Mickelberry X-walk at Costco proposed

The in basket: Don Hein writes,”Since Goodwill moved in across from Costco, there’s more foot traffic across that road, but there’s no painted crosswalk.  The situation likely will become more acute with the arrival of Trader Joe.

“Is there a plan to paint a crosswalk there?” he asks. “Erect a sign?  Flashing light?”

The out basket: Kitsap County considers this a mid-block location (no cross street there) and crosswalks in such places have fallen into disfavor. Bremerton removed most if not all of its mid-block crosswalks years ago.

And whatever increased foot traffic occurs at the Costco-Goodwill site, it doesn’t rise to the level that would warrant a crosswalk, says county Traffic Engineer sJeff Shea.

“Crosswalks are generally used at areas where heavy pedestrian traffic crosses traffic lanes,” he said. “As it is, there is not a lot of pedestrian traffic that crosses there, and there is no current plan to add a crosswalk.

“Placing a crosswalk mid-block also presents unique challenges.  By definition mid-block crosswalks are not near intersections where motorists expect to encounter pedestrians.  In this particular location, there are three lanes of traffic to cross. The turn lane in the middle adds an extra degree of difficulty because vehicles waiting to turn can block a motorist from seeing pedestrians.

“Assuming that enough pedestrians begin crossing here to warrant a crosswalk, more than just paint is needed to provide a safer crossing,” he said. “Additional enhancements are required for an effective pedestrian crosswalk here. Those can include more street lighting, in-street pedestrian activated lights, crosswalk signals, or other devices that would clearly convey the crossing to motorists.”

Jeff didn’t get into it, but there also has been a growing recognition that crosswalks can increase risky pedestrian behavior when someone on foot comes to believe that vehicles will always stop and grows less watchful while crossing.

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