The in basket: Alison Slow Loris writes, “It’s a mystery to me why the Bremerton intersection of Callahan Street with Wheaton Way (Old Wheaton, before it becomes Highway 303) is a two-way stop, with Wheaton traffic unimpeded and Callahan traffic forced to stop.
“Traffic appears equal on both streets. Callahan gives access to 303 and serves several medical facilities as well as cross streets leading to more of the same.
“Furthermore,” she said, “while westbound drivers on Callahan have a reasonable line of sight, Wheaton’s curves make it very difficult for eastbound drivers to see when it’s safe to proceed. Due to the nature of the district, many hyper-cautious elderly drivers use those streets, and it’s not unusual to see several eastbound cars lined up at the stop sign waiting for a westbound car to enter the intersection.
“Wouldn’t it make a whole lot more sense to have a four-way stop there?”
The out basket: Another reader suggested the same thing years ago. I didn’t see a problem then and still don’t, but my travel through that intersection is usually westbound, not the direction Alison says is a problem, and in the early evening, not during business hours.
Gunnar Fridriksson, street engineer for Bremerton, who says he regularly uses that intersection, says the traffic control there is adequate.
Old Wheaton Way had about twice the traffic of Callahan, 5,000 to 2.500 vehicles per day, when it was last tallied in 2001. The federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, says, “Multi-way stop control can be useful as a safety measure at intersections if certain traffic conditions exist. Safety concerns associated with multi-way stops include pedestrians, bicyclists, and all road users expecting other road users to stop. Multi-way stop control is used where the volume of traffic on the intersecting roads is approximately equal.”
“These traffic volumes are modest,” Gunnar said, “and we’re not aware of an accident history here that would prompt any traffic revisions. We would need to perform further investigation (new traffic counts, etc.,) to see whether (national standards) are met for any proposed improvements.
“I also drive this route fairly regularly, as our offices are up at Olympus Drive,” he said, “and have not seen a problem. At this time we’ll log this inquiry from Ms. Loris, and see whether additional requests are made for traffic revisions in this area in the future.”