Tracyton traffic calming here to stay

The in basket: Gary Johnson e-mails to say “The speed bumps and other obstructions on Tracyton Boulevard have proven to be a total disaster.
“Traffic has been diverted from Tracyton to Nels Nelson and Central Valley,” he said, overloading both streets and increasing the traffic volumes in school zones on both of these roads.
“When will these stupid traffic impediments be removed, so that the public can use this thoroughfare as it should be,” Gary asked.


The in basket: Gary Johnson e-mails to say “The speed bumps and other obstructions on Tracyton Boulevard have
proven to be a total disaster.
“Traffic has been diverted from Tracyton to Nels Nelson and Central Valley,” he said, overloading both streets and increasing the traffic volumes in school zones on both of these roads,
“The speeds on Tracyton have not been significantly
reduced,” he contends. “Emergency vehicle response times have been significantly increased, wear and tear on vehicles traveling this route has increased, and the planters that were supposed to beautify this route are masses of weeds.
“The study period mandated by the
federal funds used for this project is complete. When will these stupid traffic impediments be removed, so that the public can use this thoroughfare as it should be,” Gary asked.
The out basket: No time soon, it appears. Kitsap County Public Works spokesman Doug Bear says he has heard no discussion of undoing the project, into which a lot of federal grant money was put.
A study of the project’s impacts was published by the county two years ago and has not been updated.
It found a 25 percent decrease in traffic on Tracyton Boulevard, a 15 percent increase on Nels Nelson Road, 6 percent increase on Central Valley and a 2 percent decrease on Fairgrounds Road. Evidently most the extra traffic on Nels Nelson Road was getting there via Bucklin Hill Road and Stampede Boulevard.
Average speeds on Tracyton Boulevard ranged from 43 to 52 miles per hour before the project, when the speed limit was 35 mph. It was cut to 30 mph in addition to having the speed tables and center obstacles built, and in November of ’05, the average speeds ranged from 30 to 35, except at the south end of the project where northbound traffic was still averaging 40 mph as it entered the project.
Average speeds on Nels Nelson dropped 2 mph, There was no change on Central Valley and electronic equipment failed to measure that on Fairgrounds.
The report says collisions on the four roads and their various intersections were down dramatically in the first year after the project was completed, minus-79 percent on Tracyton Boulevard, 51 percent at the intersections and 21 percent between the intersections.
It made a point that three years is needed to identify accident trends reliably, so the one-year totals were just preliminary indicators. But no followup accident analysis is planned, Doug says.

3 thoughts on “Tracyton traffic calming here to stay

  1. Thank you Travis. I have to smile, it would appear to me, the guy who pushed this project more than anyone else, that the mission was achieved.
    We reduced traffic speeds and accidents substantially while not shifting all the traffic to nearby residential streets. It would appear to me that since Tracyton Blvd saw a 25 percent decrease in traffic (a very busy road still) and Nels Nelson (not a very busy road even now) only went up 15 percent, most of the traffic diversion went where we wanted it to go; to SR303/Waaga Way.
    I’m proud of this project and the community that helped problem-solve it. I consider it one of the great success stories for Kitsap County Public Works in the 1990’s.
    And yes, I drive over those disasterous, stupid speed bumps at least weekly myself. I don’t mind them a bit, even when I’m late for meetings. Sorry, Mr. Johnson, you’re wrong on this one.
    Monty Mahan

  2. Monty: The traffic impediments served your purposes. It diverted traffic away from your street and inconvenienced thousands of drivers for the benefit of you and a few fellow NIMBYs. Between extra fuel costs and wear and tear on vehicles, these barriers are costing your fellow citizens thousands of dollars.

  3. You might be right Mr. Johnson if not for three things.
    First, most of the traffic is still on Tracyton Blvd, not nearby streets.
    Second, a lot of heartache is now no longer happening, since accidents have been greatly reduced.
    Third, I live nowhere near Tracyton Blvd, and therefore do not personally benefit from the project. In fact, I damaged a tie rod in my own car testing one of the speed humps at 40mph early after the project was built. You might say that I’ve been hurt personally as much as you have, if not more. Unlike you, of course, I think it’s a good project that made a nice community safer.

    Monty

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