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

More in Local News

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Mill Creek house fire leaves 1 dead

The fire was contained to a garage in the 15300 block of 25th Drive SE. A person was found dead inside.

Firefighters respond to a house fire Wednesday morning in the 3400 block of Broadway. (Everett Fire Department)
3 hospitalized in critical condition after Everett house fire

Firefighters rescued two people, one of whom uses a wheelchair, from the burning home in the 3400 block of Broadway.

The Walmart Store on 11400 Highway 99 on March 21, 2023 in in Everett, Washington. The retail giant will close the store on April 21, 2023. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
Walmart announces Everett store on Highway 99 will close on April 21

The Arkansas-based retail giant said the 20-year-old Walmart location was “underperforming financially.”

Michael Tolley (Northshore School District)
Michael Tolley named new Northshore School District leader

Tolley, interim superintendent since last summer, is expected to inherit the position permanently in July.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
New forecast show state revenues won’t be quite as robust as expected

Democratic budget writers say they will be cautious but able to fund their priorities. Senate put out a capital budget Monday.

Everett Memorial Stadium and Funko Field on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Drive to build new AquaSox ballpark gets $7.4M boost from state

The proposed Senate capital budget contains critical seed money for the city-led project likely to get matched by the House.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Providers at Community Health Center of Snohomish County vote to form a union

Providers expressed hope for improving patient care and making their voices heard with management.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A thumbs up for capital gains, kind words for the Senate budget

It’s Day 75. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Supreme Court rules state’s new capital gains tax is legal

The 7-2 ruling clears the way for collection of payments starting next month. The tax is expected to bring in $500 million a year.

Most Read