New Silverdale signal on Ridgetop has a skeptic

The in basket: Jerry Van Fossen has his doubts about Kitsap County plans to put a stop signal at the off-ramp from southbound Highway 303 at Ridgetop Boulevard in Silverdale.

“That red light is going to create additional havoc for those heading west,” he predicts. “They will have four lights within a quarter mile.

“The  only problem is rush hours. Just forbid left turns from 3 to 6 p.m.,” he proposes.”What you will do there is back up traffic heading west.”

Eastbound traffic out of Silverdale greatly outnumbers left turn traffic at that off-ramp, he said.

Jerry’s may be a lone voice objecting to the traffic light, a project the county took out of the state’s hands in order, they expect, to lessen one bottleneck on a route likely to get a lot more use next year when they widen Bucklin Hill Road.

A signal at that on-ramp is one of the most common requests made to the Road Warrior column, and I would expect a no-left-turn limitation there in the afternoons to be wildly unpopular with those who use that off-ramp in the afternoons. There are no convenient alternate routes, especially for those who had come south on Highway 3.

I asked county Public Works about Jerry’s concerns.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer says, “Currently the delays and the safety issues related to the Highway 303 southbound offramp clearly justify a signal on the west side on/off ramps.

“The new signals will be interconnected with a fiber optics line to the Myhre signal.  We hope to  eventually connect Hillsboro also.

“I can’t give you a date on when that might happen – (it’s a) budget and manpower issue.

“The new signal will be under the control of the state.  (It) has many highway ramps with signalized intersections on both ramp terminals, including the SR 303/Silverdale ramps.  They have the trained personnel to make the signal timing coordination as facilitating as possible, and they are willing to work with us on signal coordinations.  “I can’t make the claim that this won’t impact the other delays, but they should be minimal if at all.

“We have received a request to look at extending the right turn lane for westbound traffic on the eastside of SR 303.  This would shorten the queues by allowing more motorists to reach that turn lane without getting delayed in the through-lane queue.

“The project is currently being evaluated in our Transportation Improvement Program.”




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