AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Washington  (Read 69199 times)

TEG24601

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Whidbey Island, WA
  • Last Login: December 09, 2019, 11:48:27 AM
    • Tegianzone
Re: Washington
« Reply #725 on: November 28, 2019, 12:41:00 PM »

Honestly not sure where else to post this...


Island County recently completed a new bypass of SR 525, in a hopes of creating a bypass of the highway in the event the road becomes impassable.  Prior to this road being constructed, you actually could not travel north-south without spending a significant time on the highway.  However, this new road is a bit odd, as it contains design elements that I've never seen before.  Pardon the narration...


Logged
They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1833
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: Today at 06:53:23 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #726 on: November 28, 2019, 05:40:48 PM »

35 MPH?  That is a 60 MPH road from the looks of it.  The even bigger puzzle are the tiny divided sections.  Did an engineer get a case of supertwoitis?  Lovely countryside by the way.

Rick
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

TEG24601

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Whidbey Island, WA
  • Last Login: December 09, 2019, 11:48:27 AM
    • Tegianzone
Re: Washington
« Reply #727 on: November 28, 2019, 07:02:17 PM »

35 MPH?  That is a 60 MPH road from the looks of it.  The even bigger puzzle are the tiny divided sections.  Did an engineer get a case of supertwoitis?  Lovely countryside by the way.

Rick


Well it is a county road.  I drove it yesterday, and it is a bit of a struggle to keep in the lane much over 40.  There are a TON of deer.  The 4 divided sections seem to be bioswails, rain gardens, or something similar to collect water, and infiltrate it on site.  They have plants in them, and a drain.  The grassy areas with the gravel that switch sides of the road are suppose to collect water and have it infiltrate as well.


I've just never seen this much engineering on any road, and those divided sections are weird.
Logged
They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1833
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: Today at 06:53:23 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #728 on: November 28, 2019, 09:02:00 PM »

35 MPH?  That is a 60 MPH road from the looks of it.  The even bigger puzzle are the tiny divided sections.  Did an engineer get a case of supertwoitis?  Lovely countryside by the way.

Rick


Well it is a county road.  I drove it yesterday, and it is a bit of a struggle to keep in the lane much over 40.  There are a TON of deer.  The 4 divided sections seem to be bioswails, rain gardens, or something similar to collect water, and infiltrate it on site.  They have plants in them, and a drain.  The grassy areas with the gravel that switch sides of the road are suppose to collect water and have it infiltrate as well.


I've just never seen this much engineering on any road, and those divided sections are weird.

Thank you for the explanation of the road's features!

Rick
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #729 on: November 28, 2019, 11:07:21 PM »

The center divisions could be placeholders for future turn lanes or perhaps plantings. These can also help slow down traffic when approaching the curves, so I'm all for it. Smart planning.

But was there really a need to construct this road in the first place? I thought it would be a longer bypass from the looks of things. Does SR 525 get blocked that often in that spot?

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1107
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Last Login: Today at 08:44:33 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #730 on: November 29, 2019, 02:22:27 AM »

This might be an unpopular opinion here but if this road needed lower speeds why cut so many trees down? I understand the technical reason for safety but then it creates a situation with no regard to the environment for such a small road. They should have left trees as close as a foot away from the road.
Logged

TEG24601

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Whidbey Island, WA
  • Last Login: December 09, 2019, 11:48:27 AM
    • Tegianzone
Re: Washington
« Reply #731 on: November 29, 2019, 02:11:32 PM »


[/font]The center divisions could be placeholders for future turn lanes or perhaps plantings. These can also help slow down traffic when approaching the curves, so I'm all for it. Smart planning.But was there really a need to construct this road in the first place? I thought it would be a longer bypass from the looks of things. Does SR 525 get blocked that often in that spot?
[/font]


It isn't that it gets blocked often, but it is the only place where there isn't an alternate route.  There have been other storms that have blocked the highway for days at a time, and the county has been concerned for some time (40+ years) about it being an issue in the future.  The center dividers seem to be for nothing more than for water control.

This might be an unpopular opinion here but if this road needed lower speeds why cut so many trees down? I understand the technical reason for safety but then it creates a situation with no regard to the environment for such a small road. They should have left trees as close as a foot away from the road.


They needed the space for the water management systems.  Our local illogical environmental lobby (WEAN), forced the county to infiltrate all possible runoff on site.
Logged
They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #732 on: December 01, 2019, 06:22:02 PM »

The Herald takes a look at traffic in Sultan, including some proposals about what to do with US 2.

https://www.heraldnet.com/news/gridlock-keeps-many-in-sultan-feeling-trapped-in-their-homes/

The freeway proposal is a joke, the bypass won't happen, and the couplet seems to be the most likely even if it will make the downtown strip a mess.

