U-turns are 1 reaction to new Myhre Road barrier

The in basket:  Charelaine Hampton and Mike McDermott both say they’ve seen drivers who are used to turning left from Myhre Road in Silverdale to go downhill to Costco, Petsmart and the other stores in that area pulling a U-turn just past the barrier the county put there to prevent those left turns.

Those drivers then come back and turn right legally into the access. But in the meantime, their U-turns create an accident hazard, both said.

Charelaine says the U-turners use the exit from Harrison Hospital’s Silverdale location and endanger drivers coming out that exit. She sees it almost weekly, when she goes to the hospital for a regular meeting, she said.

Mike described what he saw  one day in October.

“As I turned from Ridgetop onto Myhre there were two cars in front of me. The first one pulled into the center lane before the barrier so they could still make the left turn. The other car went just past the barrier and went into the bus stop on the right side of the road and made a U-turn right in the middle of Myhre to get back to the lane down to Costco.

“Obviously, this deterrent to turning left near Petsmart is going to cause more problems if this is what people are going to do,” he said.

“All people have to do is continue down Ridgetop another block to Mickleberry and turn right,” he said.

The out basket: I would hope that the problem would abate in time as more drivers learn those left turns are now forbidden and plan an alternate route.

I was surprised to discover that just a couple hundred yards further ahead on Myhre is another left turn that still is open that leads down to Costco with hardly any greater travel time, though getting back to Petsmart would require a little more extra time. Until then, I thought it would be necessary to drive all the way down to the next traffic signal on Myhre.

And by continuing straight on Ridgetop, as Mike suggested, a driver not only can turn right at Mickelberry, but has two even earlier right turn opportunities to get to where the now-forbidden left turn used to take them.

Asked about the U-turns and other driver reactions to the barrier, Kitsap County Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea chose to reiterate the reasons the barrier went up in the first place.

“The Sheriff’s Department presented me with nine collision reports for about a one-year period (2010) at this location,” he said. ‘They asked if anything could be done to reduce the collision frequency.

“…Most of the collisions were the result of a motorist either turning left out of the approach or turning left into the approach.  The logical counter-measure was to restrict the vehicle movements to right-in right-out only.

“Knowing that a sign alone would not preclude motorists from turning left, we decided to put the curbing in.

In addition to the sign and curbing, flexible delineators (posts) were installed and the yellow striping was reconfigured to an 18-inch solid line, which state law prohibits motorists from crossing.

“There are  two (other) convenient accesses to this commercial property, one further north on Myhre or eastbound motorists on Ridgetop Blvd can stay on Ridgetop and make the first right turn.

“U-turns are not illegal if done in a safe manner, but if problems arise we will address them.”

State law forbids U-turns in certain locations, like on hills, but none of the prohibitions clearly apply on Myhre. Part of the law says they are illegal, “where such vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within five hundred feet.”



5 thoughts on “U-turns are 1 reaction to new Myhre Road barrier

  1. Blocking that off was stupid and they did it so half— that you can still turn left out of Costo onto Myhre and then that little U-turn at the hospital. I saw 3 cars do it myself on Saturday.

  2. Maybe if people pulled their heads out their — while driving we wouldn’t have these problems. It’s this stupid all about ME attitude. They have no consideration for traffic laws or being polite to other people. In response to Dustin: Those 3 cars have the all-about-me attitude. They don’t care about anything other then themselves. Those are the same type of stupid drivers who decide that “oh the lights red but I’ll keep going”, because they have their head embedded so far up their rear they don’t care about any elses safety.

  3. “All people have to do is continue down Ridgetop another block to Mickleberry and turn right,” he said.

    Who here is surprised?! Oh wait … no one. All this did was push the EXACT SAME ISSUE a few feet down the road. Anyone in their right mind could have seen this coming when they first announced it. This barrier was a waste of time and money and is doing nothing but causing headaches and resulting in stupid people putting themselves in even more danger than if you didn’t have it there. This isn’t worth it for nine accidents in one year.

  4. How could a traffic engineer think that using the access further north on Mhyre would be any safer. The road drops away and curves to the left making it almost impossible to see any cars heading south on Myhre. When accidents start occurring at this access will the counties’ response be to add more barriers and prohibit left turns at this access?

  5. Yup, saw someone do the same thing in front of us last weekend, pulled U-turn in the hospitals driveway. Geez… Not much of an improvement, if you ask me. Wonder how many U-turn accidents will occur in the NEXT year?

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