Left-turn lane vs. a bypass lane

The in basket: Kitsap County Public Works has put out a couple of alerts about construction beginning on a bypass lane on Sidney Road in South Kitsap at Shannon Drive, which is the main road into the Parkview Terrace housing development.

One said in part: “The project widens the travel lanes from the current 11 feet to 12 feet; constructs a 12-foot southbound bypass lane; and paves and widens the existing gravel shoulders from six feet to eight feet.”

It sounds like a project to get left-turners out of the through traffic to cut down on rear-end accidents.

But I had only heard the word “bypass” used in terms of long stretches like those around Purdy and Sequim, and proposed for Belfair. I asked what’s the difference between a bypass lane and a left-turn lane.

The out basket: Dick Dadisman of public works said, “As you surmised, the purpose of our Sidney Road Bypass Lane project is to make left turns safer from rear-end crashes at the Shannon Drive intersection.

“The section of Sidney Road from Wildwood Road to Shannon Drive has a history of vehicle collisions with the Sidney Road / Shannon Drive intersection ranked 38th out of the 128 high accident intersections evaluated by Kitsap County.

“The bypass lane will allow southbound vehicles the opportunity to move to the right and pass vehicles stopped and waiting to make a left turn at Shannon Drive.  With the close proximity of the Wildwood Road and Shannon Drive intersections, there is not sufficient separation between these intersections to construct left-turn channelization. Therefore, the bypass lane design was chosen.”

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