Monthly Archives: October 2012

Naval & 11th work all part of the plan

The in basket: Gary Reed asked on the Road Warrior blog at, “What is happening at 11th and Naval (in Bremerton)? Shortly after the sewer work was paved over there seemed to be an odor in the area. Now I’m wondering if there was a leak in the pipework since it appears the area is being dug up.

“If there was a leak and it is being redone, who pays for that rework? I would hope we taxpayers are not footing the bill for repairing the poor workmanship.”

The out basket: No poor workmanship involved, says Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers, just a logistical decision to get 11th Street open to traffic as soon as possible..

“It was not the finish paving,” he said. “Sequencing the work for construction of the new main, keeping the existing main in service, and re-opening 11th to traffic as soon as possible required the contractor to re-open the intersection to make final connections.

“While new main was laid from Naval to Montgomery on 11th Street, a section of the line in Naval Avenue from 11th to 13th was reused by placing a cure-in-place pipe liner into it.  I believe this is the source of the odor your reader mentioned.

“The liner is saturated with an epoxy and pulled into place in the old main.  There it is filled with hot water to expand it and cause it to adhere to the existing pipe.  During this process, the new liner will emit a fiberglass-resin type of odor which is a bit stinky, but not dangerous.”


Work next to Kiwanis Park concerns readers

The in basket: Curtis Allen of Bremerton asks “What is happening on Fourth and Fifth streets? Will they be one-way streets?”

And Jim Hockstein writes, “I don’t recall voting (or even asking for) eliminating parking on Fourth and Fifth, nor that traffic barrier on Warren between Fifth and Burwell.

“Flower beds are nice, but the City of Bremerton needs all the parking there is on Fourth and Fifth.   I can see the logic for easing the traffic flow on Warren between Sixth and Burwell.”

The out basket: Fourth and Fifth will remain two-way streets when the work is completed, says Gunnar Fridriksson of the Bremerton city street engineers.

The work is part of the renovation of Kiwanis Park, which lies between the two streets. The work in the streets is creating what are called bulb-outs to slow traffic and give pedestrians a shorter distance to get to the other side of the street.

City Parks Director Wyn Birkenthal said many drivers use Fourth and Fifth to avoid using arterials Burwell and Sixth, which have traffic signals, creating safety problems.

There will be three pairs of bulb-outs across the street from one another on Fifth Street, at the intersections with crosswalks, and three on just the park side of Fourth Street. Around 40 back-in angle parking spaces will lie between the Fourth Street bulb-outs.

Gunnar said, “Overall, we are actually increasing the number of parking spots with the projects. We are introducing angled back-in parking along Fourth Street along the park.” Spaces on Fourth Stret will increase from 111 to 125.

“The bulb-outs at the intersections will not eliminate any parking, as with state law, vehicles are to not park within 30 feet of an intersection.  The mid-block bulb-outs will eliminate some parking, I believe about four spaces per block on both sides of the street,” he said.

Street projects don’t require a vote, of course. The tops of the various bulb-outs will be a mixture of hard caps and rain gardens with landscaping, Gunnar said. The ones on Warren Avenue will be hard surface.

Wyn filled me in on what the park will look like when the work is finished.

It will still have a soccer field on its high end, with improved irrigation. New restrooms have been built near where the old ones were demolished.

The lower level will be much different, with the decrepit tennis courts removed and no backstop for ball games. The children’s play area, formerly on the upper level, will be on the lower level about where the ball field used to be, with separate areas for pre-schoolers and those six to 12 years old. An open lawn area will occupy the center of the lower area. Drainage will be improved to keep the lower area playable.

There will be a picnic shelter and post and rail perimeter fencing in place of the “ratty chain link fencing” there before, Wyn said.

It will be “low impact development, to minimize runoff. The walking trial will be pervious asphalt.

The work will be comnplete by February, but the public will have to stay off the grass for an unknown length of time to let it establish itself, Wyn said.


