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Traffic problem: Neighborhood asking for help with speeders

A KIRO Radio listener reached out about increased speeding and traffic he is seeing in his Everett neighborhood.

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Steve Schneider lives on the east side of I-5 in the Lowell neighborhood of Everett. It’s where rural meets the beginnings of the city, so it’s residential but with no sidewalks. It’s become like many neighborhoods in Everett, where city traffic engineer Tim Miller said the cut-through traffic has been increasing.

“Many neighborhoods in Everett are seeing more traffic coming through them, especially when there is an incident on I-5,” Miller said. “We just have to endure that. That’s part of being in a growing economy and city.”

As I spoke with Schneider, he was holding his toddler, Josie, on his shoulder. He worries about her growing up on what has become a speedway during rush hour. The speed limit is 25, but it’s rarely followed.

“They are driving two times, maybe three times the speed limit just constantly during rush hour,” he said.

There have been several accidents on South Third Street, which has become a cut-through from Lowell-Larimer Road to the 41st interchange in Everett.

Everett

A speed sign in an Everett neighborhood. (Chris Sullivan)

After a particularly bad crash in the southbound direction a few years ago, the City of Everett installed a “your speed is” sign to warn southbound drivers of their speeds.  Schneider thought that was strange since the southbound drivers are coming off a stop sign.  He believes the bigger speed and safety issue is from the northbound drivers.

“Through enough complaining about the speeding on the road, we got the sign installed,” Schneider said. “However, when they came in and installed it, they faced it the wrong direction.”

He would really like to see speed bumps or other traffic calming devices put in as a permanent solution.

Schneider asked me if I could help him work with the city to get the sign turned around.

Traffic engineer Tim Miller explained that the sign was installed with federal dollars, under a federal grant, and it must stay in its current configuration for a few more years.

“It’s in a good location,” Miller said. “We hope that it modifies how people drive through there.”

How about turning it to face the northbound direction?

“The good thing is it’s solar powered so we can pull it up and move it somewhere else when the time is right,” he said.

That time is not now.

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Miller isn’t opposed to temporary “your speed is” signs for the northbound direction of the street. The city won’t install speed humps because Miller said they really don’t work to reduce speeding. He asked me to hook him up with Schneider so they can meet or at least exchange ideas. They both want safe streets and a way to combat rampant speeding and cut-through traffic.

This is a chokepoint in progress. Let’s hope they can find a good solution. If you have a neighborhood traffic question or other transportation-related questions, be sure to hit me up by texting 98973 or @KIROTraffic on Twitter or by email or below in the comments.

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