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1107
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Last Login: Today at 08:44:33 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #733 on: December 01, 2019, 07:28:52 PM »

Why not convert Main Street into one way heading west and 2 one way going East though the town and linking the roads together where it goes back to a 2 lane, two way street? This creates a 4 lane corridor through town.

Is that bypass proposal needed? That would be really cool to see a freeway built along with HSR but mega projects like that seem like pipe dreams in the US at the moment. Seems like short freeway bypasses of local towns could be a long term goal.

Pardon my ignorance but where is this traffic coming and going? Could a passenger rail line not alleviate some of the congestion?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 07:30:59 PM by Plutonic Panda »
Logged

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #734 on: December 01, 2019, 07:56:58 PM »

Why not convert Main Street into one way heading west and 2 one way going East though the town and linking the roads together where it goes back to a 2 lane, two way street? This creates a 4 lane corridor through town.

Is that bypass proposal needed? That would be really cool to see a freeway built along with HSR but mega projects like that seem like pipe dreams in the US at the moment. Seems like short freeway bypasses of local towns could be a long term goal.

Pardon my ignorance but where is this traffic coming and going? Could a passenger rail line not alleviate some of the congestion?

The traffic is heading east from the Seattle area to Stevens Pass for skiing, Leavenworth to visit the tourist village, or to various trailheads for recreation. It's high during summer and the early winter, but lower at other times. We do have Amtrak service on the corridor, but it's once a day and arrives in the middle of the night...Leavenworth has the only station in the area and it is fairly popular, but there is no capacity with the current tracks (owned by BNSF and used for their freight services, including oil shipments to the refineries).

A bypass would be unnecessary, since traffic volumes average out to around 16,000 vehicles per day. Monroe is a bit further west and has ROW for a bypass, but there hasn't been funding found despite it being a bit more justified. A passenger rail corridor would likely swing further south on Stampede Pass because it has an easier pathway into Seattle (and would link well with the primary north-south line), so there's not much hope in that department. A full-fledged freeway would be devastating for the area and would be worse than throwing cash into a fire.

The couplet proposal would ruin the Main Street in Sultan, which is quiet and pleasant to walk around. If they add enough bulbs and mid-block crossings, then people are going to whine about it being a slower drive (even if there is no change in travel times).

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1107
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Last Login: Today at 08:44:33 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #735 on: December 01, 2019, 08:05:17 PM »

So I wonder then if double tracking and running more trains would work. More stations added and surely if ridership was justified then increasing service weekly as demand justifies.

My proposal for a one way street conversion shouldn’t ruin the streetscape at all. It would just make the street through town one way East and US 2 one way west.
Logged

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #736 on: December 01, 2019, 09:28:35 PM »

So I wonder then if double tracking and running more trains would work. More stations added and surely if ridership was justified then increasing service weekly as demand justifies.

My proposal for a one way street conversion shouldn’t ruin the streetscape at all. It would just make the street through town one way East and US 2 one way west.

The bridge across the Sultan River would have to be widened or twinned, and the rest of the highway to Monroe would need to be four lanes. Not a good option when it hugs the river and railroad pretty closely.

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10522
  • U/Wash - Urban Design

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Seattle and Tacoma, WA Vancouver, BC | Arlington, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 07:49:42 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #737 on: December 01, 2019, 10:05:45 PM »

My proposal for a one way street conversion shouldn’t ruin the streetscape at all. It would just make the street through town one way East and US 2 one way west.

There's a couple issues with the couplet:

1) it will introduce through-traffic to Main St (where there currently is none);
2) lack of opposing traffic will likely increase the average speed along the corridor.

The couplet would improve traffic flow, yes, but at what cost to the community? If Main St goes from "occasional car" to "US route", that's a huge change. People can probably jaywalk across Main for the time being, but that would be prohibitively difficult if a one-way couplet were installed because of all the new traffic.

For businesses, all the extra traffic isn't necessarily an improvement. Yes, there's more traffic passing along the road in front of their businesses, but who's to say traffic will actually stop? In fact, if my last paragraph is true, locals may actually be less apt to spend time downtown if their quiet main road is suddenly this one-way busy street. At least outside of visits for necessities.
Logged

Plutonic Panda

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1107
  • Location: Los Angeles
  • Last Login: Today at 08:44:33 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #738 on: December 01, 2019, 10:16:23 PM »

Something obviously has to be done. If none of these options are good then a bypass is the only option. This shouldn’t be acceptable, IMO.

