Q: Sometimes I notice motorcycles zipping along between lanes of cars when we're waiting to merge onto the Evergreen Point Bridge heading...

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Q: Sometimes I notice motorcycles zipping along between lanes of cars when we’re waiting to merge onto the Evergreen Point Bridge heading east. Is this legal? I fear someone’s going to get hurt one of these days.

A: In Washington, it’s illegal for motorcycles to do what you’ve described, said Washington State Patrol Capt. Jeff De Vere. Improper lane travel can net a $101 fine.

While motorcycles are allowed to pass cars this way in California, Washington’s climate can make such driving treacherous, he said.

“Here we have rain and road conditions that certainly would make it more dangerous, as well as heavy traffic and drivers not expecting that to occur. They may not look for a motorcycle traveling in between cars when they’re changing lanes,” De Vere said. “One false move with a motorcycle could lead to serious injury.”

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Q: I’ve noticed those new electronic signs along southbound Interstate 405 in Kirkland that compare estimates of how long it’ll take to reach Seattle along Highway 520 and along Interstate 90. Oftentimes, I-90 appears quicker. But I wonder, does the estimate include the extra time it takes to reach I-90 or simply the time to cross the bridge?

A: It appears I-90 frequently is the better bet to cross Lake Washington into Seattle. State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melanie Coon said the estimates do factor into the drive time to travel farther south to reach I-90.

Five of the electronic signs have popped up on the Eastside so far, in Newcastle, Bellevue, Renton, Wilburton and Kirkland, Coon said. They feature estimates to Seattle, Bothell, Issaquah and other destinations.

Dear Reader


Got an Eastside traffic question? Send it to us by e-mail, east@seattletimes.com; by fax, 425-453-0449; by mail, The Seattle Times Eastside News Bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004.

Totem Lake

The $85.9 million Totem Lake Freeway Station project has creaked to life. Sound Transit and the state are building a bridge over I-405 at Northeast 128th Street in Kirkland that will connect to diamond lanes below and enable car pools and buses to access the freeway without merging through multiple lanes of traffic. The span also will provide a new east-west crossing over I-405 when it is complete next summer.

To learn more, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I405/TotemLake or join a groundbreaking party at 1 p.m. July 8 at the Kingsgate Park & Ride lot and hobnob with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Kirkland Mayor Mary-Alyce Burleigh and state Transportation Secretary Doug MacDonald.

• Yee haw!

Congrats to Michael Grady from Metro’s East Base, who placed first in the Operator Division of the 29th Annual King County Metro Transit Roadeo last month. The win was his fourth in the competition, which pits bus drivers and their peers on a closed course. He’ll go on to statewide competition in August.

Early warning

Bellevue: Kamber Road between Richards Road and 137th Avenue Southeast is closed through Sept. 15.

Issaquah: Expect weekday lane closures through August on East Lake Sammamish Parkway near Southeast 56th Street from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and occasionally at night, as crews install a new sewer line. Work will continue along the parkway to Southeast 43rd Way. Crews also have begun work along Southeast 56th Street and Northwest Sammamish Road.

Fall City: A four-block section of the Old Issaquah-Fall City Road near Fall City will close for three weeks starting Tuesday between 324th Avenue Southeast and 328th Avenue Southeast while crews replace an underground culvert. The road is expected to reopen by July 26.

Preston/Fall City: One lane in each direction along Highway 203 on the Raging River Bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. Tuesday through August for seismic retrofit work.

Woodinville: Expect intermittent lane closures through August along 148th Avenue Northeast near Northeast 155th Place as workers replace a failing culvert.

Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or kgaudette@seattletimes.com