Can signal timing in Poulsbo be improved?

The in basket: Patty Hill and Russ Freeman wonder about the timing of traffic signals on Highway 305 at Bond Road and Hostmark Street. 
Patty said, “If you plan to turn left from Highway 305 onto Bond during rush hour, you can wait for a long time once getting into the turn lane until you actually get through the light. It was nine minutes when I timed myself the other day from getting into the lane until I got through – and there were no delays, cars broken down, etc. 
“What are the chances of someone trying to alleviate this – maybe just adding another 30 seconds to the left turn signal at rush hour time only would help a bit and it’s not a long time frame to have the other locations wait – or are we beating a dead horse?”
Russ says it doesn’t appear that the widening of 305 that is under way will correct signal timing he thinks hinders smooth traffic flow in the area.


The in basket: Patty Hill and Russ Freeman wonder about the timing of traffic signals on Highway 305 at Bond Road and Hostmark Street. 
Patty said, “If you plan to turn left from Highway 305 onto Bond during rush hour, you can wait for a long time once getting into the turn lane until you actually get through the light. It was nine minutes when I timed myself the other day from getting into the lane until I got through – and there were no delays, cars broken down, etc. 
“What are the chances of someone trying to alleviate this – maybe just adding another 30 seconds to the left turn signal at rush hour time only would help a bit and it’s not a long time frame to have the other locations wait – or are we beating a dead horse?”
Russ says it doesn’t appear that the widening of 305 that is under way will correct signal timing he thinks hinders smooth traffic flow in the area.
“For example, on most throughways with left-turn control lights, the left turn lanes are allowed to clear before through traffic proceeds. On SR 305, at Liberty, Lincoln and Hostmark, one lane of left turns gets a green signal but the other is held for a full cycle before getting a signal to turn – and that left lane differs at each intersection depending upon direction of travel.”
And the left turn lights aren’t long enough to clear the waiting cars, he said.
The out basket: I told Patty that providing more time for the turn onto Bond Road would take it away from the other movements, which have their own backup problems. But providing four lanes westbound, as the current widening will do, could double the number of cars that get through on the westbound green and make adding time for the left turns onto northbound Bond more tenable.
Don Anders of the state’s Olympic Region signal shop puts it this way:
“This area has been a problem for many years because of capacity issues and the fact that it has taken several projects to get the widening done throughout the whole corridor.” The current construction disruption worsens the chronic problems, he added. “We always work with the project engineering office to try and minimize these issues, but can’t always provide much help. 
“When the widening is completed we will review and retime the corridor and will see some improvement because of the capacity improvement.” He said the two lane bottleneck up to Bond has hindered coordination of the lights in the past, but having four lanes between all the 305 signals in Poulsbo will make it easier.
As for Russ’ complaint, Don says, “Our focus in this corridor is to move vehicles through the mainline to and from the (Bainbridge) ferry terminal and during both morning and evening peak hours we do favor the mainline movements. 
“After the evening rush hour we run the system free and vehicle volume will dictate the (operation) of the signals, but during coordination we assign times for each movement and the left turns may not always clear the traffic. At the completion of this project we will have all the signals from SR 3 to Hostmark tied together and will operate these as a system, but this will not guarantee motorists will not have to stop within the corridor.” 

One thought on “Can signal timing in Poulsbo be improved?

  1. It seems to me one of the things that could be done here is to make the left-turn lane onto Bond longer. Right now the far right lane is a right-only that leads to Bond South (by the clinic). It’s really wasted space.
    The left only lane right now is very dangerous because it backs out into the thru lane. Cars going straight have to make a decision to just stay put and let the left-turning cars eventually clear the lane or to move into the right lane, go around the left lane backup, and scoot left back into the thru lane.
    Problem is, cars are making BOTH decisions, so when that left lane DOES start to move you have cars electing to go straight competing with cars trying to get into the thru lane. That’s the dangerous part. If the left lane were longer, this would help alleviate the left lane backup.
    You could do this by utilizing the right lane BEFORE it needed to be a right-only.

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