Is a little order in order at a busy on-ramp near Tulalip?

A reader’s question resurfaced an old request for meter signals on 88th Street NE to southbound I-5.

Sure, traffic’s bad Monday morning through Friday evening. But here comes the sweet, blissful, easy travelin’ weekend.

Except it’s hardly a car cruise from 88th Street NE on to southbound I-5. Two lanes from either direction of 88th Street filter turn to the ramp and eventually merge, but there’s no meter signal.

The Tulalip area near Bob’s Burgers and Brew, Home Depot, Quil Ceda Village and Walmart is popular as an access to the Tulalip Resort Casino and Seattle Premium Outlets. Often, popular means backups here.

Vehicular clogs there perplexed readers in the past, and continue to puzzle them today.

Dave Eitner of Marysville wanted to know if the state had any plans to install meters at the highway onramp.

“It is especially bad on weekend afternoons,” he said. “And drivers are either ignorant or just plain rude when it comes to merging in the 10-20 mph traffic slowdowns.”

Meter signals there could be part of Tulalip Tribes and Washington State Department of Transportation improvements at the interchange. But if they happen, they are years out, and Marysville isn’t in favor of them.

“The City of Marysville, due to concerns with existing traffic congestion, especially the post-railroad preemption release traffic, has historically not be in support of ramp metering of I-5 within the vicinity of Marysville whether for northbound or southbound ramps,” Marysville traffic engineer Jesse Hannahs said in an email.

That onramp averaged 15,000 vehicles a day in 2018, according to WSDOT data. The one north of it at 116th Street NE averaged 13,000.

Northbound I-5 traffic tends to be the more persistent problem, but even there Marysville asked the state to not install meter signals.

In 2016, Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring wrote a memo to the WSDOT asking the state to not put in any of those lights on 88th. The city saw the proposed addition of traffic signals there as likely to make traffic worse, especially because of the flow problems caused by the rail line in Marysville and retail in Tulalip.

Nehring wrote: “Installation of ramp metering at the subject locations may only benefit the transportation network for a few hours per day, could provide for significant negative impacts to the transportation network in relation to the local priority topic of railroad relayed delays and the installations could be expected to be removed in just a few years when large funded projects are under construction.”

Some of those projects are in place now. The 116th Street NE overpass was redesigned for better movement, an interchange with Highway 529 and I-5 is set for 2022, and a carpool lane from Everett to Marysville is scheduled to open that year as well.

Have a question? Email streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Looking east toward the U.S. 2 trestle as cars begin to backup on Thursday, March 1, 2018 in Everett, Wa. The aging westbound span needs replacing and local politicians are looking to federal dollars to get the replacement started. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
U.S. 2 trestle rebuild part of Senate transportation package

Time is short to get the $17.8 billion plan passed. Its link to climate change bills adds intrigue.

Eric Adler, the mystery man who is on Twitter as @EdmondsScanner (E. Wong)
Revealed: The mystery man behind the @EdmondsScanner tweets

He’s a 50-year-old mail carrier who dusted off his English degree to curate 6,000 tales on Twitter.

Man identified in fatal Mill Creek crash

Ian Jensen, 32, died after a multi-vehicle accident Saturday on 35th Avenue SE.

Package funding U.S. 2 trestle, Monroe bypass on the move

A $17.8 billion plan dealing with highways, ferries and transit has cleared the state Senate transportation panel.

Explosion shatters Everett apartment complex windows

Police were called to the Monte Cristo apartment complex, 2929 Hoyt Ave., Tuesday night.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Things are heating up in Olympia — and not just the weather

Here’s what’s happening on Day 94 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Jesse L. Hartman (Everett Police Department)
Suspect in fatal Everett shooting captured at U.S. border

Jesse Hartman was arrested in California as he tried to re-enter the country from Mexico.

(Getty Images)
How to get vaccinated in Snohomish County

Availability of doses is always changing, so keep checking back.

More than 155,000 Snohomish County residents have been fully vaccinated, while another 100,000 are awaiting their second dose, according to state data. Here, people get vaccinated at the Arlington Airport site on March 31. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Snohomish County still in Phase 3; other counties backslide

Cowlitz, Pierce and Whitman counties will revert to Phase 2 after failing to meet key COVID-19 metrics.

Most Read