Double right turns at Burwell and Pacific to end

The in basket: Seth Franklin and Gregory Hanenburg say they think the revised intersection of Burwell Street and Pacific Avenue in Bremerton is unsafe.

“Just about every morning heading to the ferry I have been witness to near misses at the intersection,” says Seth. “(They) have all occurred between two cars turning right from Burwell into the far left lane of Pacific heading toward the ferry.” One car in each lane tries to turn into the single local traffic lane on Pacific, he said.  

“Judging by the (confusing) signs posted at the intersections, it would appear that the left lane is for turning left, going straight or turning right into the passenger drop-off lane. The right lane on Burwell appears to be for turning right into the (ferry) loading lanes. “

He suggested that the overhead sign denoting those turns be augmented by pavement arrows.

Gregory says simply that “two cars nearly ran me off the road” when he tried to get into the local access lane of Pacific from Burwell’s right lane.

The out basket: I’m not surprised that confusion reigns there, and I’m told we can expect changes in the signs in the near future. 

Turning right from the left-most lane of two heading in the same direction seems so counter-intuitive that many drivers do what Gregory did, which is contrary to the signs. The overhead sign delineates the left lane for going straight or turning left or right into the local access lane. Burwell’s right eastbound lane is reserved for turning into the ferry access lanes, but the signs, in addition to being hidden by the landscaping, don’t make that clear. 

The diagonal rows of white raised buttons (called “turtles”) those in the right lane must cross in trying for the local access lane are an additional cue that they’re doing something wrong, but don’t seem to deliver the message either. 

Brenden Clarke, whose state project office retains control over that area as part of its oversight of the ferry tunnel work, says, “For some reason we are having issues at the corner of Burwell and Pacific with the double right turn. We are revising the traffic markings and signs to allow only the far right lane on eastbound Burwell to turn right onto Pacific. The center lane with be through or left only. The signs should be in place within the next couple of weeks.

“The turtles will be removed,” he said. “They were intended to keep motorists in the right lane from going into the far left lane on Pacific. 

“There are a number of difficulties in channelizing traffic at the Pacific and Burwell intersection to make this clear, not the least of which is the brick paved crosswalk.  In light of these difficulties, the decision was made to eliminate the double right option.”





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