Myhre Road Closure Causing Backups at Light

The in basket: Richard Gonzales of Silverdale says that since Kitsap County closed Myhre Road to replace the culvert for Clear Creek, “the traffic on Silverdale Way has increased tremendously. The (left-turn) traffic from southbound Silverdale Way to Ridgetop Boulevard is especially heavy.
“The timings of the affected traffic lights appear not to have been adjusted to compensate for the increased traffic,” he said.


The in basket: Richard Gonzales of Silverdale says that since Kitsap County closed Myhre Road to replace the culvert for Clear Creek, “the traffic on Silverdale Way has increased tremendously. The (left-turn) traffic from southbound Silverdale Way to Ridgetop Boulevard is especially heavy.
“The timings of the affected traffic lights appear not to have been adjusted to compensate for the increased traffic,” he said. “Turning onto Ridgetop from southbound Silverdale Way typically takes me two or three cycles of the traffic signal to get through. The same problem occurs on eastbound Ridgetop at Mickelberry… The signals just let too few vehicles through, per cycle, to alleviate the backups.
“Since this is a long-term closure, one would think that the county would have adjusted the area traffic signals for the changes in traffic flow.”
The out basket: They have, says Larry Hugel, who runs Kitsap County Public Works signal shop. Unfortunately for Richard and others who make that left turn, the adjustment took time away from them.

Hugel said the problem is that westbound Ridgetop Boulevard at that intersection is even more heavily impacted by the Myhre Road closure than traffic on Silverdale Way. So they have added to the green light time for Ridgetop traffic heading west. When they do that, they have to either take time away from the other movements, or lengthen the overall time to serve all directions. And to do that, they must make the same adjustment at every other light on Silverdale Way to keep them synchronized. Such long overall times create excessively long lines, he said.

Adding to the woes for left-turners from Silverdale Way to eastbound Ridgetop is that Ridgetop is heavily congested in that direction too. If more cars were allowed through on the left-turn green light, there may not be room on Ridgetop to take them and they wind up blocking the intersection.

Another adjustment they can make is to widen the “gap” time at a light, the length of time the light will stay green without a car passing over the detector in the pavement. That allows for drivers who are inattentive or just slow and leave too much room between them and the car ahead. Hugel said he planned to observe the light at rush hour Thursday evening to see if any further changes might help.

One thought on “Myhre Road Closure Causing Backups at Light

  1. I have to laugh at the unnecessary stress people put themselves through regarding the temporary traffic setbacks in Silverdale.

    Yes, the left turns from southbound Silverdale Way onto Ridgetop can be a problem at most times of the day. But if people would think ahead, they could easily make life simpler for themselves and everyone else. They block the middle lane of Silverdale Way trying to get into the left turn lane. That causes more of a backup.

    If they wanted to solve the problem in a simpler way, they could continue southbound to Bucklin Hill Road, where there are TWO left turn lanes. Go east on Bucklin Hill Road to Mickleberry Road. Turn left there and double back across Ridgetop to Costco or wherever else they need to go. This would ease some of the backup on Silverdale Way and it only takes a few minutes longer to use this route as an alternative.

    This situation will be eased when Myhre Road opens again in about six weeks. People need to think about alternative routes until this happens.

    I enjoy your column and I do wonder sometimes why people let things get so complicated.

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