Road Warrior

Travis Baker blogs about the problems and idiosyncrasies of Kitsap highways and byways.
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13th and Warren to get a new traffic signal

October 26th, 2011 by travis baker

The in basket: Tom Baker (no relation) of the city of Bremerton electronics department was kind enough to let me know in an Oct. 19 e-mail that I was behind the curve in understanding changes the city will be making to Warren Avenue next year.

He was a few days ahead of Broadway Avenue resident Rena Caton in telling me there soon will be a new traffic signal on Warren at 13th Street, the southern end of Olympic College’s new parking lots.

I had been reporting that the city would extend the right turn lane on southbound Warren for turns onto 11th Street, but was unaware the college wanted to add a new signal.

I was glad for the opportunity to revisit the issue, as it had occurred to me that vehicles waiting in the southbound LEFT turn lane to go east on 11th were spilling into the inside through lanes, making their own contribution to the worsening backups on Warren.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers tells me, yes, he hopes to fold the college’s plans for a traffic signal at 13th and Warren into the city’s plans, so that both can be done at the same time.

The southbound left turn lane on Warren will be lengthened, he said, though not as much as the right turn lane.

“All we need (now) are two buses in the left hand turn lane and it blocks the inside southbound lane,” he said.

So the 11th and Warren intersection will get longer lanes for turns in both directions, and all new traffic signal equipment to replace the lights now hanging from wires there.

Left turns from Warren at 13th’s new signal will be prohibited, he said, allowing shorter stops and avoiding further delay of Warren Avenue through traffic.

Left turns will be allowed from 13th onto Warren, he said, good news for Rena and her neighbors, who otherwise would continue having trouble getting headed toward the Warren Avenue Bridge.

The yellow center line curbing that prohibits all left turns at 13th and Warren today will be removed when the signal goes in, he said.

Gunnar said the college will ask the city to turn the section of Broadway between 13th and 16th streets over to the college in what’s called a “vacation.”

If approved that stretch would remain a street, but under college control, he said. The college probably would make it off-limits to most vehicle traffic, to minimize danger to students crossing back and forth from the its new parking lots.

The one or two properties on that portion of Broadway not owed by the college would get easements to allow them a way in and out, Gunnar said.

Pedestrians will be allowed to cross Warren at 13th only on the southern part of the intersection. Configuration of a crosswalk on the northern side would endanger those on foot, he said.

The college will pay 100 percent of the 13th street signals, he said. The state will pay 86.5 percent of the 11th and Warren upgrades, with the city paying the rest.

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You can reach Travis Baker at tvisb@wavecable.com

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