Sign at Pioneer Hill in NK gives oddball info to drivers

The in basket: Dan Godecke of Lofall in North Kitsap says, “When (the state) put up the new cameras on Highway 3 from the bridge to Highway 305, they also installed a sign southbound on Highway 3 at Pioneer Hill.  It is one of the kind that has flashing yellow lights telling drivers to tune to a radio channel for highway information.
“I have seen this sign’s light come on three times now,” Dan wrote. “All three times it was the same message, “The Hood Canal Bridge is open for marine traffic at this time”.

“Why was this sign installed on the southbound direction of Highway 3 to tell southbound traffic that the bridge behind them is open for marine traffic?  Who going south could possibly care if the bridge behind them is open or closed?
“This brings up the second question.  Why was this sign (or another sign) not installed for northbound traffic.  The people going north on highway 3 would have a need to know if the bridge in front of them is closed.
“I am beginning to think that the people who dream up this stuff don’t drive on the highways or even have a clue what direction is north or south.”
The out basket: Well, I suppose there are a few drivers going south who might find the current status of the bridge helpful, but that’s not the explanation.

The messages Dan heard were a mistake, says Tony Leingang, freeway operations manager for this region.

“The sign installed at this location gave our regional Traffic Management Center a new tool to talk to motorists traveling south towards Bremerton and east towards Poulsbo when incidents affecting that area occur,” Tony said. “The recent project that installed the cameras and this sign also brought a new Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) transmitter located near SR 3/SR 305 and a new frequency of AM 1650. That is why the sign in question was added in this area.

“Hood Canal Bridge information on the HAR transmitter located near the bridge is supported by four different flashing beacon signs located

northbound on SR 3 at Lofall, westbound on SR 104 at Port Gamble,

eastbound on SR 104 near Paradise Bay and southbound on US 101 near the US 101/SR 104 junction.

“This group of devices asks motorists to tune to a different frequency (AM 530).l. That system has been in place for quite some time and covers Mr. Godecke’s concern about northbound SR 3 traffic receiving information relative to the bridge.

“I can only point to human error that must have occurred when the Pioneer Hill flashers were inadvertently activated relative to (bridge)activities. I apologize for the confusion and we are reviewing this with the staff now to ensure the issue gets resolved.”

2 thoughts on “Sign at Pioneer Hill in NK gives oddball info to drivers

  1. As long as we’re talking about that area: Why did the state elect for a full-time flashing yellow advisory sign for the southbound 3 light at Pioneer Way? From that direction the light sits just below a rise and is not visibile until drivers are fairly close, especially at highway speed. It always seemed like that would have been a good place for a “Prepare to stop when lights flash” warning that activiates when the traffic signal is red.

  2. It wasn’t too many years back when the Washington State Patrol cared enough about drivers and traffic that they would have reported the state’s mistake soon after it happened.

    How many times more often than Mr. Godecke, had a State Patrol Officer driven by these signs and not noticed or cared enough to report the mistake?
    This is highly suggestive that they are looking for revenue rather than caring for effective and smoother traffic conditions.

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