Who’s to Blame for Yesterday’s Massive Traffic Backup?

I received an interesting email from a reader regarding the delightful power outage we experienced here in Kenmore.

Yesterday around 6:30pm as I was driving from Bothell back to Seattle I was caught in a huge traffic backup on Bothell way that started in Bothell and ended at the 61st Avenue light. It was a flashing red with two other flashing reds northwest of it [that would be at 68th and 73rd]. Because people drive so slowly through them traffic was backed up for miles in both directions—up to Bothell and down to Lake City.

I’ve been trying to understand two things and hope that perhaps you might know about. Why were there no traffic police to move traffic along? Also, if the lights were flashing red, why did the city not come out to reset them?

Personally it was an inconvenience. But I can’t imagine the people stuck in cars with children, old folks, people needing to pick up their children. It was not as awful as a freeway backup with nowhere to go, but still.

Might you have any ideas? A complaint dept. I can call for the city?

I also witnessed this nasty backup as I drove out of Kenmore toward Woodinville. It stretched from Kenmore all the way to about 180th St in Bothell when I drove by a little after 6:00.

It is surprising that no one thought to send a few officers out to direct traffic at the three broken intersections in Kenmore. However, I’m not certain that it is the City of Kenmore’s responsibility to deploy police to direct traffic on Bothell Way. Since it is technically a state highway (SR 522), I would think that the job would fall first on the Washington State Patrol and secondly on the Kenmore Police Department (which is really the King County Sheriff).

Here are a few numbers you can call if you would like to comment to any of these agencies about yesterday’s traffic mess:

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