Yellow arrow left turns scrapped at Dumas Road in Mill Creek

Collision data showed drivers weren’t yielding to oncoming traffic, so the state changed the highway intersection signal.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.

Live somewhere long enough and the roads become familiar.

You know when and where to avoid traffic, and can get used to signal timing.

But a change can throw things off, as happened to Skip Darimont and his wife who live southeast of Everett near Mill Creek.

Darimont said they drive into Mill Creek for the bank, library, post office and shopping and return via Highway 527, also called the Bothell-Everett Highway. To get home, they turn left onto Dumas Road and were accustomed to a flashing yellow left turn arrow on the traffic signal as well as a solid green arrow.

Recently they noticed the flashing yellow signal went away. Now if they miss the solid green, they have to wait a full cycle before they can turn legally.

“We often find ourselves in a lengthy line waiting to turn left even though there is often no oncoming southbound traffic,” Darimont wrote to The Daily Herald.

In 2017, Darimont asked Street Smarts about signal timing from Meadow Road to 164th Street SW. A technical issue with the traffic signal controller was at fault there, and he wondered if something similar was amiss at Dumas Road or if traffic engineers made the change.

It was the latter.

Washington State Department of Transportation traffic engineers adjusted the signals for left turns from Highway 527 on May 7, spokesperson James Poling wrote in an email.

“Every signal at WSDOT is on a schedule to be reviewed for safety and efficiency,” Poling wrote. “Unfortunately, at this location, data indicated that vehicles were not properly yielding to oncoming traffic.”

The intersection has had at least five crashes each year since 2017, according to state data. Most didn’t result in injury, but one collision in 2018 had a suspected serious injury. There were nine crashes at the intersection that year.

The state got rid of the yellow left turns in favor of longer solid green arrow that lasts at most 25 seconds.

Drivers have 2.5 seconds to trigger the signal controller, or it will go to a yellow then red arrow.

So they may have to wait a while longer to turn left, but hopefully it’s safer now as a “protected” move through the signal.

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

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Former president Donald Trump is seen with a bloody ear as he is assisted off the stage during a campaign rally in Butler, Pa., on Saturday. MUST CREDIT: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post
Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting

Isaac Arnsdorf, Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post BUTLER, Pa. - The… Continue reading

Biden, Democrats, Republicans denounce shooting at Trump rally

Reaction pours in from government leaders

A bloodied Donald Trump is surrounded by Secret Service agents at a campaign rally in Butler, Pa, on Saturday, July, 13, 2024. The former president was rushed off stage at rally after sounds like shots; the former president was escorted into his motorcade at his rally in Butler, Pa., a rural town about an hour north of Pittsburgh. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)
Trump rally shooting investigated as assassination attempt

President Joe Biden gave a brief televised statement, condemning the violence as “sick.”

Firefighters and EMTs with Sky Valley Fire tour Eagle Falls while on an observational trip on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, near Index, Washington. (Jordan Hansen / The Herald)
Beautiful but deadly: Drownings common at Eagle Falls, other local waters

Locals and firefighters are sounding the alarm as Eagle Falls and the Granite Falls Fish Ladder have claimed five lives this year.

A view of the south eastern area of the Lake Stevens that includes lakeshore and UGA that is a part of the city's annexation area on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 in Lake Stevens, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens fight to take over sewer district could end soon

The city and sewer district have been locked in a yearslong dispute. A judge could put an end to the stalemate this month.

Lynnwood appoints new council member after abrupt resignation

Derica Escamilla will take the seat vacated by Shirley Sutton in May, who claimed the city had a “total lack of leadership.”

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.