Converse still a scary place on Sedgwick RoadMarch 7th, 2013 by travis baker
The in basket: Julie Dawson of South Kitsap thinks the intersection of Sedgwick Road and Converse Avenue needs further work, beyond the realignment the state did a couple of years ago.
“I think I’ve heard that the Bethel/Sedgwick intersection is the busiest in Port Orchard, and it makes sense as Sedgwick carries traffic to and from Highway 16, the Southworth ferry, Fred Meyer and nearby shops, a number of residential developments, and Hidden Creek School, so there are lots of children walking and on bikes.
“Which is why there needs to be a roundabout at the very least at the Sedgwick/Converse intersection,” she said. “There is nothing to create gaps in the long lines of traffic that come from both directions, with lights on Sedgwick at Bethel and then on Jackson, a mile down.
“There is at least a center turn lane on Sedgwick which allows desperate drivers to make dangerous dashes from Converse into the middle lane to wait if there was a gap in one direction. But add late afternoon traffic, school buses, and pedestrians (especially after school), and a turn from Converse in either direction at that intersection can easily take four to six minutes at peak times.
“I live off of Converse,” Julie said, “and drive it frequently, so I’ve timed it plenty and watched some scary maneuvers by frustrated drivers. I will drive an extra half-mile just to avoid it at peak times, since it’s actually faster to drive further. “I’m frankly surprised there hasn’t been more uproar from the bus drivers since they endure more than anyone as they navigate that intersection multiple times daily and they see how dangerous it is,” she said.
The out basket: Kelly Stowe of the Olympic Region public affairs staff said she asked around and found no hint of a further project at Sedgwick and Converse on the drawing boards.
That’s not surprising given the money spent on a major safety project on Sedgwick between Highway 16 and Phillips Road so recently, which included lining up the two sides of Converse so the intersection isn’t further complicated by the former offset.
I told Julie enlisting the school district in campaigning for a further improvement there might help.