Changes at 305-Bond light have fouled traffic

The in basket: Patty Hill of North Kitsap comments quite often on the operation of the traffic signal on Highway 305 at Bond Road in Poulsbo, and now says the lights for left turn traffic onto Bond Road northbound have taken a turn for the worse.

“Within the last few months, they changed the way the lights work,” she said. “If you’re heading towards Bainbridge Island on 305 and you want to turn left onto Bond Road heading towards Kingston, the two left turn lanes always came on first, then the other two lanes going straight into Poulsbo came on and then both stopped at the same time. 

 “Now,” she said, “they are set up so that the two lanes heading straight to Bainbridge come on first, then the two left turn lanes and then they shut down together (usually).”  The left turn lane green time is shorter than it used to be, she said, so more and more cars continue to turn as the light goes yellow and red. They also rush through in the right-most of the two left-turn lanes, trying to get ahead of those in the other lane as they turn, she said.

“What happens is more people are being left behind again,” she said. “My husband and I take that route every night from home.  When they first opened up all the lanes after the paving was done, we never once waited for the light to change other than when we first pulled up there. Now we are waiting for two and three changes before we can go through.

“We prefer not to get in the (right-most) turn lane because of aggressive behavior from drivers in the (left-most) turn lane thinking we’re trying to edge them out).

 “Then if you’re coming from Kingston towards Poulsbo on Bond Road and you want to turn left onto Highway 305 heading towards Bainbridge, guess what.  Those changed, too, and when the people turning left from Highway 305 onto Bond Road rush through while the light is going back to red, those of us turning left from Bond onto the highway now have to wait when ours turns green for them to stop driving through.”

She said she has been in a line of only five cars on Bond at the light and it took her three light changes to make her left turn.

“Can you find out if someone made the change and either doesn’t know what they’re doing, if they think it’s working or is there a chance to go back to how it was before?” she asked.

The out basket: Left turn lights can be either “leading,” as this one used to be, or “trailing” or “lagging,” as it is now, usually based on what computer simulations say will move the most traffic through a given corridor. 

Jim Johnstone of the Olympic Region signal shop said they went to watch the light and confirmed Patty’s observations.

“We did make the left turn from southbound 305 onto Bond Road a lagging left,” he said. “This was done for progression purposes and to ensure that the left turners have arrived at the Bond Road intersection before giving them a green. We are going to make some adjustments to the timing at Lincoln/Iverson and also Bond Road,” he said.

But the changes won’t include a return to a leading left at Bond Road, he said. 

“Since everything is coordinated now from Viking through Hostmark, the traffic being released from Viking arrives at the start of green on the mainline at Bond.  So as this traffic progresses through Bond Road, the left turns filter out of the platoon and are served at the end of the Highway 305 mainline green. 

“If we were to lead the left turn signal at Bond, the vehicles wanting to make that left would not have arrived yet and would have to wait for the signal to cycle back to the leading left turn,” he said..

2 thoughts on “Changes at 305-Bond light have fouled traffic

  1. Thanks Travis; I still think they’re wrong on why they won’t work as they did before and it seemed to flow smoothly but now it’s just a jumbled mess to me – we drive it several times a day; I know what it should be like and it’s not.

    Add to that – in the evening when people are heading towards BI from Poulsbo and the right lane is carpool only, they all move over to the left lane. So the people waiting to turn left from the highway onto Bond have to wait to get down there and the lights have already changed. It was so much nicer when they first finished that project.

    I know I’m fighting an uphill battle, but appreciate so much that you are our venting post and do what you can to help us out!

  2. I know I sound like a tired old recording or something but this whole Bond Road/Hwy 305 intersection is still a mess since the recent changes in the lights.
    Last night – 6/4/9 – leaving from work and heading towards Bainbridge Island, I was in the far left turn lane to go on to Bond. Of course there were some cars in the next left turn lane; 6 cars were in front of me and 5 cars were in the next lane over. The car in front of me got a yellow light when it approached, so this was the fewest amount of cars I’ve seen get thru. I do NOT understand when traffic is high and there are so many cars, that they have set those lights for such a small amount to get thru – it’s ridiculous!

    And they are still having a problem in the other direction. If you are on Bond Road coming from Kingston and turning left on to the Hwy, at most three cars can go thru if there are people coming down the highway trying to turn onto Bond; they keep coming and you see your green light but have to wait. I HATE HOW THIS INTERSECTION HAS TURNED OUT and no one seems to care.

    Okay, my two cents for the month………

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