Tricky crosswalk question at Manette Bridge

The in basket: Katherine Adams describes a conflict she had with a driver while she was on foot trying to cross the south end of the Manette Bridge.

It’s one of those locations where the crosswalk is in two segments, one shorter than the other, with an island between them. At this location, the short segment crosses a right turn lane and the longer one crosses the other two lanes, which must turn left.

“Today,” Katherine said on June 26, “as I stepped out on the north side of the crosswalk to the island, a car did not see me. The car was turning right off the Manette Bridge. I pulled back.

“The driver said to watch what I was doing, they had the right away with the light. I know they have a yield sign after the crosswalk and I don’t know of a light that refers to the right-turn lane. Possibly a crosswalk sign before the crosswalk for the right turn lane would be helpful. The driver was upset and so was I.”

The out basket: I had to study this spot for a few minutes before concluding that the driver was in the wrong.

The two green lights are arrow lights pointing left. There is no signal for right turners, so the Yield sign on the sidewalk controls the right turn.

As with any crosswalk without a signal controlling traffic, a driver is beholden to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk or poised to enter it. Had the driver hit Ms. Adams, he would have been at fault.

One could argue that the red “don’t walk” hand icon that displays across the intersection when the lights are green for left turns onto Washington Avenue means Ms. Adams should not have stepped out. But the button that allows those walking south to ask for a ‘Walk’ sign is on the island. One has to cross in the short stub of the crosswalk to reach it. So that signal doesn’t control the stub crosswalk any more than the green left turn arrows control the right turn.

I ran this past Lt. Pete Fisher of Bremerton police and Gunnar Fridriksson of the city public works engineers and both agreed with me.

 

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