Yellow flashing lefts not guaranteed at 11th and Warren

The in basket: As I pass by the work at 11th and Warren in Bremerton, where the intersection is undergoing major changes to provide more holding room for cars waiting at the lights at Warren, among other things, I had some questions.

Will replacement of the existing traffic signals allow the city to put yellow flashing left turn signals there, as it did when the current sewer replacement project provided money to do that on Sixth Street?

And will the center lane of eastbound 11th be changed to a left-turn and straight ahead lane, as was done at Sixth and Warren for the Manette Bridge replacement project, or will it remain with two left-onlys and the outside lane the only through lane?

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the city’s street engineers says yellow flashing left turn signals are a possibility at the revised intersection, but by no means a certainty.

“With the Crosstown Pipeline project, we were able to update all of the signal controllers on Sixth Street from Kitsap Way to Warren Avenue to be able to implement the flashing yellow as we needed to make the entire corridor more efficient for traffic,” he said.

“The signals along the Warren/Wheaton corridor are inter-tied from 11th Street to Riddell Road and are of an older controller that will not accommodate the yellow flashers. Putting yellow flashers at 11th and Warren would require removing the inter-tie with the other signals.” The inter-tie allows the signals to work together to move the most traffic

“There are a couple of options we are looking at, but no final decision has been made,” he said.

He also said no changes are planned as to where cars in the three eastbound lanes of 11th can go.

Details of Southworth ferry terminal work still six months away

The in basket: In July, there was a story in the Kitsap Sun that said Washington State Ferries had been granted $20.9 million to replace the Southworth ferry terminal.

The work is scheduled to begin in 2015 and continue into 2018. The article didn’t say if ferries could still land there during the work, or if the run would be closed for all that time.

I also wondered in the replanking of the vehicle holding area on the dock, done several years ago, would be preserved during the work.

The out basket: Joy Goldenberg, spokeswoman for the ferry system, replied to my inquiry, saying, “I spoke to our terminal engineering department and we are too early on in the planning efforts to answer your questions. When we identify our construction alternative, targeted for spring 2013, we will be able to answer these questions.”

So I guess we’ll have a couple of years to get ready for whatever will happen when the work starts in 2015.

Traffic changes at end of Manette bridge still not likely

The in basket: Ralph Gribben of East Bremerton says he’d like to see the stop signs removed at a couple of places at the east end of the new Manette Bridge, on Harkins at Pitt and on Pitt at East 11th, and a yield sign at Pitt and East 11th. It would smooth the flow of traffic going to and from the bridge, he felt.

He’s not the only one to suggest that, but in the past, city officials have said they want to see how traffic flows evolve with the opening of the new bridge before making any changes.

The out basket: They still are reluctant to make the changes suggested. Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers said, “We do not wish to make changes without

looking towards an overall traffic circulation study for Manette.

“Forthe citizens complaining about the stop signs, we have others that

appreciate them being there to slow vehicles down.  A common complaint

prior to the new traffic configuration was speeding on East. 11th from

motorists coming off of the old bridge.

“A line item is included in the

city budget for the study, but funding has not yet been identified,” he said.

Pilings at Manette bridge job worry boater

The in basket: Paul Kremer, my eye doctor, mentioned at a recent appointment that the steel pipe pilings put in place at the new Manette Bridge in Bremerton to keep the barges in place as their equipment removes the underwater portions of the  demolished former bridge should be lighted.

It’s hard for boaters to see them at night, he said, and he expects it to be worse with the lengthening nights and bad weather,

He also wondered when the removal of the bridge’s old pier footings will be completed.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker, spokesman for state highways in this area, says, “We placed the pilings outside of the designated navigational channel, and in a manner that meets all Coast Guard requirements for placement and maintenance.

“We plan to be done with the work in early November, which is a couple of weeks later than we had originally scheduled,” she said.

