Drivers on 303 off-ramp still stopping unnecessarily

The in basket: Peggy Griffel writes about the southbound Highway 303 off-ramp at Ridgetop Boulevard in Silvelrdale, “Now that the traffic light is finally complete at this intersection, they still haven’t fixed the problem that drives me crazy every morning as I drive to work at Harrison Silverdale from Poulsbo.

“There is still no signage that tells the right hand lane not to stop.  Every morning I come close to witnessing an accident as someone is stopped in that lane either waiting to get over in the other lane to make a left hand turn or they simply don’t know that they have their own lane after turning.

“What would be the harm in signage that those in right hand lane do not stop and need to stay in lane?” she asked.

The out basket: This must be more of an annoyance or safety problem that you’d think, as often as I hear complaints about it.

I asked if there is an approved sign that would convey the message, something like, “Right Turners Don’t Have to Stop,” though I can’t recall seeing a sign like that anywhere else.

Doug Adamson of the Olympic Region public affairs office for state highways says a small change is coming, but I don’t see how it will convey the message Peggy wants conveyed.

“To encourage right-turning drivers not to stop, (state) sign crews will relocate an existing sign showing that drivers turning right are not required to stop,” Doug said. “At this time, there are no other changes planned for the highway exit in this area.”

That sign, he said, is a yellow diamond-shaped sign with two arrows angling right, one with a crook in it. It’s more puzzling than instructive, to my eye.

7 thoughts on “Drivers on 303 off-ramp still stopping unnecessarily

  1. The real problem with that corner not only exists with drivers so used to stopping there because they have always thought they had to stop. The real problem is those making that corner want to jump across to that side road to make a left turn. Not sure of the name of that road. If the DOT was to put a small barrier directing traffic to make the turn and continue on down Ridgetop and the direst or let drivers figure out that they have to go to the light and turn right to make that left turn up that side street, then there would not be any stoppage and that corner. Even though there are signs on that corner directing traffic what to do, people do not pay any attention to them. So until there is a change to that corner, most drivers are still going to stop. Either to keep going down Ridgetop or to make that illegal left turn because they drive over the solid white line to get to that side road. You put a barrier there and it will only take one time of jumping across and when they figure out they cant get over it, they will never do it again.

  2. I don’t think that street is the real problem. I have been behind “stoppers” many times. When they DO finally get going, they most often go to the light, and not all of them turn; they just keep going. The sign there is quite adequate. It’s just that people ignore it. Of course, if there is a rear-ender as a result, guess whose fault it is? Not the guy who stopped in the middle of the road.

  3. This comes as no surprise to me at all. There’s a nice wide white line painted on the road that tells you your lane is clear to keep driving, because that line means don’t drive accross it, but nobody here in Kitsap seems to know that, as was evidenced when the same type of line was painted on Mhyre where everyone turned left to go to Costco, but everyone just drove right over the line and barriers had to placed there as well. Same goes for driving west on Waaga Way towards Ridgetop, where the same wide white line is there because of a lane merging from the right onto Waaga, but everyone speeds up and drives right over the wide white line to get to Ridgetop.
    All the new traffic light has done is back up more cars driving west from the top of Ridgetop. Another waste of time and money by the WSDOT, whose employees act like they never drive the roads that they make these socalled “improvements” to.

  4. Driving across a white line is not illegal if you are entering another legal driving lane, which is the case in the locations Steven cites. Of course you have to signal and yield.
    Crossing a white line is illegal when it takes you into a non-driving area, such as the shoulder or the gore area that separates freeway ramps from the highway.
    Road Warrior

  5. With Harrison Hospital moving most functions to the Silverdale Campus, a new exit off eastbound 303 is necessary. This exit should be located about where the “Ridgetop exit 1/4 mile” sign is now, and connect to Myhre either at the stoplight for Lowe’s or along the eastside of the Doctor’s Clinic building. DO THIS NOW – before the massive jams from the Bucklin Hill bridge project close the road for a year or more. If traffic studies indicate Myhre should be one-way southbound from the Lowe’s stoplight to the Ridgetop intersection, it will improve traffic exiting from the Costco area. The new exit would alleviate the “offramp still stopping unnecessarily” problem and save the fuel used to climb to the existing Ridgetop exit.

  6. Ok thanks for clearing the up about the white line. I always figured that a driver was not supposed to cross over it since they put it right there. But I guess the line supposed to be more like a guide for drivers to follow. Drivers are still going to come to a complete stop right there at that corner because either they are waiting for traffic to become completely clear just to go down the hill or to jump across the street to turn left on the side street. But you know I have seen drivers cross over that white line was going through the light down the hill cutting off or almost running into the driver that actually did not stop at that corner. But you know that corner is going to be a problem until they figure out how to keep the traffic moving around that corner and really prevent vehicles from stopping there. Between driver habits of always stopping there because they always thought they had tostop to go around that corner that has never had a stop sign or a yield sign (cause you know drivers here will blast through a stop sign and or red light and come to a complete stop at a yield sign) or to wait to jump across the road to go left at that side street. I still stay put up a small barrier like what you see around town and putting up a sign that says dont stop at this corner, keep driving. And if a driver wants to make a left turn onto that side street then they can go to the red light and turn left. I can almost guarantee that the traffic will lighten up some because drivers will go all the way down to central valley road to go drop off the kids at the schools and or go home in the area.

    Another thing is I know that if a driver runs into the back of a stopped car at that corner they will get a ticket for failure to yield to the vehicle in front of them. But will the stopped car get a ticket for stopping on a throughway where there is no stop sign???

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