Jump in Illahee Road crashes brings attention, but not guard rails

The in basket: Nikolay Zagorov writes, “At least once or twice a year, vehicles have been loosing control at a 100-foot section at the beginning of Illahee Road northbound in East Bremerton. The place is just after the culvert before Fischer Park Avenue. Cars end at the bottom of a 12-foot sloped ditch, crushing into one of two yard fences or trees.

“Isn’t it high time to place a guard rail or lower the speed from 35 to 25 miles per hour,” he asked.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, replies, “Traffic engineering staff completed a site investigation and collision record review of this location.  Despite the recent collisions here, the warrants (criteria) for guardrail here are not met.

“We use the same warrants as (the state) when we consider guardrail placement.  The warrants include traffic speed and volume, slope degree, and distance to obstacles in the right of way.

“Collision frequency is not a criteria considered in the warrants. When we reviewed collision history here, we did find three recent collisions. The last collisions before those were in 1997, and only one of the (recent) collisions involved an injury.

There has not been any significant changes to the roadway there that would readily explain why we went 16-plus years without a collision and had three this year. We continue to monitor this location,” he said.

 “One safety goal on all roads is keeping all objects out of the right of way that could hurt motorists.  A guardrail is considered an object in the right of way, and can cause injury or worse to motorists.

“The main purpose is to protect motorists from something that could possibly cause more harm than hitting the guardrail.  That is why we only install guardrail where it is warranted by accepted criteria.

“Based on the characteristics of the roadway, traffic speeds, and collision records, 35 mph is a safe and appropriate speed for this segment of Illahee Road.

“We continue to monitor this location, along with all county roads, in our biennial road safety program.

One thought on “Jump in Illahee Road crashes brings attention, but not guard rails

  1. I have lived on Illahee Road for 13 years. I live just past the Gilberton/Brownsville Community Center. For 13 years I have witnessed, on a daily basis, cars, trucks, (large and small) and motorcycles traveling at high rates of speed, WELL over 35 mph. From the Brownsville Elementary School, past the community center in either direction lots of people think it’s their own quarter mile track. My wife and I guesstimate several times a day vehicle speeds of 45 to 50 mph and at times cars pass each other. With homes on both sides of the street and the elementary school a short distance away, the posted speed through this area should be 25 mph. I have reported this situation a few times before with no real results.

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