Monthly Archives: February 2006

Clearing up Questions on Disabled Parking

The in basket: Two readers have spotted what they think are deviations from the rules when it comes to disabled parking.
Pete Demerick said he sees cars on the road with the
disabled placard on the rear view mirror despite instructions on the
placard to remove it to drive and wonders if that is illegal.
And William T. Paxson asked about a sign on a handicapped parking space at the
Olive Garden restaurant in Silverdale that indicated that the space
was for “vans only.”

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Highway or Freeway? What’s the Difference

The in basket: Alan Paulson wonders if highways 3 and 16 are highways or freeways, and if there is a difference. The signs at on-ramps say “Freeway entrance,” but the word “freeway” is rarely used on maps or other signs.
While he was on the line, he related the story of an accident he’d been involved in in which a driver coming down the arcing on-ramp at the Wollochet interchange on Highway 16 near Gig Harbor on Oct. 23 was going too fast to make the curve and wound up bouncing out into the mainline and totaling Alan’s car and his own. Alan wondered if that interchange or that design is more accident prone that others.

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Law says bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks

The in basket: The Feb. 8 Road Warrior about some odd wording on a Bainbridge Island bike lane sign jogged Jim Fairbank’s recollection of an incident with a bike on the island.
“I had to step off the sidewalk, into the marked bicycle lane to let an adult and child ride by on the sidewalk (in Winslow),” he said. “Is there a requirement to use the lanes? Seems to be a  waste of time, effort and money, not to mention downright dangerous if nobody uses the lanes.”

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Help on Way for Highway Markers

The in basket: Mark Miller writes, “I was wondering what it would take to have some type of reflector buttons put down on the road lines on the highway from Gorst to Port Orchard? When you drive that section of road at night, especially in the rain, it is very dark and hard to see. There are no street lights
and the painted lines are so faded that when oncoming cars are coming at
you, you can barely see to stay on the road. I just think that it would
be a lot safer for all of us that travel that stretch of highway daily.

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Slow Answer to Speed Limit Query

The in basket: I recently happened upon a 2 1/2-year-old e-mail I’d misplaced, in which Dick McDonald said, “I’m wondering how speed limits are set on county roads.
“There is one stretch of road that I know of that seems to have a speed limit that is lower than it should be,” Dick said. “The road between Holly and Dewatto has a speed limit of 25 mph for the entire length in Kitsap County and that seems unusually low. I can see why the speed limit is 25 mph for the first half mile from Holly towards Dewatto (there are homes along that stretch), but the rest of the road looks like it should have a 40 mph speed limit (no homes and reasonable visibility).

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Are Vehicle Odometers Accurate?

The in basket: Bruce Landram of Belfair e-mailed an intriguing notion. “An automotive engineer friend of mine who works for GM in Detroit,” Bruce said, “explained to me that the law allows a speedometer to be +/- 10 percent from exact speed. The odometer is pegged to the speedometer.
“He explained that car companies intentionally set the speedometers 10 percent faster than the car is actually traveling. This way, the care gets to its warranty expiration mileage 10 percent sooner than if it were dead on accurate.

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That Shiny Glare of New Pavement

The in basket: Jo Clark wrote in November to say Kitsap County’s “great improvement of  Newberry Hill has been well worth all the inconvenience. Now it is wider, better marked, and therefore much safer.”
But she did find that the new blacktop in heavy rain “reflected oncoming and overhead lights so much that it made it difficult to navigate.  I checked other roads in the rain, and haven’t seen that kind of glare.” 

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Odd Bike Lane Sign on Wyatt Way

The in basket: Doug Hatfield inquired about a sign on West Wyatt Way on Bainbridge Island that reads ““Shared Lane Ends, Yield to Bicycles.”
“It comes down a hill to a sharp corner, even though the bike lane continues around the corner,” he said. “It is a two-lane road, with bike path, plus gravel shoulder. The bike lane continues around the corner, and then it ends. Bikes like to go down that hill full bore, What is the state law on that?”

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Why don’t buses pull off the road?

Dick Taylor and Gerry Austin ask about the law governing transit buses stopping in the middle of a traffic lane on a two-lane road to discharge and board passengers.
Dick says he’s noticed this quite frequently on Jackson between Sedgwick and Mile Hill in South Kitsap. The Road Warrior saw the same thing one recent after just noth of Salmonberry Road.
The Road Warrior has gotten the official line on why this is from Kitsap Transit, but I haven’t heard from any bus drivers who live with it day to day. Can anyone shed some light on why some prefer to stop in the traffic lanes?

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