Is there too much freight traffic to run 2-3 trains a day each way on a double tracked rail line?
Logged

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #739 on: December 01, 2019, 10:25:43 PM »

Something obviously has to be done. If none of these options are good then a bypass is the only option. This shouldn’t be acceptable, IMO.

Is there too much freight traffic to run 2-3 trains a day each way on a double tracked rail line?

The problem is that there are other bottlenecks on the corridor. BNSF also owns all the relevant tracks between Seattle and Leavenworth (and beyond), so they have no incentive to allow any more passenger rail service. The most likely corridor for new east-west service for the state would be Stampede Pass, which is south of I-90/Snoqualmie.

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10522
  • U/Wash - Urban Design

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Seattle and Tacoma, WA Vancouver, BC | Arlington, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 07:49:42 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #740 on: December 01, 2019, 11:00:10 PM »

Something obviously has to be done. If none of these options are good then a bypass is the only option. This shouldn’t be acceptable, IMO.

Which reminds me...

The bridge across the Sultan River would have to be widened or twinned, and the rest of the highway to Monroe would need to be four lanes. Not a good option when it hugs the river and railroad pretty closely.

Monroe will eventually get their bypass, even if it takes another twenty years. It's not unreasonable to think that US-2 could be twinned around Sultan if the Monroe Bypass does eventually happen. It would be a natural extension of that road. There are areas where it's quite tight (especially near 153rd), but that doesn't mean twinning wouldn't be a good option (at least long term).

IMO, the traffic issues around Sultan are caused by the traffic lights and the roundabout. Widening US-2 through Sultan seems like a reasonable option. It would help keep traffic off Main St, and would help with throughput at the signals and roundabout (all of which would need rebuilding). The Sultan River Bridge would need replacing, but it could be designed in a way that would allow it to be narrowed and made more ped-friendly in the future, should a bypass of Sultan occur.
Logged

TEG24601

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 778
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Whidbey Island, WA
  • Last Login: December 09, 2019, 11:48:27 AM
    • Tegianzone
Re: Washington
« Reply #741 on: December 02, 2019, 07:08:06 PM »

A bypass of Sultan would have to either be south of the River, requiring two expensive bridges, or north of the city, requiring massive eminent domain to accomplish.


From an overhead view, it looks like Main and Stevens were originally designed to be a couplet, or that US 2 was originally on Main St. As much of Main St. appears to be commercial, a little creative engineering could be able to allow traffic to flow without a major impact to the businesses in the negative.


The existing bridge over the Sultan River is massively too small for modern vehicles, and under serves traffic, as well as preventing true pedestrian crossing of the river.  Ideally, a well designed bridge could improve safety, provide pedestrian access to Sultan, and be able to accommodate whatever is decided for the Monroe to Sultan section of US 2.


As for the portion heading east, towards the roundabout, that is going to need to be 4 lanes, to increase safety, then rather than rebuilding the roundabout, EB traffic could use 339th to bypass the area, and provide for more opportunities in the area.


What I find odd, is that in my many drives through here, Startup and Goldbar seem to have fewer problems, even though they likely have the same traffic numbers.
Logged
They said take a left at the fork in the road.  I didn't think they literally meant a fork, until plain as day, there was a fork sticking out of the road at a junction.

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #742 on: December 02, 2019, 08:31:28 PM »

US 2 was originally routed onto Main Street and moved closer to the river in the 1960s. The area has seen a population increase (like most areas of the region) because of sprawling development, so the higher traffic volumes in Sultan can also be blamed on people commuting in via Highway 2. The transit service out there is hourly at best, which is not a good sign.

Sultan is already constructing a pedestrian bridge across the river to connect its two parks that is scheduled to open next year

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10522
  • U/Wash - Urban Design

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Seattle and Tacoma, WA Vancouver, BC | Arlington, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 07:49:42 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #743 on: December 02, 2019, 10:36:03 PM »

US 2 was originally routed onto Main Street and moved closer to the river in the 1960s.

I noticed in Street View that the Hwy 2 bridge over the Sultan River was built in 1940, and aligns with the southerly "bypass" of Sultan. According to Historic Aerials, this road was opened by at least 1952. The "new" bridge being aligned the way it is, indicates to me that the Hwy 2 bypass was actually opened in the early 1940s. The original bridge (see imagery from 1938) was pointed directly at Main St.

