The Bremerton bypass

View Rocky Point shortcut in a larger map It came to my attention a few months ago that there was a way to travel through West Bremerton without using most of Kitsap Way or 11th Street. I was late in learning this, I’ll admit, but in my defense I had used the path in the past without really knowing it.

What I found interesting is that people use this path on purpose. If you’re traveling between East Bremerton and any part in West Bremerton north of 11th and east of Marine Drive, there is a logical path.

The regular route takes you past all the Kitsap Way businesses, then past Safeway and the Bremerton High School sign on 11th. The alternate route has you travel a scenic route on Phinney Bay, past the Hi-Lo Cafe and the actual high school, exiting at Olympic College. You can see both routes on the attached map.

The alternate path will probably get used a lot for the two months in most of June and all of July that 11th Street is closed between Montgomery Avenue and Naval Avenue. Here is the story on that closure.

I’m not sure why it makes sense otherwise. Perhaps you can educate me. On Sunday I had gone to visit my dad and the weather was wonderful and there was time available to me and the show on NPR was compelling, so I decided to drive both the alternate and regular routes and time them. Traveling from Warren Avenue to Marine Drive the time was pretty much a wash. Going the other way, however, traveling Kitsap Way and 11th Street was way faster in getting to that point where both routes intersect, Warren Avenue and 16th Street.

Did I choose the correct shortcut?

It’s getting close to 3 p.m., so maybe I’ll go try it again while there is lots of traffic on the street. Perhaps that makes a difference.

If you are a regular shortcut user, I’d love to know why.

UPDATE: I just drove the regular route again during heavy traffic and it’s still a bunch faster. As for red-light cameras, I don’t think you pass any along either way. Besides, people have been taking this shortcut for years, long before red-light cameras were introduced. I figure it’s the scenery and the predictability. With fewer lights at all there are fewer lengthy stops.

6 thoughts on “The Bremerton bypass

  1. As someone who lived just off that route for 15 years, I can attest that lots of people choose to go that way … at fairly high rates of speed.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I saw folks walking along the straight stretch of Corbet from Phinney Bay to 15th who just about got nailed by folks coming around corners at each end, since there are no sidewalks and no shoulder.

    Folks need to slow the hell down and not sweat getting somewhere 5 or 10 minutes later.

  2. Of *course* the regular route is faster than the actual shortcut – there’s only two turns and the speed limit is higher. And the difference is even more marked during school hours (because of the school zone at the high school), and trying the “short cut” when Olympic College is changing classes is an exercise in frustration.

    Though I should point out, it doesn’t take much of a look at the map to show you’re hilariously wrong as to your route. You seriously didn’t notice the error of taking Kelly rather than Rocky Point? You really think the meeting point of the routes isn’t at Marine and Kitsap rather than way back in the neighborhood?

  3. Great. Funnel everyone down the curvy, narrow roads never intended for high volume traffic where my husband in the big brown truck (and his fellow FedEx and USPS brothers and sisters) are trying to make pickups and deliveries most of the day where he has to park on the shoulder many times because the driveways are too narrow and small for him to access with the truck.

    Well, I have facilitated a meeting for this next Tuesday (15th) between leaders and organizers of all the groups that will be affected by this project in the Naval Avenue area (Bremerton School District, Boys & Girls Club, Union Hill, Charleston Business District, the Bremerton PD, a Bremerton City Council member and Katy Allen the director of Public Works) to discuss and plan for the impact and safety issues concerning this project.

    I will make sure that the city knows that despite the much considered, coordinated and engineered plans in place to route traffic with signs into higher capacity flow areas that can safely accept and handle the increased volume of traffic during the closure of 11th Street, alternative ideas with no consideration to safety, flow or capacity (only personal expediency) are being publically fronted from the armchair section as some sort of bright idea to follow.

  4. @Derek,

    Fair points. In reality I never did my drives from Kelly. I did them from Rocky Point. For the map I chose Kelly specifically because it was back in the neighborhoods, from a spot I more or less figured someone would have a 50/50 choice of going one direction or the other.


    I don’t know anyone fronting this as a “bright idea.” Most anyone who would use this route probably already does. I was late to this party.

    Steven Gardner
    Kitsap Sun

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