No changes any time soon for ‘busy’ Marysville intersection

A reader asked if a roundabout is planned at 67th Avenue NE and 108th Street NE. The city says no.

MARYSVILLE — While a lot of us are home more these days, we see our neighborhoods differently.

We notice who walks the silken-haired retriever at 10 a.m., or when the neighbors retrieve their empty garbage bins from the curb.

Sometimes, those kinds of observations over years lead to someone deducing something about where they live.

I’ve heard or seen three collisions at the intersection where I live — and dozens of what I assume are near misses, based on the blaring car horns.

Something similar caught the attention of Julie Hanner of Marysville. She asked if there were plans for a roundabout at the intersection of 67th Avenue NE and 108th Street NE.

“Right now it is a very busy four-way stop that experiences numerous collisions,” Hanner wrote. “It is a main way to get to Marysville Pilchuck and the north end of Marysville, and to Highway 9.”

No, a roundabout isn’t in the works for the intersection, which is half in Marysville (the west and south “legs”) and half in unincorporated Snohomish County.

Part of the reason is that traffic collision data don’t show the intersection to be an outlier for crashes. Since 2012, there have been 78 collision reports at or near the intersection, according to police data obtained through a public records request.

“Other than the occasional reports of downed stop signs at the intersection, I do not recall having received any citizen concerns of traffic safety involving the subject intersection during my tenure at the city,” Marysville traffic engineer Jesse Hannahs said in an email.

The earliest any traffic control changes could happen is in 2027, maybe as late as 2035, according to Marysville’s Comprehensive Plan, a guiding document for the city’s development and growth that was last updated in 2015. Whatever might be proposed would go through a long planning process because the city, Snohomish County and the Army Corps of Engineers have stakes in it, the latter through the east ditch.

The intersection is listed as a long-range project in the comprehensive plan, with an early estimate to widen the road and install a traffic signal of $1.18 million. Construction costs are higher now than they were in 2015, so it’s likely that an updated estimate would be higher.

“A roundabout at the intersection would likely cost significantly more and have substantially more environmental impacts due to the ditch along the east side of 67th Avenue NE,” Hannahs said.

It’s been a while since the intersection’s traffic was measured, so the city’s data there is likely dated, Hannahs said. But the immediate area’s traffic potential is limited by the county’s agriculture designation of land north and east of the intersection.

“Most of the parcels nearby within the city have already been developed or are small and would generate little traffic,” Hannahs wrote.

Snohomish County conducted traffic counts at the intersection in 2019, which led to an analysis that showed a signal isn’t necessary, Hannahs wrote.

“A traffic signal or roundabout is currently not warranted at the intersection,” Hannahs wrote.

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