The in basket: Gary Reed put the following comment on the Road Warrior blog, attached to the column about the coordination of traffic signals on Highway 305 in Poulsbo, and its negative impact on the side street traffic:
“What about the timing of Highway 303 signals?” he asked. “Those are set to stop traffic at each light. Why is that?
The out basket: They aren’t, of course, but gaps in the coordination that does exist make it more difficult and less apparent.
Part of Highway 303 is in the city of Bremerton and the rest outside, so the responsibility is split between the city and state. The city controls the Fred Meyer light even though it’s outside the city.
Jim Johnstone of the state’s Olympic Region signal shop said the signals at Fuson Road in front of Lowe’s, Bentley Drive at Walmart and Brownsville Highway are not coordinated with any others. The first two of those are the ones I have the least success getting through without being stopped.
“Fuson is not coordinated because of the low side street volumes,” Jim said. “Both sides of Fuson added together only have 10 percent of the overall volume during the PM peak and 87 percent of those are right turns.
“If we were to put Fuson into coordination it would cause the same side street and left-turn delays that people are concerned about along (Highway) 305.”
“Bentley is not a part of the coordination because of issues with traffic in the left turn lane for Walmart spilling back and blocking the northbound through lane,” Jim continued. “In order to serve the left-turn into Walmart twice per cycle and prevent the backup, we need to use some features in the controller that do not work in the coordination mode.
“We struggled with this operation for a long time and decided to coordinate the signals at McWilliams and Fairgrounds and leave Bentley uncoordinated. The hope (is) that mainline through-traffic at Bentley would be green at least occasionally to allow progression through the signals at McWilliams and Fairgrounds.
Greg Cryder heads the city’s signal shop and says that the lights between Fred Meyer and Sheridan Road are coordinated, as are those between Sheridan and 11th Street.
There is no coordination on Warren south of 11th, he said, as it has been decided that coordinating the signals along Sixth and 11th streets, which are perpendicular to Warren, is more important.
As the Road Warrior column about Highway 305 mentioned, a primer on why coordination doesn’t always produce a smooth flow of non-stop traffic can be found online at www.wsdot.wa.gov. Fill in Signal Coordination in the search box.