Has work on Bethel-Burley at Mullenix helped?February 11th, 2014 by travis baker
The in basket: Carol Dudley thinks the recent reworking of the intersection of Mullenix and Bethel-Burley rods in South Kitsap has made things worse.
“The problem,” she said, “was a dangerous left turn off of Mullenix onto Bethel-Burley or a left off of Bethel-Burley onto Mullenix.
“We had months and months of reconstructing the entire corner to add a turn lane on both Bethel-Burley and Mullenix and a free right turn lane on Mullenix. The road (was) built up to accommodate the new reconfiguration.
“While the increased lighting is a plus I feel no safer turning left off of Mullenix on to Bethel-Burley as I have to consider two lanes of traffic and a blind spot.
“As I sit on Mullenix waiting to turn left, the combination of the cars on my right pulling forward to turn right and blocking my view and then when there are more than two cars waiting to turn left onto Mullenix, I cannot see cars coming down the hill south doing about fifty miles per hour.
Add to that the common occurrence of a large truck coming out of Morrison Gravel and to be safe you can wait a long time to be sure you see everything.
“In my view, the Bethel-Burley intersection prior to this fix felt safer and a blinking light would have added caution to the situation.
The out basket: I grew up about a hundred yards from this intersection, and was amazed at the amount of traffic there as I watched it one Monday afternoon, It’s certainly not the quiet little corner I remember.
Jeff Shea, Kitsap County’s traffic engineer, says, “The driving force for the project was the number of rear-end collisions that occurred for southbound traffic turning left onto Mullenix.
“The left turn lane was designed and built to get turning traffic out of the way of through traffic on Bethel-Burley. A flashing beacon would not have been a good fix for this particular situation. It isn’t a matter of knowing that the intersection is there, but that traffic has stopped at the intersection to make the turn.
“The added left turn lane on Mullenix addresses capacity for those waiting to turn southbound onto Bethel-Burley. We understand the dilemma of seeing around cars adjacent to you, but there isn’t a good engineering fix for this situation. Adjusting the stop line on the lanes won’t improve the sight lines.
“We recommend that motorists make the turning movement when the gap between vehicles on Bethel-Burley ensures it is safe to pull out,” Jeff said.