Holiday-shopping madness is upon us. And that means holiday-driving and parking madness aren't far behind. To combat these problems around...

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Holiday-shopping madness is upon us. And that means holiday-driving and parking madness aren’t far behind. To combat these problems around jam-packed Bellevue Square, Bellevue Police will be cracking down on drivers who block intersections.

State law (RCW 46.61.202 for those of you who love to look things up) defines blocking as having any part of your car in the travel part of an intersection, said officer Michael Chiu. That includes blocking the crosswalk, because your vehicle could force pedestrians into traffic to get around you and across the street.

Avoiding the $101 fine is pretty simple, Chiu said. Don’t proceed through the intersection until you see there’s enough space for your car on the other side. If you find yourself stuck in the middle, change lanes so that your car is out of the way.

“Usually, there are telltale signs. You’re in stop-and-go traffic. You’ve waited more than one cycle of a traffic light to get into the intersection, or the queue for the red light is really long,” Chiu said.

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You might want to honk your horn at all that annoying traffic. But Chiu suggests you resist temptation. State law (RCW 46.37.380) allows horn-honking only “when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation.” Honking for the heck of it could net you — surprise, surprise — a $101 fine.

“That also counts against drivers honking at bicyclists as they pass people,” Chiu said. “People usually use the horn out of anger.”

Q: How long will the York Bridge on Northeast 116th Street near Sixty Acres Soccer Park in Redmond be closed? It seems it has been shut for months now, and with no traffic you’d think they would be able to finish it quickly.

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Got an Eastside traffic question? Send it to us by e-mail,; 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: King County would like to finish rebuilding the bridge but can’t resume construction until January or so, when salmon-spawning season in the nearby Sammamish River runs its course, spokeswoman Linda Thielke said.

Northeast 116th Street will remain closed until November 2006. In the meantime, detour via 154th Place Southeast, Northeast 124th Street and Willows Road.

Early warning

Interstate 90: The highway 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

Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or