Marine Drive lane markings demonstrate city problem

The in basket: Claudia Hunt writes, “The Kitsap Way and Marine Drive intersection is one I negotiate frequently. The lane markings have become obliterated so completely that twice in the recent past I’ve met someone turning left from Kitsap Way entering Marine Drive occupying the left turn lane I need to exit Marine Drive.

“In daylight hours, it’s possible to avoid collision but if it should happen at night the potential for an unhappy outcome increases,” she said.

The out basket: The missing lane markings are raised pavement markers, RPMs or “turtles,” rather than stripes. The entire two rows separating the turn lane from the northbound Marine Drive lane are gone, with the mastic that used to secure them still visible.

I often report that street departments restripe their streets, roads and highways each year, but that was before I noticed Bremerton has as many or more RPM lines as stripes.

I asked if they are all replaced annually, and what is planned for Marine Drive at Kitsap Way.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the Bremerton street engineers says where the city uses stripes, mostly for edge lines, they will be renewed shortly by Kitsap County paint crews under an agreement between the city and county.

“The city adopted RPMs for roadway delineation quite a few years ago,” he said. “This was done when we started looking at life-cycle costs for an annual painting program, or using RPMs that can easily last 7-10 years before needing replacement.

“Good example – the Manette Bridge.  The fog lines on the bridge need to be painted every year, but the centerline RPM’s are still there and in good shape. Or the Eastpark development and Schley Boulevard.  The City has not had to do any maintenance on either street since the RPM’s where installed several years ago.

“The main contributors to a shorter lifespan on the RPMs are snow plows and heavy traffic,.” Gunnar said. “Plows can literally scrape the RPMs right off of the pavement, which is why the city plows are equipped with a hard rubber edge rather than a straight steel blade.  And traffic, especially in a turning movement, can pop them up as well.

“In years past, we typically would go out with good weather and replace buttons about the same time as the county would go out and paint. The last few years have had us deferring maintenance, as the real issue here is resources.  We are trying to get caught up this year – same as getting the marked crosswalks freshened up a bit.” The street crew may already be replacing missing RPMs, he said.

Marine Drive’s missing RPMS at Kitsap Way are to be replaced this summer, he said

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