Darkness shrouds new Warren Avenue barriers

The in basket: Dale Gilchrist tells me that he was driving on Warren Avenue in Bremerton one night recently when he nearly hit a pedestrian crossing Warren through the median barrier the city built there between Burwell and Sixth streets.

The walker was dressed in dark clothes and there is very little street lighting there, Dale said. It’s very dark.

I made it a point to go there while it was dark, and I saw what Dale meant. There may be only one street light along that stretch of Warren. I asked the city street engineers if more are planned.

A few weeks earlier, I came to wonder when a driver must stop for a pedestrian crossing at those barriers, day or night.

Where there is no barrier, a driver must stop when a pedestrian is within one lane of his own. So on a three-lane street with a center turn lane, the driver must stop when a pedestrian enters the turn lane. If the walker is proceeding away from the driver’s lane, the car must not proceed until the person has stepped out of the turn lane.

I asked Bremerton police Lt. Pete Fisher if the barrier was equivalent to a center turn lane for purposes of deciding when a driver must stop

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers says a recent city traffic study showed little nighttime accident history on Warren at that point.

“The accidents were primarily daytime – very few nighttime accidents,” he said. “I think there were four total for the report period in our traffic study – all vehicle accidents.

“So street lighting was not part of the design effort with the latest improvement. That being said, one issue we have been trying to get resources for is to look at overall street lighting levels citywide to prioritize where we need to be making adjustments. It is on our to-do list, just as we have time to get to it.”

As for my question to Pete Fisher, he said the center island should be treated as a curb, requiring a driver to stop when a pedestrian is standing there, waiting to enter the crosswalk.

One thought on “Darkness shrouds new Warren Avenue barriers

  1. So basically instead of preventing possible accidents in that area they are going to “wait” until more people get hurt or in accidents before doing anything??? Preventive strategies are WAY better than reactive strategies.

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