The existing bridge over the Sultan River is massively too small for modern vehicles, and under serves traffic, as well as preventing true pedestrian crossing of the river.  Ideally, a well designed bridge could improve safety, provide pedestrian access to Sultan, and be able to accommodate whatever is decided for the Monroe to Sultan section of US 2.

The current bridge is definitely not designed to modern standards, but appears to be structurally sound. I'm not sure how soon it was going to get replaced, but it's likely not high up on the list of necessities. If it were, it might be easier to consider replacing it with something that could accommodate more traffic and pedestrians.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 10:39:24 PM by jakeroot »
Logged

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #744 on: December 02, 2019, 11:00:59 PM »

US 2 was originally routed onto Main Street and moved closer to the river in the 1960s.

I noticed in Street View that the Hwy 2 bridge over the Sultan River was built in 1940, and aligns with the southerly "bypass" of Sultan. According to Historic Aerials, this road was opened by at least 1952. The "new" bridge being aligned the way it is, indicates to me that the Hwy 2 bypass was actually opened in the early 1940s. The original bridge (see imagery from 1938) was pointed directly at Main St.


Whoops, I stand corrected. I thought it had been much later.

compdude787

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 479
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Lynnwood, WA
  • Last Login: December 10, 2019, 01:34:11 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #745 on: December 03, 2019, 04:21:52 PM »

Or family owns a cabin upstream from Index, so we have to deal with US 2 traffic every time we come home on Sundays and the traffic has been bad for over ten years. There are frequently ten mile backups east of Sultan. The road needs to be widened to four lanes between Monroe and Gold Bar. Period. It's really frustrating that nothing has been done.

It may very well be possible to cram four lanes plus a left turn lane onto the current alignment of US 2 thru Sultan without needing to do the one way couplet, but it would be tight. Narrowing the lanes wouldn't be such a bad thing as that would encourage people to slow down through town, as it's currently easy to exceed the 35 mph speed limit.

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #746 on: December 10, 2019, 11:57:27 PM »

SDOT is lowering the speed limits on arterial streets(*) to 25 mph, to take immediate effect.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/transportation/seattle-to-lower-speed-limits-amid-rising-number-of-traffic-deaths/

(*) Excluding Aurora Avenue (SR 99) and Lake City Way (SR 522), which are both maintained by WSDOT. Unsure if this also excludes 145th Street (SR 523).

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10522
  • U/Wash - Urban Design

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Seattle and Tacoma, WA Vancouver, BC | Arlington, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 07:49:42 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #747 on: Today at 12:21:38 AM »

Yes, clearly the irresponsible 30mph limits are totally to blame.

Nothing will change except the new speed limit signs. Mark my words.
Logged

Bruce

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 2312
  • Transit Commuter

  • Age: 22
  • Location: Snohomish County, WA
  • Last Login: Today at 08:48:57 PM
    • Wikipedia
Re: Washington
« Reply #748 on: Today at 12:25:26 AM »

Yes, clearly the irresponsible 30mph limits are totally to blame.

Nothing will change except the new speed limit signs. Mark my words.

The bright side is that now SDOT can bend around the 85th percentile rules a bit more and design streets that make sense for 25 mph.

jakeroot

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10522
  • U/Wash - Urban Design

  • Age: 24
  • Location: Seattle and Tacoma, WA Vancouver, BC | Arlington, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 07:49:42 PM
Re: Washington
« Reply #749 on: Today at 02:59:43 AM »

Yes, clearly the irresponsible 30mph limits are totally to blame.

Nothing will change except the new speed limit signs. Mark my words.

The bright side is that now SDOT can bend around the 85th percentile rules a bit more and design streets that make sense for 25 mph.

I will concede that, yes. Streets with limits far less or far more than their design speed are likely to be ignored (eg I-5 with a 15 mph limit, or a residential street with a 60 mph limit). If we want drivers to go faster or slower, the street designs absolutely need to reflect that.

For residential streets, we need chicanes, speed tables, raised crossings, traffic circles, and narrow lanes. For arterials, you can at least narrow the lanes and reduce the number of areas with center turn lanes (i.e. 10-foot traversable medians).

Looking at a road like 23rd/24th between Montlake and Madison, I would narrow the road by half its current width: one lane each direction (two 10-foot lanes), meandering slightly to create some curves, two-way cycle track on one side, widened sidewalks, and street trees. Yeah, the capacity is reduced, but honestly, who cares? If Vision Zero is 100% about safety, capacity has absolutely no place in street design anymore.
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.