Opticom misuse alleged by readers

The in basket: Mention in the recent Road Warrior column about Kitsap Transit policy that its drivers aren’t the use the Opticom emitter system to change traffic signals to green as they approach unless they are behind schedule brought two similar comments.

Jane Rebelowski said, “The buses use it when leaving the transfer station off of Wheaton Way. How could they possibly be late if I just saw them sitting in the parking lot for 10 minutes?”

And Colleen Smidt wrote, “There must be a heck of a lot of buses behind schedule as they are entering and leaving the transfer complex on Auto Center Way. It is easy to watch all of this play out as I am sitting in the backup at the exit light at the end of the southbound ramp trying to make a left onto Kitsap Way around 4:50 in the afternoon.

“Several times a month the backup from the lights being out of rotation from the buses has traffic backed up onto the shoulder of the highway, making for very unsafe traffic conditions.

I asked Transit management to explain.

The out basket: Transit Executive Director John Clauson replies, “I do not have a reason why nor, until now, was I aware that this was going on with the regularity your reader suggests. Have you heard of this problem at this intersection, at this time of day from many others?

“I know that when a person has to travel each day in what is considered heavy traffic, any delay feels like hours and becomes a major concern. I’m sure your reader wonders if it is really needed or fair.

“I will have folks look into what is going on here and deal with it as needed,” John said.

Those wanting to answer John’s question about others seeing this, you can go online at kitsapsun.com and comment at the bottom of this column on the Road Warrior blog.

6 thoughts on “Opticom misuse alleged by readers

  1. “….John Clauson replies, “I do not have a reason why nor, until now, was I aware that this was going on with the regularity your reader suggests. Have you heard of this problem at this intersection, at this time of day from many others?”

    This calls for a Road Warrior Mobile Video Survey .

    For the people in these traffic jams with windshield, or dash mount adapters for your Smartphones. When you’re stuck in the area traffic in question, please hit the RECORD BUTTON .

    Videos can be sent via Facebook, up to about 5MB. Larger and longer videos of the traffic mess will need to be uploaded to YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, etc, and send the links to Travis. Try to use WiFi, because cellular data isn’t cheap.

    I recall that Mr. Clauson drives an electric car, and stated the electric car saved him money, when he was stuck in stalled traffic. I find it hard to believe that he was not “aware” of this traffic problem.

  2. Thanks Travis. I will be reaching out to Mr. Clauson to discuss my concerns and observations further with him. I have been kicking around this issue as an upcoming column idea for sometime and now seems to be the perfect opportunity to let it roll.

  3. There was a significant accident in this same area of Kitsap Way/Winco yesterday afternoon during commute hours. My question would be, did the sequence of the lights in this area have any direct or indirect impact on the cause of the accident? I understand a trailered boat was involved.

  4. Too bad we can’t just get rid of the busses. We need to get them off the road so that we who drive our own personal cars will have the whole road.
    We’re busy and in a hurry. Get out of the way! We don’t have an extra minute to wait for a single mother to get to work on time. Or a young boy’s mother trying to get him to the dentist and they just missed their bus connection. It is raining and windy and cold and they have to stop at the grocery store between busses on the way home.
    Every person who complains about being delayed by bus drivers using Opticom should have to spend a week getting where they need to go by bus. And if you think that’s not so bad – try being the bus driver for a week.
    Now let’s get rid of those UPS trucks that park in the middle of the road.

  5. Passenger vehicle drivers waiting a few extra minutes has nothing to do with it Vivian. A less than clear or precise policy that appears to be creating unsafe traffic conditions or possibly being misused is the issue whether it is Kitsap Transit or UPS.

    I have reached out to Mr. Clausen directly and am awaiting him to contact me back. Feel free to take your complaints directly to the UPS Corporate office.

  6. In response to the recent “Opticom” column I was a Kitsap County Fire Commissioner when John Clauson came to a Fire Commissioner meeting (It must be around 30 years ago) at the Navy Yard station. Mr. Clauson explained how Kitsap Transit would like to have our endorsement for the buses to have use of the Opticom System to change the traffic lights for the “Express” buses only. This is not how the system is used now. Any stop light is fair game. Take the Opticom system away from Kitsap Transit. It is being abused. Ensure that the police have the use as do the fire departments.

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