First Street crosswalk hard to seeOctober 25th, 2013 by travis baker
The in basket: John Jurgens writes, “Can you look into the crosswalk on the north end of the Gateway right near the Chinese restaurant (at First Street and Highway 304 in Bremerton)?
“I drive a worker-driver bus in every work day and coming from the south is a challenge in bad weather,” John said. “The road sweeps a bit to the left just before the crosswalk so we don’t have a clear view of anyone crossing to the east until we are almost at the crosswalk. This morning someone was trying to cross west and I almost did not see her.
“Is there any way the city could install some sort of crossing signal to warn drivers coming from the south that someone is waiting to cross?”
He also suggests a change to discourage left turns onto First Street at the intersection, which requires driving into oncoming northbound traffic lanes briefly.
“While it is not an issue now because the Montgomery Gate (to the shipyard) is closed, I have seen cars and even a tractor-trailer sitting in the median area southbound waiting to turn left onto First Street. If the median was just a bit longer or even squared off, it might discourage these left turns.
The out basket: There is a plan completed for addressing those issues, created in 2007 and called the Non-Motorized Plan, providing improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians.
It calls for what’s called a “half-signal” that pedestrians and bicyclists can activate to stop traffic on the arterial highway long enough for them to cross. There would be no signal for First Street traffic, which can’t cross there anyway.
Seattle has a bunch of them and has a description of them you can access by asking Google for “half-signal.”
As for the median barrier, the plan calls for two new gaps in it for bikes to cross the highway, but makes no mention of lengthening it to discourage risky left turns.
But since there is no funding for the plan’s recommended changes at present, there is time for those who would like to see it done to campaign for its being added to the project, if and when it’s done.