The in basket: I noticed that the new traffic signal at 13th and Warren in Bremerton has traffic detection wires (called “loops”) cut into the asphalt on Warren, even though left turns are forbidden by signs suspended over the intersection there and right turns don’t require a green light.
Having noticed that, I looked at Warren’s pavement just up the street at 16th Street, the entrance to Olympic College. It also has wires to detect southbound traffic, even though the only signal-controlled turn permitted there southbound was eliminated when right turns were given a Yield sign.
I asked what good the detectors do.
The out basket: Gunnar Fridricksson of the city street engineers says, “At 13th Street, the loops are functioning and being used now for vehicle
detection on Warren. Even though left-hand turns on Warren are prohibited, the signal system still needs to know where the demand is.
“Same story at 16th Street – except for the southbound right turn lane,” he said. “That
loop is still there, but I believe has been disconnected in the cabinet, as the Yield sign controls the lane.”
Without the loops, the signal would detect constant traffic on Warren, he said, just as it does when one of the in-pavement detectors fails. It won’t change as needed.