Monroe traffic stays in spotlight

MONROE — Nine state lawmakers who are in charge of transportation projects are set to visit Monroe on Tuesday to learn about the growing city’s traffic woes.

Three highways — U.S. 2, Highway 522 and Highway 203 — intersect in Monroe, a city of about 16,000 people. The state needs to do its part to ease traffic congestion in the city, said Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish.

Monroe’s traffic issues are common among communities in the Skykomish Valley, he said.

“The state has to look at and take care of these communities,” Kristiansen said.

Six state representatives, three state senators and staff members of the state Department Transportation are scheduled to drop by Monroe City Hall on Tuesday morning. All nine lawmakers are on the transportation committees in the Legislature.

Their visit to Monroe comes a week after Gov. Chris Gregoire took a tour on congested and dangerous U.S. 2. After her Sept. 11 visit, the governor said that the highway has “a serious safety issue” and needs to be fixed.

She also met with local officials, residents and business people and discussed Monroe’s growth-related issues.

Local officials have been calling for the state’s attention to the traffic problem, City Councilman Geoffrey Thomas said.

“We’ve got people speaking up and making a difference,” Thomas said. “We are being heard.”

On Tuesday, Monroe city staff will make a presentation explaining the city’s growth and transportation problems and explaining steps the city is taking to address them, Mayor Donnetta Walser said.

Earlier this year, Monroe released a plan to fix its notorious traffic problems over the next 23 years. The plan, the biggest of its kind that the city has ever created, lists 43 projects worth more than $40 million.

City officials believe that some of the city’s traffic problems are out of the city’s hands and need help from the state.

A key project to ease Monroe’s traffic woes is a U.S. 2 bypass around Monroe, Thomas said. A portion of the money needed for the multimillion-dollar bypass — about $40 million — is included in a list of transportation projects proposed by the Regional Transportation Investment District. Voters in Snoho­mish, King and Pierce counties on Nov. 6 will be asked to approve the three-county road and transit package.

Tuesday, Kristiansen said he’ll discuss with city officials how the state plans to improve U.S. 2.

“It’s the state’s responsibility,” Kristiansen said.

Let’s talk traffic

State lawmakers and staff are set to meet with Monroe officials to discuss transportation and growth issues from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 806 W. Main St. in Monroe. The meeting is open to the public, but there’s not a designated time for public comments. For more information, call 360-794-7400.

Reporter Yoshiaki Nohara: 425-339-3029 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Ella Larson, left, and Simon Fuentes sort through blueberries at Hazel Blue Acres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fruits, flowers and bees aplenty in Arlington farm fete

First-ever event highlights local growers’ bounty and contributions to local community

The Everett Districting Commission is proposing four adjustments to the city council districts based on 2020 Census data. (City of Everett)
Proposed map shifts every Everett City Council district

Census data from 2020 prompted several “small tweaks” to council district boundaries.

Cars wait to turn onto Highway 9 from Bickford Avenue on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 9 stretch closing for roundabout work next week

Drivers will need to use detours as the closure affects the stretch between Second and 30th streets in Snohomish.

Commanding Officer Meghan Bodnar is greeted by her son Grady, who hasn’t seen her in 224 days, at Naval Station Everett on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 200-plus days abroad, Navy destroyers return to Everett homeport

The USS Gridley is one of the few women-led ships, attesting to a growing number of women in the U.S. military.

A concept drawing shows the future multi-use path along U.S. 2 between 179th Avenue Southeast and the North Kelsey Street shopping area. (City of Monroe)
Monroe to start building walking, biking path along U.S. 2

The long-awaited project will give pedestrians and cyclists a safe route to the North Kelsey Street shopping area.

Grand Apartments’ owners are under scrutiny over alleged unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. Photographed in Everett, Washington on August 11, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Decision delayed on $4,500 in fines for Grand Apartments owner

An attorney for the landlord said he only learned of the hearing 15 minutes before it started Thursday.

Jennifer Bereskin is a housing advocate who was previously homeless in south Snohomish County.  Photographed on August 9, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Where shelter space has been scarce, Lynnwood explores ‘rapid rehousing’

Jennifer Bereskin grew up couch-surfing near Lynnwood. A new program seeks to create an easier path for this generation.

Man dies in motorcycle crash that snarled I-5 in Everett

Washington State Patrol: he tried to speed by another driver but lost control and hit the shoulder barrier.

Rev. Barbara Raspberry, dressed in her go-to officiating garments, sits in the indoor chapel at her home, the Purple Wedding Chapel, on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Everett, Washington. The space used to be two bedrooms, but she and her husband Don took down a wall converted them into a room for wedding ceremonies the day after their youngest son moved out over 20 years ago. The room can seat about 20 for in-person ceremonies, plus it serves as a changing room for brides and is the setting for virtual weddings that Raspberry officiates between brides and their incarcerated fiancees at the Monroe Correctional Complex. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s oh-so-colorful Purple Wedding Chapel is in the red

Rev. Rasberry has hitched hundreds of couples over the years. After her husband died, she’s unsure if she can keep the place.

Most Read