Right turn lane on Sedgwick at 16 still a no-go

The in basket: Bill Slach says, “On westbound Sedgwick (Road) at the light where you turn right onto Highway 16, there is a lot of room on the right side and folks repeatedly make illegal right turns by crossing the fog line. Isn’t there enough room there for a turn lane?

“The shoulder areas vary widely in width,” he said. “The south side could be made narrower as well as the north side to give enough room to make a turn lane,” he proposed.

“This wouldn’t be a costly fix – some paint ought to do it.

The middle area of the road created by the center merge lane could be narrowed by a foot or so and give enough room to create a turn lane,” he said. “As it is, folks now cross the line on the right by only a little when cars stopped at the light give them room.

“Foot traffic and pedestrians?” he asked, recalling the state’s reason a right turn lane couldn’t just be carved out of the shoulder. “Where are they? The ones I see are on the south side of the highway since they are going to the gas station or McDonalds.

The out basket: Though there are places all over the county where drivers routinely commit the violation of crossing the edge line in their right turns, this is the only place I’ve been asked about it. In 2007, a suggestion was made that the edge line be erased for a distance to make those right turns legal. The answer then was no, that would jeopardize bicyclists and pedestrians.

The answer is still no, says Steve Bennett, the traffic operations engineer for this region. “We continue to believe that it is necessary to widen Highway 160 (Sedgwick) in order to safely provide the space for the right-turn lane.

“Without widening we would have to remove the acceleration pocket used by traffic turning onto the highway from Bravo Terrace. We feel that collisions may increase at the intersection of Bravo Terrace without this refuge/acceleration pocket.”

Well, that’s a sure bet. Getting onto westbound Sedgwick from Bravo Terrace, which serves a motel, McDonalds, Shari’s, Dairy Queen and others, is scary enough without losing the refuge lane a left turner can use.

5 thoughts on “Right turn lane on Sedgwick at 16 still a no-go

  1. Thanks Travis for the follow-up, not that I agree with the state’s answer. So, at the risk of repeating myself, “Is that all there is?”

    When they widened Sedgwick ever so slightly to the east of this area, it would have been the right time to add a little to the shoulder to make the right turn lane.

    Okay, it would have cost more but they would have been dollars spent wisely just like when they built the Paul Powers bridge with four lanes instead of the initially proposed two. It still gripes me that Paul’s bridge doesn’t have a sign. You would think the City of Port orchard could afford it to honor a man who was their mayor for so many years.

  2. Yea, no turn lane. This from the same people that gave us the ridiculous exchange on Hwy. 3 north of the mall where you have to go half a mile in the oncoming lanes to make a left turn. Or how about the zillion dollar “safety modifications” on Sedgewick that resurfaced a road that was OK to begin with and put in a couple of turn lanes where there should be lights. Oh, hey maybe we can can give the mayor another raise to go party on!

  3. Sometimes a car is far enough over that there is room to get by without driving on the shoulder, or at least just straddling the line. To me it seems comparable to getting into a turn lane early or late. Technically illegal, but occasionally useful to keep traffic moving. I would find it hard to imagine a police officer actually writing a ticket for sneaking a turn onto the freeway there unless you pull out in front of another car.

  4. I have witnessed numerous cars trying to squeeze by me when I too am turning to go right onto the highway and this has really frustrated me because they have almost hit my car. I think people just need to slow down and relax and try to gain a little patience. Waiting for the light an extra couple of minutes will not hurt you.

  5. I agree with H.W.Slach. The state had the opportunity to do much more then what they did on the Sedgwick road modification project. They ended the center turn lane before Brasch and they didn’t make a slow lane up the hill from Hwy 16. If the state would swallow their egos they would have installed a north bound off ramp from Hwy 16 to Bethel years ago to relieve the congestion at Sedgwick and Hwy 16. But this has been relegated to the “will never happen in my lifetime” basket. I think highway engineers do some things just to see people left shaking their heads.

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