There’s a new signal at a busy 128th Street intersection

Adding 15 minutes to travel time just for waiting at a traffic light? Yep.

It took up to five cycles for Cheryl Perhatch, of Everett, to get through the light at 128th Street SE and Third Avenue SE.

She and others like her now have some relief from the long waits.

Perhatch had written to Street Smarts before to see if the state had plans for a signal upgrade there that would give drivers like her a chance to turn left. With even more housing going up in the area, near Swedish Medical Center, the wait times are a concern for more than the folks who already live there.

At the time of our Q-and-A last fall, the state said it wanted to add a left turn signal but did not have the money for the necessary infrastructure upgrades.

That’s now changed. And a new signal with a left-turn arrow is in place and working.

The project cost about $25,000, using fees paid by developers.

“That said, the new left turn signal alone is not always going to help with traffic in this area,” said Tom Pearce, a spokesman with the Washington State Department of Transportation. “The reality is that during the most congested part of the day, traffic builds up westbound on 128th Street from the I-5 interchange. Those backups often extend to the Third Avenue Southeast intersection. … However, the signal will benefit Third Avenue drivers at non-peak times.”

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