Monthly Archives: August 2012

Were July 28 Rich Passage 1 ferry runs a joy ride?

The in basket: Randy Fox e-mailed to say he’d seen the experimental fast ferry Rich Passage 1 out for what looked to him like a joy ride on July 28.

“The family and I went out on our boat to the Waterman area to go crabbing and some bottom fishing…following behind the ‘Rich Pass 1,’ thinking that it was going to keep going through Rich Pass and out to the Sound area.

“Instead it stopped, turned to face and wait for the Seattle/ Bremerton ferry to pass by. Then the Rich Pass 1 followed behind it passing us at high speeds, making big wakes.

“About five minutes passed and you hear it coming back our way again. We thought that was strange, so we paid close attention to the boat. Didn’t see any passengers in the lower part of the boat. So we thought maybe it was training.

“I only noticed one silhouette at the controls and no one else in the pilot house. and this went on for about six hours. And that size of boat, the fuel cost isn’t cheap.

“I thought Kitsap Transit was having trouble with funding to fix the Admiral Pete when it was lengthened.
“Why did we see Rich Pass 1 out wasting fuel?”

The out basket: Kitsap Transit’s Executive Director John Clauson says, “Any activity with the Rich Passage 1 (RP1) outside of the scheduled runs to and from Seattle is still part of the wake research project being conducted by Golder Associates.

“Because the load varies with the scheduled runs, other testing must be done in a very controlled setting with added weight to simulate passenger loads.  Because of the time needed to load and offload the measured ballast, we are unable to complete this work between the morning and afternoon runs; thus the need to have two weekends for additional wake acceptance testing.

He sent a schedule of testing that showed most testing in the interim between morning and afternoon weekday commuter runs, but half-load wake testing ballasted with water bladders the weekend Randy saw it.

“During the week of August 6, they will do light-load conditions between the commute periods,” he said.

“Regarding the single person in the pilot house; because we are not carrying passengers onboard, we only need two people to operate during these additional test runs.  In addition, the testing schedule is on top of the regular service schedule, which in itself has stretched the already limited crew resources; so again, only a skipper and one crew member is used.

“Lastly,” John said, “these additional test runs fall into the wake testing project, so they are covered under the federal grant funding, the same as the regular service runs.”


Ya gotta signal that turn, even in a turn lane

The in basket: Glen Ring of Poulsbo says he and his wife have a minor dispute going over whether a driver has to activate his turn signal when in a left-turn lane. He contended that it’s not required because you have no option but to turn, and she disagreed.

The out basket: Yes, the law requires a signal in a turn lane, even though it’s clear what you plan to do. RCW 46.61.305 says “no person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided.”   It further says, “A signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.”

State Trooper Russ Winger says, “There are several different situations that a motorist  encounters when using a left turn lane. For example, the intersection of Burwell and Callow Avenue (in Bremerton). This is a signal-controlled two-way left turn lane where the right lane can turn left, go straight or turn right. The left lane has no other option than to turn left. You certainly need to be signaling your intent here so motorists to the rear are aware of your intent. A motorist that has driven up from the rear on another vehicle in this right lane needs to know the leading vehicle’s intent.

“Another situation occurs when a vehicle is in the left-turn lane of a controlled intersection utilizing flashing yellow turn arrows. This motorist needs to signal his intent to oncoming motorists that may have the right of way, even though this vehicle has ‘no option’ but to turn left – legally speaking.

“Failing to signal or failing to properly signal are accident- causing and -contributing violations” Russ continued. “Law enforcement can and does stop for these violations on a regular basis. “For the most part officers will use this as an educational situation and not issue a citation unless there is a pattern of continued violation of the law and/or the driver exhibits lack of regard for the merits of using turn indicators.

“Many a DUI or unlicensed driver has found themselves in a jail cell or with a criminal ticket in hand after getting stopped for failing to or improperly signaling  turns and lane changes.

“The bottom line is that motorists should always signal turns and any lane changes (including exiting and merging) to freeways. Not just because it’s required by law but because it decreases the potential for collisions and makes driving much safer for all motorists.”

Watch for highway paving here over the next month

The in basket: Orange “Road Work Ahead” and “End of Road Work”  signs have sprouted on Highway 3 between Gorst and Highway 304 at Bremerton, and from Silverdale north, and around the Tremont/Old Clifton Road interchange on Highway 16.

I asked what will be done.

The out basket: Project Engineer Mary Lou Nebergall said drivers have been encountering nighttime lane closures in those areas this week, in preparation for repaving to begin Monday.

The westbound ramps at Tremont will be repaved, and the outside lane of Highway 16 from there to Gorst also will be.

All of Gorst will be repaved, and all four lanes between Gorst and Highway 304 will get new asphalt as well.

Two years ago, the outside northbound lane of Highway 3 from 304 to almost Anderson Hill Road in Silverdale was repaved. That work will resume in the outside lane from just south of Anderson Hill Road to the recently rebuilt 3-303 interchange, then pick back up around Trigger Avenue and continue to the Highway 308 interchange.

The state is doing more paving of just the outside lanes of  multi-lane highways to make the paving dollars go farther, Mary Lou said. Those lanes take more of a beating because that’s where large trucks must drive.

All work requiring closure of a lane will occur at night Mondays through Thursdays, she said. It will take more than a month before it’s all done, as the paving crews begin at Tremont and work their way north.