No left-turn prohibitions on 11th Street

The in basket: Harry James raises an issue I’ve heard occasionally over the past dozen years about 11th Street in Bremerton. “Going eastbound from Naval to Warren is very dangerous when people turn left at intersections other than the one with a left-turn lane,” Harry said.
“It seems like there should be a restriction to only turn left using the left-turn lane at High Avenue or to post and enforce restricted hours for turning left off of 11th in that area. Is there accident data to support a change?


The in basket: Harry James raises an issue I’ve heard occasionally over the past dozen years about 11th Street in Bremerton. “Going eastbound from Naval to Warren is very dangerous when people turn left at intersections other than the one with a left-turn lane,” Harry said. “It is especially bad when people are turning at the last one or two intersections before the 11th hill starts to descend (and) those turning left onto Warren have to be in that same inside lane before it splits into two lanes for turning left onto Warren.
“It seems like there should be a restriction to only turn left using the left-turn lane at High Avenue or to post and enforce restricted hours for turning left off of 11th in that area. Is there accident data to support a change?
The out basket: The city of Bremerton would certainly like people to use the High Avenue turn lane, but a succession of city traffic engineers have declined to require it. The latest, Larry Matel, is no different. “I do not think there are compelling reasons to change the situation at this time,” he said after reviewing the five-year accident history of 11th Street.
What people who regard such a chance as easily made don’t consider “the balloon theory,” he said. It holds that “When you constrain the flow in one area that will cause the ‘balloon’ to bulge out someplace else.
“The people who previously wanted to turn in the area that is subject to the prohibition will only go to the next available place to turn and circle around to where they wanted to get to initially. This only adds to increased traffic at another turning location, as well as running traffic through another neighborhood and impacting those who, heretofore, had been ‘somewhat’ happy with the nature of the traffic flow on their local street.” Accidents that occur in such other locations can be head-ons and T-bones, more serious than the rear-enders that characterize 11th Street, he added. 
“A final issue is that of increased fuel consumption and emissions due to extra miles of traffic,” Larry said.
“The theory is that, by and large, people will seek and find the most cost/time efficient route to get from A to B.  Upset their first choice and they will then seek out the next most expedient route.”

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