Q: Could someone reset the traffic signals on Highway 18 where it intersects with Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie? Cars exiting westbound I-90...
Q: Could someone reset the traffic signals on Highway 18 where it intersects with Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie? Cars exiting westbound I-90 to 18 remain stuck at a red light even with no traffic on 18. I’ve seen cars and trucks turn left on red, perhaps assuming the lights were not working properly. The same thing seems to be happening down the street for southbound 18 traffic trying to turn onto eastbound I-90.
Second, we need arrows on the road where traffic enters eastbound I-90 from Highway 18 as extra warning that a merge is coming up. I-90-bound drivers have a short distance to travel before the right lane ends. I think many vehicles don’t see the sign on the right shoulder about this and end up merging unaware of surrounding traffic.
A: The state Department of Transportation’s engineers checked out both signals and found all of the equipment in working order. But they’re going to monitor the traffic patterns to see if they need to be readjusted.
During the day, most of these signals respond to traffic conditions to help reduce wait times. They receive signals from loops embedded in the pavement that detect whether traffic is waiting at the light. Typically, a green light will come more quickly if the loop detects someone waiting and no traffic coming from elsewhere.
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The signals work differently during the morning commute, however, because there’s so much more traffic on Highway 18 than on connecting roads, said Melanie Coon, a DOT spokeswoman. They are synchronized to stay green longer for eastbound Highway 18 traffic from 5:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. to prevent backups that used to happen along the route.
Regarding the merging arrows, the state likes your idea and plans to add them when the weather gets dry and warm enough to place them.
Q: Every morning, I sit at the intersection of Highway 202 and Northeast 145th Street in Woodinville. I notice the green light for traffic headed toward downtown Woodinville stays green for a long time despite little traffic, while the red is so long heading toward Redmond that cars back up for a mile or more. Can the timing be adjusted to get more cars through southbound instead of waiting so long with no oncoming traffic?
Got an Eastside traffic question? Send it to us by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org; by fax, 425-453-0449; by mail, The Seattle Times Eastside News Bureau, 1200 112th Ave. N.E., Suite C-145, Bellevue, WA 98004.
A: DOT crews investigated and found a problem with the detection sensor in the southbound direction that is causing the weirdness, according to Mike Mansfield, a DOT signal engineer.
Now that that’s repaired, the state will analyze the peak commute directions and adjust the signal accordingly to try and prevent such lengthy backups.
• Meadowbrook Bridge
King County’s Road Services Division is holding a short public ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday to celebrate the reopening of the Meadowbrook Bridge earlier this month. Meet at the span on Meadowbrook Way Southeast over the Snoqualmie River, near Snoqualmie.
• Lake Hills Connector
Paving originally scheduled for earlier this week along a section of Lake Hills Connector that used to have drainage problems has been moved to Tuesday, unless heavy rains prevent it. The eastbound lanes of the connector will close from Richards Road to 140th Avenue Southeast between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastbound traffic will be detoured to Kamber Road for access to 140th Avenue. Local access will be provided to 134th Avenue.
Interstate 90: The freeway at Snoqualmie Pass remains one lane in each direction because of a rockslide earlier this month. Detour via U.S. Highway 2 over Stevens Pass to the north, Highway 12 over White Pass to the south or Interstate 84 along the Oregon border. Visit www.wsdot.wa.gov.
Kirkland: Crews have stopped work on Sound Transit’s Totem Lake Freeway Station project until Monday to accommodate holiday travelers along Interstate 405.
Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or email@example.com