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John Prater 1917 – 2004

Odd traffic

I took my normal back-roads route to work this morning and ran into traffic at every turn, which is really unusual.

I started on southbound Bothell Everett Hwy (SR 527), which is often crowded in the morning, no surprise there. Turned left onto Maltby Rd, encountered nothing until the intersection at 39th Ave SE, where there was more than the usual 8 or 9 cars lined up at the east/west intersection. The light changed quickly after I got there, however, and I turned onto 39th Ave SE for the jaunt down toward 228th St SW.

Ran into the first bout of traffic along 39th. There’s a construction site about halfway down that length of road, and they close the road each day at 08:30, but today they decided to slow traffic before 08:30 with construction vehicles crossing the road at random intervals. No big deal, that’s happened a few times before, but it left 20 or so cars backed up for about five minutes, for no obvious reason—when I passed by, I could see no need for the trucks and backhoes and whatnot to have required crossing the road at that particular moment. Why not wait until they were going to close the road anyway?

But I digress. The 20 cars that were slowed there trundled on to 228th in a big group and funneled slowly through that stop sign I turned right to jog over to 35th Ave SE for yet another southbound run, this time to 240th St SE where I make a left turn, but I ended up in another line that stretched nearly a mile back along 35th.

I’ve never had to wait in traffic on southbound 35th before. Not even the time a school bus got clipped by an impatient driver as the bus turned and the other driver decided he didn’t want to wait another two seconds to go straight through the intersection—even that time, traffic moved smoothly around the stopped vehicles, despite their blocking half the intersection. Probably the one time a cop directed traffic effectively.

But anway... took another several minutes to filter through the 35th/240th intersection, and that left turn led to another lengthy backup along 240th to the 39th Ave SE intersection and my right turn. Only on 120th was traffic relatively free-flowing, right down to the driveway where I turn to get to the lab’s business park.

My normally 12- to 15-minute commute took 28 minutes today.

Bah!

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