The in basket: Kathy Broere of Anderson Hill Road in the Lone Rock area is puzzled by the recent installation by Kitsap County of a guardrail across the street from her house, which is in a curve.
“Three times we have had cars in our yard since 2001,” she said, “and our neighbor has had two in the last year.” When the road gets icy, cars loose traction and slide into her wrought iron fence.
She bought and set out some plastic shapes of men with flags saying “slow,” she said, but the county took them away and put up a series of yellow arrows denoting an upcoming curve. But putting the guard rail on their side of the street would have made a lot more sense to her. She doesn’t recall any accidents in which cars ran off the other side of the road, she said.
The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, says, “We have a limited budget available for placing guardrails, and we look at several (criteria) as we determine where to place them. The primary factor that drives where we place guardrails is protecting motorists from immovable objects (trees, rocks, etc.) and hazardous slopes. Guardrails are not normally placed to protect private property.”
There is a steep slope on the other side of Anderson Hill Road.
“In the case of your reader’s inquiry, we agree that the intersection she references has accidents in snowy and icy weather,’” Jeff said. “I don’t doubt that there have been instances where her fence has been damaged, or cars end up in her neighbor’s front yard.
“That can certainly be upsetting,” he said,”but our concern there is someone going over the slope on the other side and ending up with a more serious accident than property damage.
“Thankfully that has not happened yet, and by placing a guardrail there we can hopefully minimize the likelihood of that ever happening. That is why we placed the guardrail on the east side, rather than the west side of the road there. All drivers are required to insure their car to cover damages caused by an accident, including the property damage described by your reader.”