Lower speed limit for part of Evergreen Way in Everett approved at City Council

Lower speed limit approved for part of Evergreen Way in Everett at City Council

EVERETT — The City Council unanimously voted Wednesday, May 11 to support a proposal to reduce speed limits along state Route 99 (Evergreen Way and SE/SW Everett Mall Way) between Airport Road and 7th Avenue SE.
The resolution would establish a 40 mph speed limit, down from 50 mph, along Evergreen Way between Airport Road and SW Everett Mall Way, and would establish a 35 mph speed limit, down from 40 mph, along SE/SW Everett Mall Way between Evergreen Way and 7th Avenue SE.
City traffic engineer Corey Hert proposed the change after a series of collisions and joint research with state Department of Transportation specialists.
The 50 mph Evergreen Way section between Airport Road and SW Everett Mall Way “is No. 1 on our list for injury collision rates in the city of Everett and it’s No. 1 on our list of pedestrian injury collision rates,” Hert said.
In April, a 35-year-old pedestrian was hit by a car along this stretch. Two other Everett pedestrians died along here in separate incidents in March.
Hert described the change is not a process of lowering the speed limit just to lower speeds; he said this is a process of setting the appropriate speed limit to follow the development of the city landscape.
“Many of the speed limits that are set on our roadways are decades old. For example, on Evergreen Way, Home Depot has been developed, Walmart’s been developed, and several other businesses have moved along that corridor, it’s gotten busier, and traffic speeds have dropped,” Hert said.
The change in speed limit is part of a continued effort by the Everett Transportation Advisory Committee to make the streets safer.
“Changing the speed limit is not a panacea. We have been working on the Evergreen corridor for many years and have increased the lighting out there to 400-watt equivalent LED fixtures for example. This has been a continuing process for us to improve safety on Evergreen Way,” Hert said.
The resolution approved by City council requires a calendar action from Transportation, and to go to Olympia where the state traffic engineer has to sign off on it to become effective.
“Once it’s signed, it will be available to be enforced immediately,” Hert said. “We will draw drivers’ attention to signs” noting the speed limit’s been reduced. “It will be pretty obvious out there.”

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