New Silverdale eateries create pedestrian worries

The in basket: Cathy Briggs, one of my classmates at the AARP senior driving safety course I took in

April, said she has seen a dangerous situation on Bucklin Hill Road in Silverdale where Hop Jacks restaurant and Taco Time recently opened.

The parking lot for Hop Jacks fills up and people have been parking on the other side of Bucklin Hill Road and scurrying across it to the new restaurant – some with little kids, she said. One other person in the class said he’d seen it too. There is no crosswalk there. Both thought it has car-pedestrian accident written all over it.

I asked Kitsap County Public Works and Community Development if they see it as a problem.

The out basket: A Community Development employee said the Sandpiper restaurant previously on that site had 59 parking spaces and the county code calls for only 53. “There are 65 off-street parking spaces on the commercial site (now), exceeding the minimum requirements,” the person said.

“I assume that the demand for parking will relax once the novelty of the new restaurant wears off,” the person continued. “The parking standards for restaurants are an estimate for parking demand and have been tested over time.  Sometimes the standard requires too much parking while there is not enough for popular establishments.”

Putting a crosswalk there might make the situation worse, as it conveys a sense of protection that may not really exist. County public works officials advocate using one or the two closest existing crosswalks, both at a traffic signal, which actually does provide protection, though I’ll be surprised if many people will be willing to walk that far.

“There are safer places to cross near there,” said Transportation Engineer Jeff Shea. “Pedestrians should use the marked crosswalks at Silverdale Way/Bucklin Hill or at the signal on Bucklin Hill Road at the entrance to the shopping center.”


3 thoughts on “New Silverdale eateries create pedestrian worries

  1. People who are parking across the road are also parking on private property and risk having their vehicles towed. Community planners should not go around building public works that encourage trespassing.

    The fact is, if a restaurant’s parking lot is full, you probably are going to have a tough time finding a seat and getting served. You would be better off going to a different restaurant instead endangering yourself and your kids by jaywalking.

    All of that said, the restaurants are located near very busy intersections. Traffic is generally pretty slow. Pedestrians are far more likely to cause a rear-ender or gridlock at the intersection than to get hurt themselves.

  2. This is not a new problem. There are many restaurants in Kitsap County with this problem on peak days. The place in question, Hop Jacks, is in between the crosswalk at the intersection of Silverdale Way/Bucklin Hill and the crosswalk at the entrance to the mini-mall with Staples, etc.

    Yes, there is a way to walk, but not that far to be more than a burden than jaywalking in traffic near an exit lane into traffic from the waterfront from Old Town or the jam-up for the left turn down Bucklin Hill to Old Town and the twin turn lanes from Bucklin Hill onto Southbound Silverdale Way.

    I am sure the traffic engineers will see there is no logical modification to this scenario, and it is no worse than the traffic/parking problem on Kitsap Way at Tony’s Italian Restaurant. Fortunately, there is now a new light and crosswalk to Tony’s thanks to the addition of the Winco store.

    The bottom line is this: If you have to park far away from where you want to get to, you will be required to obey the existing pedestrian laws to get there. The same applies to bicycles and cars. Tough if it might be inconvenient.

    What is more inconvenient than being a couple minutes or a few hundred feet out of your way is being run down and killed. I would put that in the major inconvenience category. But, that’s just me…

  3. In a related matter, is it legal/safe for Chung’s Teriyaki to block off a portion of the drives around these restaurants with huge concrete blocks? This is part of an ongoing peeing contest about who is allowed to park where. Blocking a driveway with huge blocks seems a bit of an overreaction.

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