Truck Crossing signs along guard rail on Brownsville Highway raise questions

The in basket:  Matt Ryan of Brownsville writes, “On the old Brownsville Highway where former Highway 303, now Gluds Pond Road, teed, there are signs posted saying ‘Truck Crossing,’ but there are only guard rails. What’s going on? Is it possible for gravel trucks to cross where there are guard rails?
“I was hoping my request was being acted on to create a small break in the guard rail so that bicyclists heading toward Silverdale could save themselves close to a mile of pedaling,” Matt said. “One morning, a rider lifted his bike up in such a way I would have hit the bike had I not swerved into the northbound lanes.

“The shoulders along there are all but non-existent.  Routing west bound (bicycle) traffic up Gluds Pond Road would reduce bike traffic on the upgrade ending by Sipes Corner,” he said.
The out basket: No, the guard rail won’t be interrupted to let bicycles through, says Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works. That was considered when the county closed the access from Gluds Pond Road to Brownsville Highway a few years ago, and was rejected.

County Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea said, “We don’t like to break guardrail for any reason in front of a hazardous obstacle such as a steep slope.

“Guardrail is designed to guide an errant vehicle back onto the roadway.  When the guardrail is broken we lose a bit of that protection.

“When you provide access through a guardrail you end up with a blunt end of guardrail that has to be protected,” Jeff said. “We do that with expensive guardrail end treatments.  These end treatments don’t redirect vehicles, though. They simply take the brunt of a vehicle impact and can be pretty violent and cause a lot of damage to the vehicle.

“Another reason we don’t plan to break this guardrail is that Gluds Pond Road will not be maintained to current standards and may not be suitable for bicycle traffic and safety.,” Jeff said.

The “Truck Crossing” signs are traffic control for the regional storm water pond the county is constructing in that area.

The signs are mystifying for now, because there is no way for a truck to get through the guard rail on the west side of the highway to cross.

Though the county described the pond as being between Waaga Way (Highway 303) and Brownsville Highway in announcing it, some of the work will be on the east side of Brownsville Highway, Doug said. That’s where trucks will be coming and going, creating the need for the warning signs. Work on that side hasn’t begun, but the signs already are up.

I told him that “Trucks Entering and Leaving Roadway” would have been a more logical wording, but he said “Truck Crossing” is the wording that was approved.

“The message we are trying to convey with the truck signs is that motorists on Brownsville Road may see slow moving large trucks on the road, and should be cautious,” Jeff said.

Were I a bicyclist, I’d lift my bike over the railing and take the short cut Matt describes, but his experience serves as a warning to bikers as the way NOT to do that.

One thought on “Truck Crossing signs along guard rail on Brownsville Highway raise questions

  1. A good friend is grateful for the guardrails when he fell asleep at the wheel one evening after visiting his wife at M & M rehab center in Poulsbo and woke up against a guardrail keeping the car from going over.
    The car has an indentation all along the passenger side where the guardrail scraped as it kept the car on the road.
    He and family and friends are grateful for the design of the guardrail nd ll those responsible for putting them up where they need to be.

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