We recently looked at the signs currently up on north and southbound I-5 between Everett and Smokey Point and found that we have an appropriate number of signs, and they are properly spaced.

Northbound I-5 has two truck restriction signs and southbound has four — all in the center median so they are visible to drivers using the left lane.

The State Patrol is responsible for enforcing the left-lane laws, so if you notice trailers or oversize vehicles in the left lane, you can call 911 to report it.

Unsafe for pedestrians

Helen Countryman of Silver Lake writes: What can be done to make it safe for pedestrians to walk across the I-5 overpass at Eastmont in south Everett? There presently is no safe way for a person to walk from Eastmont to the Everett Mall.

There are no good provisions for pedestrians on the overpass and no alternate routes, so one must walk along the shoulders on the sides of traffic lanes. A sidewalk with a curb should be built to keep walkers safe. When this overpass was designed and built, safe walking was not considered.

Mishler, with input from Everett city engineer Ryan Sass, responds: We understand that crossing I-5 in south Everett is a challenge. Though there are five overpasses near the interchange of I-5, Highway 526 and Highway 527, none have sidewalks.

The best place for pedestrians in this area to cross I-5 is at the 112th Street SE overpass, which has room for both pedestrians and cyclists. The city of Everett also plans to build out the last section of the 112th Street corridor this year, a stretch that will run between Silver Lake Road and Highway 527.

We realize 112th Street SE is more than a mile south of the junction of I-5, Highway 526 and Highway 527, but currently, neither the city nor the state have plans to build a pedestrian overpass at the interchange.

Email us at stsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your city of residence.

Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog at www.heraldnet.com/streetsmarts.

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