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Traffic Engineer Tatum earns employee of month for January
MARYSVILLE — The city of Marysville has named Traffic Engineer John Tatum as its employee of the month for January, for going above and beyond his duties in carrying out channelization and signal timing revisions, to ease traffic congestion at the Lakewood Crossing shopping center during the holiday shopping rush last December.
Since his hiring by the city three years ago, Tatum has overseen and supervised traffic, signs and signals within the Engineering Division in Public Works. Among his duties, he reviews, comments on and coordinates development proposals, as well as capital and miscellaneous projects, and works with such diverse groups as the Traffic Safety Committee, the Marysville Healthy Communities Project, school districts, Snohomish County, Community Transit and city departments.
Tatum also oversees various documents, including the Transportation Comprehensive Plan, the Downtown Access Study and other transportation-related studies.
In December, Tatum optimized traffic flow at Lakewood Crossing and the 172nd Street and Interstate 5 interchange during the busy holiday shopping season.
Excessive wait times for drivers arose along both 27th Avenue NE and 172nd Street, prompting several citizen complaints. With little time to react, Tatum proposed and implemented channelization changes and coordinated signal timing revisions with the state Transportation Department.
The end result was increased capacity and a significant decrease in wait times to both enter and exit Lakewood Crossing, according to city Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen.
Nielsen added that Tatum spent several of his evenings and weekends monitoring and observing traffic trends to ensure ultimate success.
"These actions and John's innovative thinking enabled the city to ensure that citizens had the opportunity to both shop locally in Marysville and enjoy the experience," Nielsen said.
Tatum also worked on another transportation initiative that will be beneficial in the future to residents, in the Sunnyside and Whiskey Ridge area in southeast Marysville. He was instrumental to the state Department of Transportation's granting of a "break in access" at state routes 9 and 92. Tatum's traffic analysis and continued work with state Transportation staff has enabled the city to move forward with this project.
"Due to John's humble nature, he is quick to point out that numerous people were involved with these projects and their ultimate success," Nielsen said. "However, credit is due to the quick thinking and foresight that John has displayed and continues to display in his job as traffic engineer."