Newberry Hill Road at Klahowya school called perilous

The in basket: Traci Stevens of Seabeck writes, “Every day, I travel, as do many others, along Newberry Hill Road and past Klahowya (Secondary School’s) entrance to start and end the work day.

“This area, throughout the year, also includes bus loads of middle/high school children, teenage drivers, teachers, parents traveling to and leaving during the school day, as well as countless after school activities, a church with a sizable attendance, not to mention the residents of the neighborhood across the street from Klahowya’s entrance.  

“All of this activity in an area that handles significant amounts of traffic in either direction, turn lanes going into the school and into the neighborhood across the street, a merge lane and a 45 mph speed limit, which very few abide by. I’ve actually been passed in this area! 

“I also understand the consideration of the surrounding area (1,000 acres) to be possibly converted to a multi-use area known as Newberry Hill Heritage Park. 

“Today (Oct. 8), I learned of another significant traffic accident and I know of one additional accident that involved an acquaintance that totaled the car, I’m sure there have been countless others.

“I understand the county has been out to view the traffic flows; however, they come during the quiet times, after school is in session and most have begun the work day, which was a complete waste of time. What does it take to get authorities to pay attention to this area for consideration of a traffic signal?”

Traci’s friend, Holly Woomer, who was in that other accident that totaled her car when a speeding driver who said he was late for work didn’t see her in time, seconds Traci’s sentiments. She asks for a speed limit reduction if not a traffic signal. 

“Attempting to cross the crosswalk at the intersection is also very dangerous,” Holly said. “You basically have to be in the middle of the road before somebody will stop.” 

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, says better lighting at the intersection is the most they’ll do for now.

“We recently reviewed this location because the crosswalk seemed a little difficult to see in the dark,” he said. “We are considering the feasibility of installing an additional street light at the intersection to improve visibility at the crosswalk. This is the only improvement being considered there at this time.

 “We do not plan to install a signal there any time in the foreseeable future,” he said. “It does not currently meet any of the (standards) used to determine if an intersection needs a  signal. 

“We will consider proposing an improvement project in next year’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), but I don’t think it will score as a high priority against the other county road projects on the TIP. TIP projects are ranked based on road preservation, safety, and capacity. 

“Compared to other intersections,” he said, “the accident history here would not merit many priority points, other than a couple for ‘potential’ safety points. “(Also) signals are rarely installed for safety reasons. (They) won’t always reduce accidents and sometimes actually increase some types of accidents, particularly rear–end collisions.

 “Cost-benefit is another issue to consider with limited funding available for improvements,” he said. “Signals are very expensive ($300,000 – $500,000) to install. Outside of the short congested times mentioned by your reader there have not been any problems reported. If (an) improvement is needed for a short time during the day the cost would be very high with a relatively low benefit.

 “Newberry Hill Road is an arterial road. The goal of an arterial road  is to safely move traffic from one place to another at higher speeds than local access or residential roads. 

“One of the main starting points for determining a posted speed limit,” h said, ” is the speed that captures a majority of the traffic, which we refer to as the 85 percentile speed for traffic on that road.” (Eighty-five percent of drivers who use the road in speed studies travel at or below that speed.)

“We also consider roadway geometrics, adjacent land use, collision records, pedestrian use, bicycles, and parking practices as part of setting speed limits.

“Current conditions on Newberry Hill Road show a very low accident rate and do not indicate a need to reduce the speed limit,” Jeff concluded.

4 thoughts on “Newberry Hill Road at Klahowya school called perilous

  1. Good Luck! I’ll bet for less than the $500,000 a traffic signal would cost, that the county could put a deputy out there in the morning and evening for several school years.
    We, who live in Northlake Way neighborhood, know the full worth of one of the county’s scientific studies. On Northlake Way, the county averaged the slowers speeds in the north and south s curves with the speed in the straigh away. Believe it or not, the county found that the average speed was within limits. I felt much safer after that. Still, I wonder why there are so many skid marks on Northlake Way, especially near ALL the bus stops.
    Can’t wait until Ueland Tree Farm adds 186 dump trucks to Northlake Way.

  2. As a Klahowya neighbor, I understand Ms. Stanfill’s concerns. I drive by there every morning just before the school day begins and watch parents fly onto Newberry Hill Road in both directions without stopping (sometimes barely slowing down) at the stop sign. Then every afternoon, I drive by on my way home at the same time sports and other afterschool activities are ending and watch parents and students alike making the same dangerous moves. Having been a KSS parent for many years, I know how difficult it is to turn off the school drive. But, People, you’re going to kill yourselves or someone else with that kind of driving behavior. The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department could make a mint by just catching people running that stop sign and endangering other drivers.

  3. I’m a student that goes to Klahowya and I also live in the neighborhood across the street which means I tend to walk to school. I understand that the parents in cars are speeding across the road to get their kids to school but the people trying to get to work are not much better if not worse.

    I myself have experienced many close call’s when it comes to getting hit by a car, but not only that my brother has been hit by a car. So before you get all worked up about the parents take in acount that you people trying to get to work fast are much more of a threat to us students trying to get to school.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Is water a solid or a liquid at room temperature?