The in basket: Internet user jdubbya38 asked on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com if I’d addressed the reason the city of Bremerton eliminated the second of the two lanes from which a driver was permitted to make a right turn from southbound Warren Avenue to westbound 11th Street.
Then Lee and Lorna Crawford and Lorna’s sister, Linda Verbon, all told me their car tires had hit something on the curb as they made that right turn from the outside lane since the city revised the intersection. They initially hadn’t noticed the arc of RPMs (raised pavement markers or “turtles”) there that encourages drivers to swing out wide, and after seeing them, they said almost everyone making the turn cuts inside them.
While I was at it, I asked the reason for eliminating the dedicated right turn lane from westbound 11th to northbound Warren at the same intersection.
The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers says of the turtles in the right turn, “We actually have a similar marking out on SR 304 eastbound right by First Street. We initially had complaints about motorists hitting the curb there, so used RPMs to highlight/encourage them bumping out a bit from the curb.
“At 11th and Warren, we needed to contour the concrete panel right against the curb for storm drainage. The contour is much more evident in a smaller vehicle than a truck, especially right at the curb. It is not very noticeable a few feet out, so we used RPM’s again to highlight/encourage swinging the corner a little wider.
“The reason for the double-right turn lane southbound from Warren to 11th (in the first place) was the short length of the turn lane that was here previously. With the new turn lane being over twice the length, we did not need the second lane anymore as the new right turn lane has the capacity needed.”
As for the eliminated right turn lane from westbound 11th to Warren, “We found that larger vehicles, particularly transit and school buses, were having problems making the corner without either driving over the new ADA ramps and sidewalk or swinging wide across multiple lanes.
“It was decided to eliminate the right-turn lane and move the lane further from the curb to give the larger vehicles additional space to make the movement.”