The curb median keeps vehicles from the shoulder on the south side of 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The curb median keeps vehicles from the shoulder on the south side of 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Why does a curb keep cars away from bus stop in Lake Stevens?

Built in late 2020 and early 2021, the divider stops drivers from using the eastbound lane’s shoulder.

LAKE STEVENS — Commuters who put their gas pedal down to climb the hill of 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens know the Cavalero area is growing.

As they crest the incline and head east toward 79th Avenue SE, the shoulder gets painted lines to mark it’s only for emergency parking. Then a concrete curb median appears, blocking the shoulder for maybe less than 100 feet before it opens up again just before the intersection and a Community Transit bus stop.

It’s an odd and sudden change approaching the intersection where people can turn right into Cavalero Hill Community Park. Gary Savage of Lake Stevens noticed it and finally sought to learn the curb’s purpose.

“I’ve been puzzled by a road ‘divider’ at the southwest corner of 20th Street and 79th Avenue SE in Lake Stevens,” Savage wrote in an email to The Daily Herald. “… If the purpose of the existing arrangement is simply to prevent people from parking on the shoulder, it seems that the traffic department could have just painted white diagonal lines and posted a ‘No Parking’ sign(s) like they did for the stretch of 20th Street immediately to the west.”

He’s correct. The curb keeps vehicles eastbound on 20th Street SE from using that stretch of the shoulder.

That was the point when the city of Lake Stevens spent a $1.8 million state-funded grant on road improvements there between 2020 and 2021.

Most of that money went to adding the westbound HOV and transit lane on 20th Street SE.

The remainder paid for crews to build the eastbound curb median to protect Community Transit buses and passengers at the stop near 79th Avenue SE, Lake Stevens City Administrator Gene Brazel said.

“It keeps people from parking there and certainly provides protection for the bus when they’re picking people up,” Brazel said.

Community Transit spokesperson Monica Spain said there weren’t issues at that bus stop before the curb was installed. But the city was proactive in avoiding them as the area’s population grows.

Buses stop in the lane there instead of a pullout. It helps transit keep to its schedule by not needing to re-enter the lane. But some drivers could have tried to use the shoulder to get around backups and into the park, popular for its dog area and skate bowl.

But as Savage correctly notes, there isn’t any curb at the east end closer to 79th Avenue SE where someone could back in if they really felt like scofflawing.

That gap exists for a reason, too.

“The C-curbing layout was designed to keep vehicles behind the bus from trying to drive down the right side of the bus as riders board and de-board the bus,” Spain said in an email. “The large gap in the C-curbing where the bus actually stops was to correspond where the front and rear doors of the bus were located, ensuring rider safety.”

Savage also said the shoulder’s width could be used as a right-turn lane to 79th Avenue SE, which would keep people from parking there. The road, while popular as an access to the park, otherwise leads to a dead end. So it may not need a dedicated turn lane into it from eastbound 20th Street SE.

Some day the shoulder could be extended east as a new travel lane. But the city doesn’t have any active plans for that, and likely would wait until the trestle replacement and Highway 204 interchange are secured before pursuing further adjustments to that area of 20th Street SE, Brazel said.

“Right now that road’s finished with the construction. Now it’s maintaining,” Brazel said. “What you see is what’s going to be for a number of years.”

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

Talk to us

More in Local News

The county canvassing board certifies election results at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
General election results stamped official by canvassing board

In Snohomish County, one hand recount will take place. Officials said ballot challenges were down this year.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Over $130M for affordable housing set to be approved by County Council

The five-year investment plan of the 0.1% sales tax aims to construct 550 new affordable units.

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

A speed camera facing west along 220th Street Southwest on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Traffic cameras, and tickets, come to Edmonds; Mukilteo could be next

New school zone cameras in Edmonds will begin operating in January. Mukilteo is considering enforcement cameras as well.

A person walks their dog along a flooded Old Snohomish Monroe Road on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Flood-resistant floors and sandbags are price of riverside life in Sultan

Flooding is a threat every year for 75,000 locals — and the long-term forecast suggests it’ll only get worse in the coming decades.

3 men charged in armed home invasion near Everett

Prosecutors allege the trio targeted other Asian American homes across Snohomish, Whatcom and King counties.

Team members prep for the upcoming ski season at Stevens Pass Resort in Skykomish, Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Any day now: All eyes on snow forecast at Stevens Pass

The ski area was a flurry of activity this week, as staff made sure a new lift and app were running smoothly.

Carjacking suspects tracked via GPS from Everett to Renton, then arrested

A King County resident reported two people stole their Mercedes at gunpoint. Hours later, its GPS tracker pinged in north Everett.

Man sentenced for racist threats to Edmonds animal control officer

Sean Wagner spewed slurs at an officer who seized his dogs. He was sentenced to jail for a hate crime.

A sign in front of the AquaSox front office references the upcoming Everett City Council vote on a sum of $1.1 million to give to outside contractors to help upgrade a new stadium on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett AquaSox stadium upgrade gets $1.1M green light from city

City officials want to keep the team in Everett. But will they play in a new stadium downtown in 2027? Or an updated Funko Field?

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.