If Everett’s streets are so good, why is Colby so bad?

Q: On Dec. 3, Street Smarts tackled a question about why Everett wastes money repaving streets, such as Walnut Street from 16th Street to 19th Street or McDougall Avenue north of 19th Street, instead of using the money for adding lanes and widening roads, including S. Colby Avenue or S. Broadway.

Everett city engineer Dave Davis said the existing street system is one of Everett’s largest assets with more than 270 miles of roadway. Davis said in 2001, nearly 38 lane miles of streets were overlaid in Everett and were chosen by the highest priority from a consultant’s report.

In response to that question/answer, an Everett reader asked what about the tree-lined street of Colby Avenue with tree roots coming up through the pavement? Driving over the bumps really doesn’t do your car any justice.

If all our streets are in such great condition, why is Colby Avenue in such bad shape?

Dorothy Hansen, Everett

A: Everett city engineer Dave Davis agreed that humps, caused by the tree roots, can be felt as you are driving along that section of Colby.

"Annually, the city repairs the most abrupt humps and cuts back the roots, but the sycamore has a very invasive root that thrives in the warm, airy environment of a road base, so the problem persists," Davis said. "One solution is to remove the sycamores and replace them with a less-invasive tree. But the sycamore is attractive, and, except for the bumps, it’s a pleasant segment of Colby to drive."

There are no plans to remove the trees, and the city will continue to try and keep up with the roots, Davis said.

Have a question about traffic or street rules around Snohomish and Island counties? We can help find an answer. Send questions by fax to 425-339-3435; e-mail to newstips@heraldnet.com; or address to Street Smarts, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name and phone number.

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