The in basket: Two commenters on a past Road Warrior column, first names Kari and Robin, have made observations about changes at the 11th Street and Warren Avenue intersection, which has just undergone a substantial renovation.
Keri wonders about what he thinks are longer waits for the signals to change to green and Robin noticed something I hadn’t, that the dedicated right-turn-only lane from westbound 11th to northbound Warren no longer exists
“I commute through this intersection daily during the week,
eastbound,” Kari said. “It seems that the lights for north-south
traffic stay green, even when there’s no traffic. Just last Monday,
at about 6 a.m., I timed the lights as staying green for 30 seconds
without a single car going through the intersection, either north-
or southbound. It used to be that the lights would change much
quicker when no traffic was detected.
“I’ve learned that if I don’t catch the left turn onto northbound Warren,” he said, ” but the light is still green to go straight, it is much faster for me to go through the light and turn on Park Avenue (even if I have to wait for the turn signal there, as the lights cycle faster) and then back to Warren at 17th, than it is to wait for the lights to cycle back to a green left turn.”
“Aren’t there traffic detectors on the light poles now? ” he asked.
Robin said he asked Chal Martin, city public works director, about removal of that turn lane, and “he told me it was to better line up the lanes.
“I went on the record as being unhappy about losing the right turn lane and mentioned that the lanes lined up fine for my last 50 years in Bremerton,” Robin said.
The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the city of Bremerton street engineers had told me a couple of months ago that most of the movements at that intersection would operate on timer during its paving, which required destroying most of the in-pavement wire detectors, called “loops.” Keri’s complaint sounded to me like a residue of that.
But no, Gunnar says, “The signal there was never put on a time setting, we went directly from using the in-ground loops to the radar detection.
“There have been two changes here with the signal coordination package that we are currently working to adjust,” Gunnar said, “timing and coordination with the new signal on Warren at 13th Street and tying in coordination with the signals at Burwell and Sixth Street to the rest of the corridor.
“Our eventual goal will be to have the signals from Burwell all the way up to Riddell Road (synchronized),” he said. “We do have adjustments to make and that will be continuing for the next several weeks, as the (electronics) shop schedules this work in with regular maintenance, emergency call-outs, etc.”
And yes, the new radar traffic detectors are mounted on the poles at the 11th and Warren intersection.
As for the missing right turn lane, he said, it was deleted “to provide a five-foot shoulder area. This will make it easier for buses and trucks to turn northbound onto Warren, along with helping line the lanes up a little better through the intersection.
“If you get a chance to go out and take a look, you will see quite a few tire marks going across the new ADA ramps (for the disabled) and sidewalk at this corner. It is a fairly tight corner and a tough one to make for larger vehicles with the lane adjacent to the sidewalk.”
Gunnar also noted that the most recent traffic counts done for 11th Street’s three westbound lanes, while dated, showed that of the 5,700 vehicles counted, only 1,800 turned right.
The red light enforcement camera watching westbound traffic is still there and functioning as before, he said.