Looking east down the First Street bypass on Oct. 1 in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Looking east down the First Street bypass on Oct. 1 in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Speed limits are about design, development and use

Marysville’s traffic engineer rebuffed a claim that the city’s streets are all built to be 35 mph.

Cars are made to go fast, so it can be a real buzzkill when drivers have to halt on side streets after zipping along highways.

But what’s the difference between 25 mph and 35 mph, and why do some two-lane roads have one speed limit while others are higher?

That question arose in a Facebook comment on The Daily Herald’s page in a post about the First Street bypass opening earlier this month in Marysville.

After more than a decade of planning and 1½ years of construction, Marysville’s First Street bypass opened to traffic Friday.

Posted by Everett Herald on Saturday, October 3, 2020

Andrew McKenzie of Granite Falls wrote “everything in Marysville is engineered to be 35 (mph), but the speed limit is set at 25 (mph) for reasons only known to Marysville.”

There are plenty of roads in Marysville with speed limits faster than 25 mph, including state highways through town. Washington State Department of Transportation engineering staff approve any speed limit changes on state routes and require city councils to adopt state route speed limits through their cities, per state law.

A couple of city road examples: State Avenue/Smokey Point Boulevard is 30 mph south of 100th St. NE, then increases to 35 mph and 40 mph going north.

But a lot factors into a road’s speed limit. Design standards, design vehicles, the Revised Code of Washington, the comprehensive plan, freight and transit use, nearby development, traffic counts, collision history, pedestrian and bicycle counts and plans, are just some of the criteria.

“Many of the city speed limits have been established for years to decades,” Marysville traffic engineer Jesse Hannahs said in an email. “Only on the occasions when it is determined after review that a speed limit is unsafe or not successful is a roadway speed limit re-evaluated.”

Speed limit consistency to and from roads adjacent to the First Street bypass was one factor for its 25 mph cap, he said.

State law lets cities adjust speed limits.

Marysville city code dedicates a chapter to traffic rules, including several entries about speed. It caps stretches of State Avenue at 30 mph and all alleyways at 10 mph. The city can adjust speed limits if an engineering and traffic investigation finds they are greater or less than is “reasonable and safe under the conditions…,” per Marysville Municipal Code 11.04.037.

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

Sherman Pruitt 2020
Edmonds mayor picks Sherman Pruitt to be next police chief

He currently serves as chief of police for the Sauk-Suiattle Police Department near Darrington.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Snohomish County Jail employee charged in drug smuggling

Alexis Wafstet was charged with drug possession. Several inmates were allegedly in on the plot.

Linda Redmon
Snohomish council leader announces early for mayor campaign

City Councilmember Linda Redmon is the first to file in the race. Mayor John Kartak has not said if he will run again.

Break on surface water fee means less money for environment

The Snohomish County Council voted to nix an annual fee increase that funds preservation work.

Pair of Nikes leads to bank robbery arrest in south Everett

The suspect allegedly took $1,000 in cash from a KeyBank. He was found a few blocks away.

Man, 80, who died in hit-and-run near Lynnwood identified

Jung K. Moon was on the sidewalk when he was struck by a pickup truck. The driver has been arrested.

Deputies: Armed man dressed as cop attacks man near Everett

The suspect allegedly wore police badges and aimed a gun at a man after pushing him to the ground.

Sarah Calvo pours icing on to a cinnamon roll at the Maltby Cafe while Kylie King checks take out orders on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 in Maltby, Washington. A GoFundMe fundraising page continues to grow, raising more than $80,000 from 1,200 people in just a few days. Owners Tana Baumler and Sandra Albright thought they were going to closed before the website donations made them pause their decision. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Miracle in Maltby: Community support saves small-town cafe

Owners of the Maltby Cafe feared closure, but a wave of business and donations has thwarted the end.

16,000 fentanyl pills, pounds of meth, heroin seized in bust

Eight suspects were indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle, including five from Snohomish County.

Most Read