Height of new Silverdale roundabout middle is no accident

The in basket: Retired educator Dick Barich is the second person to contact me with the opinion that the “Welcome to Silverdale” monument in the middle of the new Silverdale roundabout at the base of Newberry Hill Road is too high.

It obscures the view of oncoming traffic already in the roundabout, he said, and unnecessarily reduces the reaction time for a driver approaching on Newberry Hill to decide whether to pull into the roundabout, he said.

The out basket: I had a feeling the county had considered this in the design of the roundabout, and it didn’t take long before Tina Nelson, Kitsap County engineering’s senior project manager, provided me with the rationale.

“A raised center island is a preferable feature in a roundabout,” Tina said. “This is so that drivers entering a roundabout are not focused on, or distracted by, cars opposite the roundabout which should not be a concern.

“The goal is to have the driver’s focus on pedestrians and the vehicles within the roundabout that they would have a conflict with. It is actually recommended that the sight distance for entering the roundabout be kept at the minimum required, again with a focus on getting drivers to slow down.

“The wall also provides a visual cue to drivers that they are approaching a non-standard intersection, as well as a break in headlight glare of oncoming vehicles,” Tina said.

She provided an online link to the state Department of Transportation’s design manual for roundabouts,

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/publications/manuals/fulltext/M22-01/1320.pdf, pages 1320-40, which will tell you a lot more about them than you ever wondered about. Or, she said, Google “roundabouts” and you’ll get even more.

6 thoughts on “Height of new Silverdale roundabout middle is no accident

  1. “I was told that this round about cost a total of 15 million dollars, was that correct information Travis?”

    I’m sure that’s what it would cost in Bremerton. But more depressingly, Google and BA shows us in 5 seconds how badly Bremerton is screwed up.

  2. The height of the center island is irrelevant when the majority of incompetent Silverdale drivers won’t enter the circle without coming to a complete stop first, regardless of traffic. We could have saved a pile of $$$ by just putting up the four (ok three) way stop it has become.

  3. Left. Left! LEFT! People should be looking at what’s coming at them on the roundabout from the left. (And use those turn signals.)

  4. “A raised center island is a preferable feature in a roundabout,” Tina said. “This is so that drivers entering a roundabout are not focused on, or distracted by, cars opposite the roundabout which should not be a concern.”

    What a change in WSDOT philosophy… About 7 years ago, Port Orchard Rotary wanted to construct a 9/11 memorial in the center of Bethel Avenue Roundabout, and were told we couldn’t because WSDOT wouldn’t approve anything higher than 6 inches because it would restrict visibility.

    Go figure…

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