Chico Way left turns strike driver as dangerous

The in basket: Mike Spieker says his drive to work takes him southbound on Chico Way to turn left on Erlands Point.

“The left turn lane is marked with a double yellow line,” he said. ” On several occasions vehicles in front of me have unexpectedly stopped short of the turn and made

a left turn into the gas station on the east side of the road.

“The gas station entrance has a traffic control island that seems to be an attempt to limit such a turn,” he said, “with ingress access apparently intended only for northbound Chico Way traffic on one side and an “exit only” side  (marked with a sign) to allow egress for northbound traffic on the other side.”

“Can you comment on accident activity at the site and whether the left turn into the gas station is legal?  Is there anything that might be modified to address what appears to be a perfect recipe for a rear-end collision?”

The out basket: There are no signs visible to drivers on Chico Way forbidding a left turn and no cross-hatching on the pavement on Chico Way to make left turns illegal.

The northernmost of the two accesses is quite wide and has room for two-way traffic.

The other one is narrower and built so that a left turn is difficult but not impossible. The left turn pocket for turns onto Erlands Point Road extends back to the narrower access, with a turn arrow on the pavement.

I can find no “exit only” sign on the service station property.

Similar situations probably exist all over the county. One I’ve noticed serves the new Walgreen’s store at Kitsap Way and National Avenue in Bremerton. It’s even worse because that left-turn lane leads to a traffic signal which creates a sense of urgency for drivers trying to get through the light before it turns red. A car on its way to Walgreen’s and waiting in the turn lane for oncoming traffic to clear can surprise a driver looking past the stopped car and concentrating on the signal.

Nevertheless, there is nothing to make a left turn illegal at either spot.

Unless rear-enders actually increase at such spots, they’ll probably remain the way they are.


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