AutoSock is approved as chain substitute for passenger vehicles

The in basket: Jim Snyder of Indianola e-mailed me about this time two years ago, as winter closed in, with a question about AutoSocks, an alternative to chains described in a couple of e-mails he had received.

I had never heard of them, and haven’t seen any in use during our few snow episodes here since.

The e-mails included a link to a video of them in use, at It shows an elasticized fabric device that fits over the tire like a shower cap.

Jim wanted to know if they are legal here, so I asked.

The out basket: State Trooper Russ Winger of the local patrol office says, “Autosock is approved for use as an alternative traction tire device only for passenger vehicles in the state of Washington. It is not approved for use on commercial vehicles.  The list of approved alternative traction tire devices can be found on our Web site at


Bicyclists not allowed to share lanes with cars

The in basket: Deborah Moran e-mailed me in August, to say, “I have always been told/read that bicycles have the same rights and rules as cars. Today, as my husband and I were waiting to make a left turn from Highway 305 onto Bond Road in Poulsbo, a bicyclist passed a line of cars on the left and positioned himself in front of the first car in the turn lane. We all then had to pass him as we were making our turns. He did this again while we were waiting to make a left turn onto Viking.

“Now, if we did this in our car, we would be cited, I am sure, since cars are not allowed to drive between lanes and pass on the right. So, I am wondering, did this biker commit a traffic offense also? And if not, why not.

The out basket: We last addressed this question in late 2010 when a bicyclist asked if it could be done on Lindvig Way at Viking Way, just a short distance from where Deborah saw it. A Poulsbo city officer said then that the maneuver is illegal.

State Trooper Russ Winger agrees, saying,  “Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road that motor vehicles are subject to. They are, however,  allowed to travel on the shoulder portion on the right, and could, effectively pass stopped vehicles as the bike approaches the signal or stop sign. They cannot however, then just move off of the shoulder in front of a stopped vehicle.

“The bicyclists cannot pass on the left in the same manner, passing vehicles that are stopped and waiting to turn left or right – moving to the front of the pack so to speak.

“Bicyclists need to signal properly and obey proper traffic movement and signal devices. They do not have the ‘right of way’ by the simple fact of being a bicycle.

Bicyclists can ride two abreast, essentially sharing a lane with another bicyclist, in any lane accessible to cars, as motorcycles can, as well, Russ said. A bike is not allowed next to a motorcycle in a lane, though.

The full limitations and requirements are listed under RCWSs 46.61.750 through 46.61.790 if anyone is interested,” he added..


Signs to BI ferry could be more helpful

The in basket: Poulsbo City Councilman Ed Stern said in an e-mail, “I notice on Highway 3, the signs for the Bremerton ferry in the vicinity of Bremerton all read ‘Seattle Ferry’ – very helpful and illustrative, especially for our out-of-town travelers, of which we have more than a few, especially in the summer.

“However, when approaching the Poulsbo/Kingston exits on Highway 3, it reads instead ‘Bainbridge Ferry’ and not the more informative ‘Seattle Ferry’. I have to ask why?”

The out basket: I can’t say why, but Steve Bennett, traffic operations engineer for state highways here, says, “We can look at a sign redesign when the sign is up for replacement. We don’t want to spend the money now as the sign is relatively new and we have not had any other complaints.

“Also, we do have ‘Seattle Ferry’ signs on the beginning of Highway 305,” he said.

Yield signs on transit buses aren’t kidding

The in basket: As I noticed a flashing Yield sign on the back of a Kitsap Transit bus, it occurred to me that the requirement that drivers yield to buses pulling into traffic after discharging or picking up passengers would probably come as a surprise to most drivers.

The Yield signs on buses until now have not be lighted and most still aren’t.

I asked State Trooper Russ Winger if a person could actually be cited for failing to yield to a bus when no collision resulted from the action.

The out basket: Yes, Russ replied, “as with any moving infraction that can be issued for an actual collision, ‘almost’ causing a collision or causing another vehicle that has the right of way to take evasive action to avoid that collision is grounds for issuing a citation.”