Safety improvements could be coming along Highway 99 between 168th Street SW in Lynnwood and Airport Road south of Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Safety improvements could be coming along Highway 99 between 168th Street SW in Lynnwood and Airport Road south of Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

State seeks safety ideas on Highway 99 between Everett, Lynnwood

Bike lanes, complete sidewalks and lower speeds are some ideas for the 3½-mile stretch between the cities.

Highway 99 between Everett and Lynnwood someday could be safer for bicyclists, drivers, rollers and walkers, and buses could get a new lane to share with right turns.

Parts of the 3½-mile stretch between 168th Street SW and Airport Road are missing sidewalks. Crosswalks are over a half-mile apart.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 vehicles used it every day last year, according to state data. That amount of traffic combined with high speeds on the highway with a 45 mph speed limit has led to plenty of collisions, including with pedestrians.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is evaluating the corridor for safety improvements, starting with an online open house and survey through the end of the month at Staff are considering bike lanes, trails and sidewalks and reducing the speed limit, but the final combination remains to be determined.

“It’s still too early to say what changes could be proposed by the study,” WSDOT spokesperson Lauren McLaughlin wrote in an email. “In this phase we’re looking at the safety data and talking with the community to get a better understanding of what they feel would improve the corridor and make it safer for everyone whether they’re driving, walking, biking or using assistive mobility devices.”

About 30% of crashes between 2016 and 2020 resulted in an injury, according to state data. Most, about 43%, were rear-end collisions. Left turn and angle crashes followed at 26%.

Pedestrians and cyclists were involved in about 3% of those crashes, but accounted for 41% of serious injuries or fatalities.

Most of that highway section is in unincorporated Snohomish County. The roadway and sidewalks are the state’s responsibility.

The county had the section from 148th Street SW to Airport Road on its list of regional priorities, Snohomish County deputy director Doug McCormick said. Adding a business access and transit lane to the shoulder could move buses, especially Community Transit’s Swift Blue bus rapid transit, faster on the often traffic-clogged highway.

“We’ve been sponsoring that project for many years in support of Community Transit,” McCormick said.

Making the shoulder into a bus lane could require some construction and more road width, both of which would be determined in the design process later. During the pandemic, Swift ridership didn’t decline as sharply as other routes.

High-capacity transit like Swift and the coming light rail could be joined by new housing and retail construction in the area. Snohomish County already has the corridor zoned for commercial, housing and industrial land uses, long-range planning manager David Killinstad wrote in an email. The county’s Comprehensive Plan envisions that stretch as continuing that kind of mixed use and higher density.

The state plans to share its potential improvement concepts this winter and gather more input, then publish a report on it in spring.

Have a question? Call 425-339-3037 or email Please include your first and last name and city of residence.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Granite Falls
Man, 35, dies from heart attack while hiking Lake 22

The man suffered a heart attack about 1½ miles into the 6-mile hike east of Granite Falls on Friday, authorities said.

36 hours after final show, Everett radio host Charlye Parker, 80, dies

When Parker got into radio, she was a rarity: a woman in a DJ booth. For the past 12 years, she hosted weekend country music shows at KXA.

Dr. Scott Macfee and Dr. Daniel Goodman outside of the Community Health Center on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett CHC doctors, feeling like ‘commodities,’ speak up on ailing system

At the Community Health Center of Snohomish County, doctors say they feel like “rats getting off a sinking ship.” They want it to get better.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man charged with shooting at ex-girlfriend, child in Mountlake Terrace

The man, 21, showed up to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and opened fire through the door, new court records say.

People walk along Olympic Avenue past Lifeway Cafe and Olympic Theater that currently hosts Lifeway Church on Friday, July 7, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington churches waged covert ‘battle’ against Pride event, records show

Sermons, emails and interviews reveal how an LGBTQ+ nonprofit became the target of a covert campaign by local evangelical leaders.

Drive-in movies are coming to the north Island. (Port of Everett image)
Where to catch outdoor movies this summer in Snohomish County

Bring a chair, blanket and the kids for a cinema night under the stars with your favorite movies, including “Barbie” and “Trolls.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.