A Lynnwood traffic-enforcement camera. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

A Lynnwood traffic-enforcement camera. (Dan Bates / Herald file)

Lynnwood renews red-light-camera contract for five years

And a new traffic light near the Boeing plant prompts questions.

Lynnwood’s lucrative traffic-enforcement cameras will be sticking around for at least another five years. In March, the city renewed a contract with the Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions, with an option to extend. The cameras have brought in millions for the city since they went live in 2011.

The Daily Herald received the latest contract through a public records request.

The city uses these automated cameras to issue tickets to people accused of running red lights or speeding in school zones. In 2017 and 2018, over 34,000 camera tickets were issued each year.

Revenues for the 16 cameras brought in $3.4 million last year, according to Julie Moore, a spokesperson for the city. Of that money, $600,500 went to the vendor.

Light near Boeing

In other transportation news, with the heavily trafficked Highway 526 seeing 84,200 drivers each day, a new light at an off-ramp will spark questions. After a signal was installed at the highway’s eastbound off-ramp at Airport Road, Josh Wilder, of Lake Stevens, asked:

“What is the purpose of the new light on the north end of Airport Rd? (It’s) almost under 526. It seems in a very weird spot.”

Joseph Calabro, a spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation, said the new signal was installed to address a safety concern at Boeing’s parking lot entrance off Highway 526, west of Airport Road. (That lot sits on the southwestern side of the Boeing plant.) The signal began operation Jan. 31.

“Poor crash history at the eastbound SR 526 parking entrance prompted Boeing and WSDOT to look for ways of mitigating the situation. WSDOT concurred with a Boeing plan to close off the eastbound left turn access to their parking area. In light of the access closure, affected eastbound drivers would then have to travel east past the entrance and effectively make a U-turn … The new signal was installed to facilitate left turns off of SR 526 onto Airport Road as part of this required ‘U-turn’ route. The northerly ramp intersection at the Airport Road interchange, where drivers are to make another left turn to travel west on SR 526, is already signalized. At the Boeing parking area, westbound SR 526 drivers would need to simply complete a right turn to get to the parking lot.”

New fare

And the Community Transit board unanimously approved a low-income fare this week. It will go into effect on July 1. The new fare will cost riders $1.25 on local and Swift routes and $2.00 on commuter lines.

Got a question? Email me at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com or call 425-374-4165. Please include your name and city of residence.

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