Q. I've had several close calls when I've been cut off turning left from southbound 116th Avenue Northeast onto eastbound Northeast 124th...

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Q. I’ve had several close calls when I’ve been cut off turning left from southbound 116th Avenue Northeast onto eastbound Northeast 124th Street in Kirkland. There are three lanes on 116th at that intersection: the right is a through or right-turn lane; the center for southbound Interstate 405 traffic only; the left is either southbound I-405 or left onto 124th. So many times I’ve been cut off when drivers in the center lane decide to turn left rather than get onto the freeway. What can be done about this intersection?

A. Not a whole lot, according to the state Department of Transportation (WDOT). Like you, traffic engineers have noticed the tendency of center-lane drivers to swing to the left rather than head onto southbound I-405. To encourage folks to stick to their lanes, they installed signs and their widest, most visible left-turn pavement stripe.

“We’re working to find other solutions and are considering additional pavement markings, signs and other options,” said state transportation engineer Rick Roberts.

Q. The light at the intersection of East Lake Sammamish Parkway and Southeast 51st Place in Issaquah seems to be timed rather than use a sensor. It’s frustrating when a half-dozen cars are waiting at a red light in the left-turn lane along East Lake Sammamish to go into the business park and no cars are approaching. Can the signal be modified to sense traffic waiting to turn, or at least give the option to turn while yielding to oncoming traffic?

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A. A recent equipment check found the intersection in working order, said Fay Schafi, Issaquah’s senior signal-operations and intelligent-transportation-systems engineer. Just as you suspected, the intersection is timed. Traffic signals along East Lake Sammamish are synchronized to reduce congestion and travel times for the most traffic. To keep things moving, that often means those trying to turn must wait longer than those traveling straight.

But don’t despair. The city intends to re-time those signals next year, part of planned traffic-flow improvements in Issaquah. They’d consider adjusting things sooner, but there’s just too much construction there to assess and fine-tune the results, Schafi said.

Early warning

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.

Snoqualmie: The Meadowbrook Bridge on Meadowbrook Way near Snoqualmie will be closed for construction through October. Suggested detours are Highway 202 or Reinig Road/428th Avenue Southeast.

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. Then crews will begin work on Southeast 56th Street and Northwest Sammamish Road. The project should be completed by year’s end.

Duvall: A project to replace the Harris Creek Bridge has closed Kelly Road Northeast east of the intersection with Big Rock Road until mid-October. Detour via 322nd Avenue Northeast, Northeast 139th Street, Odell Road and Big Rock Road.

Duvall: Expect intermittent lane closures between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays on Northeast 124th Street on either side of Novelty Bridge south of Duvall. The county is raising the road to relieve flooding. Work will continue through July.

Bellevue: Kamber Road between Richards Road and 137th Avenue Southeast will be closed from mid-June through Sept. 15.

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