The area is not as sleepy as it used to be.
Street Smarts reader Chad Dubis, who lives near Granite Falls, has concerns about safety where northbound Highway 92 traffic turns left onto 75th Street NE, also called Sleepy Hollow Road.
“There have been multiple accidents, and close calls happen daily. The skid marks can attest to that,” Dubis wrote.
Meanwhile, more vehicles are using the highway, he noted.
Suncrest Farms in Granite Falls is the latest, and by far the largest, housing development to go in near the city, adding 327 new houses on what used to be dairy farm land.
Dump trucks continue to traverse the area in and out of quarries east of town, as well as to feed new development.
“Anyone trying to stop on the highway and turn left can have a line of vehicles behind them in seconds — especially in the afternoons,” Dubis said. “Is there a plan to add a turn lane?”
“After hearing from Mr. Dubis, our engineers reviewed the intersection site conditions, traffic volumes and crash history,” said Tom Pearce, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “They noted that the turning volumes do not appear to be increasing in the peak commute hours and the collision rates are comparable to highway segments with similar characteristics. Fortunately, none of the collisions caused serious injuries.”
Staff evaluating a site also look for skid marks as an indicator of “close calls” and check whether any fixed objects, such as trees or guard rails, have been struck, Pearce added.
“While a left-turn lane would be a nice addition at this intersection, to add one would require widening the highway,” he said.
That kind of project isn’t even on a long-term to-do list for WSDOT, much less any list that puts the highway in front of lawmakers for funding requests.
“We will continue to monitor conditions at this intersection and consider low-cost improvements that may be beneficial,” he said.
The state last year added “Intersection Ahead” signs for additional warning, he noted. Nearby, crews are installing flashing lights at Highway 92 and Machias Road as a low-cost enhancement there.