Flashing stop sign deployed at CK intersection

The in basket: Paul Werner of Central Kitsap told me in a phone call that stop signs with flashing lights had turned up at on Fairgrounds Road where it crosses Old Military Road.

I had seen those solar powered signs at a trade show at Sea-Tac last winter and the county said afterward that they might use them, but were noncommittal.

I asked the county about their first use here (other than one on the Bangor Navy base) and whether we’ll be seeing more of them.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer replied, “We have, in fact, installed a solar-powered flashing light stop sign on the two legs of Fairgrounds Road at Old Military Road. “This intersection was being considered for an overhead flashing beacon due to its collision history.  We are evaluating the effectiveness of these flashing stop signs in lieu of the overhead beacon.

“The flashing sign is less expensive (approximately $1,600 each for the signs versus about $10,000 plus ongoing electricity costs) and installation is significantly easier than the overhead beacon.

The signs will flash continuously as long as the solar power keeps them going. Jeff said a version activated by an approaching vehicle exists but is more expensive. They’ll know more about how the solar power will do in the dark of winter after it goes through one. The location of Fairgrounds Road has pretty good exposure to the sun, he said. If the signs stop flashing, they’ll still be stop signs.

“We are not currently looking to install these signs at any other location,” Jeff said. “The proximity to residential housing was another consideration. In residential areas, flashing lights can be annoying to homeowners near the intersection.  This location doesn’t have homes near it.”


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