The in basket: Charles Malley and Sharon Jackson are the latest readers to complain about the number of drivers coming out of the new Winco store in Bremerton on what used to be the end of Arsenal Way who drive straight across to Shorewood Drive, even though signage on that side of the Kitsap Way intends to forbid that movement.
Sharon says sometimes drivers coming straight across hold up would-be left turners, occasionally leaving not enough time for all those waiting to make the turn. It’s also an accident hazard, she said.
“I have never seen anyone ticketed, or even stopped for this infraction,” she said, “and I’ve wondered why. I think it’s possible that when their light turns green, people coming directly across think they can do so legally, despite the right turn only.”
Charles said, “People who live in the Shorewood Drive area are
likely to know how this turn is marked.
“There will eventually be an accident when someone turns left from Shorewood onto Kitsap Way and someone else goes straight through the intersection from Winco. So who will get a ticket, the person turning left for failing to yield or the person going straight?”
The out basket: Lt. Pete Fisher of Bremerton police says the driver who proceeds straight would be cited in the collision Charles describes. He also said, “I have also sent this e-mail to our motor officer. Due to the configuration of the intersection, it is extremely difficult to set up enforcement in a car at that location.” He didn’t elaborate.
I spent about 15 minutes this week watching the intersection. Only three vehicles came out of Winco on that street during that time, but one, a black Lincoln SUV, did come straight across. There was no conflict with a left turner for that driver, and no cars were left waiting to turn out of Shorewood when the light changed.
But it WAS at 2 in the afternoon. Other times might be worse, though I wouldn’t expect a lot of rush hour traffic out of Shorewood and Madrona Point. The wait on Shorewood after the light turned red was a minute and 45 seconds.
I then crossed Kitsap Way to see what signs drivers coming out of Winco see. There are two signs saying only right turns can be made from the right lane, and a no-left-turn sign on the cross-arm for the traffic signal. But nothing about not pulling straight across.
The center lane, from which straight-ahead traffic normally would cross, has several yellow raised pavement markers (turtles, colloquially) creating cross-hatching on the pavement, which makes driving there illegal.
But it seems that some inexperienced drivers might not get the intended message from those pavement markings and use the lane to go straight. Probably most of the violators simply say “Screw it!” I won’t get caught.” But I wonder if more definitive signing banning straight ahead travel would reduce the problem.