Doing the McCormick Woods Drive crawl

The in basket: Holly Harden broke new ground this week when she asked me a question via Facebook. It looks like I’m going to have to learn how to use Facebook.

She asks, “Can you explain or rationalize (having) the speed limit at 30 mph on the new cut-through road, McCormick Woods Drive, between the fire station on Glenwood and Dunraven at the top of the hill?

“That road is wide open, windy but minimum traffic,” she said. “There are streets in the city of Bremerton that are mostly 35. Old Bethel-Burley road with driveways entering onto it all the way along is 45. There are no driveways, nothing, between the fire station at one end and the stop sign at the other. Wide shoulders (are) marked for walkers and bicycles.

“Why is it only 30 mph compared to some examples I have shared with you?” she asked. “Forty would be just perfect. There are some deer there but there are deer everywhere in this county. Old Clifton Road is 45, I believe, and there are deer everywhere. I would love to hear some logic, please!!”

The out basket: This road has a unique history. It was engineered and built to county standards by the McCormick Land Co., in response to complaints that having only one road in and out of the large development was not safe.

The company turned it over to the county and now it is annexed into Port Orchard.

Bill Edwards of Kitsap County Public Works says, “My recollection is that the engineer that designed it, Norm Olson, asked to design the road to a posted speed of 30 mph to keep costs down by minimizing the amount of earthwork required.” The higher the expected speed limit of a proposed road, the flatter and straighter it must be to meet standards, he said.

Norm Olson said his firm  designed the road to a 35 mph speed (design speed) that requires it be a posted speed of 30 mph per the Kitsap County Road Standards.  The posted speed was initially proposed to be the same as the existing McCormick Woods Drive at 25 mph, but was ultimately increased and the road alignment was designed to accommodate.
So it could be worse, Holly. It’s a real pain to keep one’s speed down to 25 on the original McCormick Woods Drive.

Mark Dorsey, Port Orchard’s public works director, says the city has no intention of fiddling with what the county accepted as the best speed limit for that stretech.

4 thoughts on “Doing the McCormick Woods Drive crawl

  1. Sounds to me like the City just doesn’t want to expend the energy to adjust the speed limit which is permissible under Municipal Code 10.08. Just like they lower speed limits they can also raise them. Sounds like it is just considered too much work for the City engineers.

  2. Thank you David. You took the words right out of my mouth. That is pretty much verbatim what I wrote in my response back to Travis on his answer to my request for a rational explanation.

  3. Yesterday
    Holly Parker Harden

    No problem. I don’t need to have my name in print, just wanted a logical answer to the question. As usual, your rsearch turned up a typical bureaucratic non-answer answer. County blamed it on Norm saying the lower the speed limit the less earth work required. It may be curvy but it is wide enough to be used as a 4- lane highway with shoulders as wide as another lane. Norm said he built it for 35 mph which means the County posts it as 30 mph per County standards. Then it could be worse, because it was originally intended to be posted at 25 consistent with the rest of McCormick Woods Dr. The rest of McCormick Woods Dr has driveways and streets emptying onto it every few feet. This road I’m referring to has NOTHING coming onto it from beginning to end. If in the future, homes are built along this stretch, there is an option the City of PO has called a public hearing to consider reducing the speed limit due to a higher traffic volume and more homes than when the road was originally constructed. Then to top it all off, since the City annexed the road the County wants nothing to do with it and the City engineer, Mr. Dorsey says he has no intention of changing what the County accepted as the best speed limit for that stretch. That’s an easy way of not bothering to do your job and investigate any further since it is now under your jurisdiction. As I said, a typical, bureaucratic Non-Answer, Answer. I’m not trying to shoot the messanger as you only responded with the answers you were given so thanks anyway for checking into this for me Travis. Have a great day! Holly What’s-her-name!

    PS To Mr. Darcy: Check out Lider Road. It is curvy with blind corners and no shoulders but is posted at 40 mph. If the engineers hired by the city are going to be consistent with County accepted standards, then please do so by all means. But respond to a request for logic with something other than bureaucratic jargon. I’ve heard it many times before and am still not impressed.

  4. Here is the best comparison yet for Port Orchard’s City Engineer, Mark Darcy’s information, and guess what, it is also in the City limits of Port Orchard! It is the route the City took to annext Fred Meyers. Right down the road from the McCormick Woods Drive extension which, I repeat, has no houses on it so no driveways or other roads or any commercial business traffic on it whatsoever
    , is the continuation to Highway 16 from Sidney/Sedgwick/Glenwood intersection, with commercial development on 3 and proposed on all 4 quadrants. Between this intersection with a 6-way traffic light and highway 16 on ramps, east and west, is nothing but commercial businesses emtying onto Sedgwick and Sidney, and the speed limit is 40 on the Glenwood side of the light and 35 on the Sedgwick side. This short stretch has another 3-way stop light at the big box store, Lowe’s. Again this is all City of Port Orchard and the speed limits are 35 and 40 mph. Traffic on the 35 mph Sedgwick side is heavy and constant, with not only Lowe’s traffic emptying onto this stretch but Albertson’s major super market traffic where there is no light. Compare that Mr. Darcy to the 30 mph on McCormick Woods Drive coming off of a 40 mph road, Glenwood, with many ingress, egress points all along it. Does this honestly make any kind of rational sense to you?

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