The in basket: My friend Bill Throm is the latest to angrily object to what he and others see as an unnecessary obstacle to getting into downtown Bremerton on Burwell Street – the Warren Avenue signal that keeps the eastbound through traffic stuck at a red light for little reason.
The reason is a small parking lot up against the shipyard fence, to which a westbound left-turn green light provides access. Bill and others note that they almost never see anyone turn left into the lot, while they are among dozens of eastbound drivers waiting at the opposing red light.
A reader a couple of years ago suggested making access to the lot available only by turning right from eastbound Burwell or pulling straight across on Warren. That would eliminate the westbound left turn and let through eastbound traffic move at the same time as those in the inside lane are turning left onto northbound Warren.
I would think that would provide more time for other movements at that light.
I asked city officials their latest thinking on this conundrum.
The out basket: As in the past, city street engineers are loathe to make piecemeal changes in traffic control, for fear of having to undo them when an unintended consequence raised its head.
I imagine collateral issues would begin with in what directions vehicles would be allowed OUT of the parking lot if a change is made.
Gunnar Fridriksson, the city’s senior street engineer, says, “We were waiting on traffic counts and modeling to take a look at what can be done here. We received an initial copy (and) reading through the lines on the report, we currently have the signal optimized as much as possible without making a number of other timing changes in the corridor or reconfiguring the signals.
“The Burwell/SR 304 corridor is one (in which) we are currently reviewing all of the timing packages for the signals and trying to synchronize to maximize our flows. This is an effort we are working with Kitsap County on.
“You will be seeing traffic counters (tubes) out for all of the signalized intersections along this stretch (Missouri Gate to Pacific Avenue) over the next several months, as we have time and resources to get the work done.
“We will be working on modeling the entire corridor next, and be likely implementing changes early in 2015.
“Reconfiguring the light at Burwell/Warren to be a right in/right out is something we will be looking at this fall with our analysis. I would just ask your reader for a little more patience as we try to work through this effort with the resources we have.”