Goodbye to old left turn light at Forest Rock Lane

The in basket: Dana Culleney and Dan Batman are among those who miss the protected/permissive left-turn signal on Highway 305 at Forest Rock Lane in Poulsbo.
“It used to be that when you approached Central Market from the north and there was a green arrow and then the green ball light that let you go,” Dana said. That is called a protected/permissive signal
As part of the widening of the highway through that stretch, they have replaced it with what’s called a protected left turn, permitting the turn only when a green arrow tells you all conflicting movements have a red light.


“You can be in that line with 10-15 cars behind you and no one coming in the opposing lanes,” she said.
Dan contends he has had to wait up to two minutes to turn at times. “One to two minutes is a very long time to just sit there,” he said. “I have seen signals that allow a left turn when there is no oncoming traffic. I believe the signals have a flashing yellow with signage that states oncoming traffic has the right of way.
“I see people just turning – I believe this is against the law.”
The out basket: Yes, of course that would be illegal.
The long waits Dan described in his e-mail, sent some months ago, should be reduced now, as many of the Highway 305 lights then were on timers. Construction had eliminated the traffic detection that was there before and that is gradually being restored. Jim Johnstone of the state’s Olympic Region signal shop said he hopes to have all detection back in service by Friday. The Hostmark and Lincoln intersections were completed today (Wednesday).
The bad news for Dana and Dan is that the protected/permissive turn is a goner. Jim send me a list of the factors that prohibit use of the protected/permissive turn on a highway, only one of which – confusing geometry or channelization – he said applies to the new 305-Forest Rock intersection.
The geometry or channelization is potentially confusing because of the HOV operation in the curb lane, he said, but that’s enough to make the change.
The yellow flashing light Dan describes is used by Kitsap County at left turn lanes on some of its roads. Don Anders, head of the Olympic Region signal shop, says he has permission to use the flashing yellow, and likes the idea, but they haven’t gone to the expense of making the change anywhere in the region. Where the region has protected/permissive signals, they consist of a yield-to-oncoming-traffic sign next to the green ball light.

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