Traffic signal overkill? Extra lights are for standards, safety

Street Smarts reader Pat Lundstrom, of Marysville, wrote in with a question about what — at first glance, anyway — looks like traffic signal overkill at the intersection of 100th Street NE and 51st Avenue NE.

“There are 12 lights at this intersection — three for each direction,” she noted.

In each direction, there is a lane for through traffic and right turns, and a left-turn lane. None of the signals offer a protected left-turn arrow, however. In each direction, there are two signals overhead on the mast — with a sign reminding left turns to yield on green — and a third signal that is lower and off to the side on the pole.

The design and construction of these signals was done by Snohomish County and started before the area was annexed into Marysville.

The formerly crooked intersection was straightened out in 2010, and the new signals were added as part of that work. Snohomish County Public Works followed federal guidelines in the design, county traffic engineer Jim Bloodgood said.

“Other factors taken into consideration for this intersection include the high motorist usage to avoid heavy traffic on 88th Street NE, the Cascade Elementary School location nearby, and a Fred Meyer retail grocery store and cinema in the neighborhood,” Bloodgood said.

The third signal was added in case a large vehicle blocks a following vehicle driver’s view of the overhead signals. “This is an additional safety feature that is installed at other intersections throughout the county, such as 164th or 128th,” he added. The additional signal cost about $500.

The design allows for the addition of a protected left-turn signal, something Marysville plans to do, city spokeswoman Connie Mennie said.

The city is seeking a state grant for the upgrade, estimated at $43,000. “In comparison, the estimated cost of a new signal construction project is between $300,000 and $400,000,” Mennie said.

Construction is expected to start in late summer or fall.

Have a question? Email us at streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence. Look for updates on our Street Smarts blog.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lynnwood
Lynnwood police shoot at man during pursuit

The man is wanted on multiple warrants, including one for attempted murder, according to police. No one was hurt.

Everett
Man shot at Everett apartment

The man in his 30s was shot Sunday night. No arrests had been made.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist identified in fatal crash near Lake Stevens

Anthony Palko, 33, died Monday night after colliding with a passenger car. The juveniles in the car were taken to the hospital.

Marysville
Police: Marysville man shot sword-wielding roommate in self-defense

The roommates were arguing over eBay sales, according to police. Then one of them allegedly brandished a two-foot sword.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Everett boy, 12, identified as Davies Beach drowning victim

Malachi Bell was one of three swimmers in distress Sunday in Lake Stevens. He did not survive.

Everett
Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

The “Village of Hope,” a tiny home community including 17 shelters, is set to open on Mission Hill Road in Tulalip in September. (Tulalip Tribes)
Tulalip Tribes to open tiny home village with 17 shelters

It’s called the Village of Hope. Monthly culture nights will feature classes in Lushootseed and “Tulalip cooking.”

Everett Code Enforcement issued a violation citation to the owner of the Grand Apartments building at 2331 Rockefeller Ave., after allegedly finding exposed electrical wiring and evidence of unpermitted electrical and plumbing work. (City of Everett)
Grand Apartments, which saw outcry from tenants, faces code violations

The Everett complex has had its share of issues. Now the city is threatening fines if something isn’t done.

"Shoes are like jeans," says Dominic Ahn, 53, who took over ownership from his parents, who started the store 40 years ago. Photographed in Edmonds, Washington on June 30, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
EEEEEE! Edmonds shoe shop sells wide shoes only

The store has over 600 styles of work and play shoes for men and women with feet from D to 8E widths.

Most Read