Monthly Archives: May 2014

Reader wants “Your speed is..” sign to lighten up

The in basket: Wally Carlson thinks a carrot would be preferable to a stick with those “Your speed is…” signs, notably the one on McWilliams Road just west of Highway 303.

“Wouldn’t  it be smarter if you were driving the speed limit of 25… that the sign would reward you with a poker hand or “Way to go, dude” or “Good on ya..” rather than go negative with ‘Slow down!!!!!”

“A little positive reinforcement would be more fun and get your speed down. It’s not brain’s just a computer,” he said.

The out basket: That’s the same sign that a year ago brought a suggestion to the Road Warrior column from 7-year-old Adrian Tittle that it tell drivers going too slow to speed up as well as telling them to slow down when they’re speeding. There’s something about it that inspires creative thinking.

Doug Bear of county public works says the sign’s message is programmed by the manufacturer and the county can’t change it.

He said they’ve sent Wally’s suggestion on to the manufacturer for its consideration, but if we start seeing congratulatory electronic signs for those doing the speed limit, I’ll be surprised.

Reader alleges aggressive driving by gas tanker operators

The in basket: Chris Olmstead asks, “a  question for the State Patrol. When are they going to crack down on speeding

tanker trucks?  I called 911 while on

Highway 16 going towards Tacoma for a speeding tanker truck. They were also traveling too close and making a lot of lane changes.

“Tankers have been speeding on our highways

even before the two huge tanker fires we’ve had on I-5.  Since then there has absolutely been no change in gas tanker truck driving.

“When driving a charter bus in Seattle I have to make every effort not to travel anywhere close to these very dangerous drivers.

The out basket: Big rig drivers, of tankers and otherwise, have their own grievances about other drivers, and I imagine this column will bring some agitated comment from many of them.

State Trooper Russ Winger of the Bremerton district says, “I am not aware of any increase or above-average incidents of tanker trucks speeding in Kitsap County.

“Troopers target any type of excessive speed or aggressive driving whether a passenger vehicle or a commercial vehicle. When an erratic driven vehicle report it called in, our troopers look hard for any type of vehicle. In fact, it is a priority in our district to make every attempt to locate these vehicles, observe them and stop them if warranted.

“Many traffic stops on passenger vehicles reported by motorists turn out to be impaired drivers so we take all erratic driving calls seriously.

“This is not normally the case with commercial type vehicles, especially tanker trucks carrying hazardous loads. The drivers require special endorsements and are usually very experienced drivers that do not take risks with their livelihood. The companies that employ these drivers also monitor the drivers closely as to their fitness to drive these hazardous loads.

“This does not necessarily mean commercial drivers never drive aggressively, they do. But, in my experience, tanker truck drivers are some of the more safe and conscientious drivers on the roadways.

Troopers and our commercial vehicle officers are always looking for aggressively driven vehicles. Our CVO’s also conduct commercial vehicle emphasis patrols throughout the entire district at variable times and locations.”

Gold Creek Road parking is a hazard, says reader

The in basket: James Corvitti writes to ask, “What is the law about parking on the side of the road to go hiking?

“I live on Gold Creek Road near the access to the hiking trail and horse park,” he said. “The past two years when the weather is nice there are as many 50 cars and trucks parked along the side of the road. These people park there so they don’t have to buy a Discovery Pass to park in parking lot.

“Over the last couple of years I have almost had a head-on collision with an oncoming car going into my lane (after) swerving away from the opening car doors that are parked along the side of the road.

“This stretch of road the speed limit is 50 mph and someone will be killed.  I did contact a state patrol officer and he informed me that some officers have written tickets but the problem is still going on nice days.

“My suggestion is for the county to post No Parking signs along the road for at least a quarter of a mile on each side of the park.”

James later sent me photos of the problem, but all of the parked vehicles pictured were outside the white edge line, so it looked like they were all legally parked.

The out basket: Kitsap County Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea says, “It is not unlawful to park on the shoulder of the road unless there is a specific law restricting the parking, such as near fire hydrants and crosswalks. The county traffic engineer is only given authority to restrict parking for 100 feet maximum in areas for safety reasons.  Any other parking restrictions must be approved by county commissioner’s resolution.

 “We have other locations with this same problem.  When parking is restrictive or inadequate motorists start spilling onto the county road system.  I have looked at our collision records and discussed this situation with the Sheriff’s Department.  There are no collisions reported here, but that doesn’t mean one couldn’t happen.

“This road does not see a lot of traffic, the sight distance is good along the parking area, and the park is only open during daylight hours.

“We will continue to monitor the parking and traffic issues along the road and see if we get any more complaints.”