Belfair Taco Bell creates left-turn headache

The in basket:  Karen Loren of Tahuya and Dan Dittmer of Belfair say the new Taco Bell in Belfair on Clifton Road has created a headache that stacks up cars waiting for the left-turners into the restaurant to get out of the way.

“With the new Taco Bell opening,” Dan said, “knot heads are turning left from Clifton into Taco Bell across a double yellow marked turn lane.  All this happens with Highway 3 traffic turning at the Safeway light to head towards South Shore (I think he must mean North Shore). Someone is going get nailed.”

Karen said that those who have turned right from Highway 3 quickly are stopped behind those wanting to turn into Taco Bell while cars in the left turn lane to enter the highway and go toward Bremerton block them, if traffic in the straight ahead/right turn lane hasn’t already.  It’ll get worse during the tourist-heavy summer, she predicts

Dan would like to see something like Kitsap County did on Myhre Road in Silverdale to prevent left turns just past PetSmart – a row of centerline pylons – and Karen advocates No Left Turn signage.

The out basket: Loretta Swanson of Mason County Public Works says, “The access to Taco Bell on Clifton Lane is to be a ‘right in, right out’ only access. There are some site improvements needed to make sure this happens and the project engineer for Taco Bell is following up on this.  Once the improvements are made, it should make it more difficult for drivers (westbound) to gain entrance from Clifton Lane.

“However, drivers may still attempt to cross the double yellow and turn pocket in an attempt to get to Taco Bell!  Public Works is presently evaluating sign and paint marking options to prevent this turning movement.”

It’s not illegal to turn across double yellow lines, not even pairs of them. Only signs, an 18-inch or wider centerline, crosshatching between the painted lines or a raised barrier forbids them.

Loretta continued to say, “We appreciate you and your readers passing along observations that may help improve traffic safety.  We also pass along a big ‘thank you’ for drivers being patient and safe during the many infrastructure improvements happening in Belfair.”

One thought on “Belfair Taco Bell creates left-turn headache

  1. If a row of centerline pylons are placed on Clifton Road at the traffic light, the large double trailer trucks that turn at that intersection are going to have a big problem. Also, it seems the road is really too narrow to put pylons there anyway. I’m glad Loretta from Public Works is working with the project engineer from Taco Bell. And as a frequent driver through that intersection, I will continue to be patient, knowing the problem is being worked on. By the way, if folks want to call Public Works, the number from North Mason is 360-275-4467, ext. 450. Thanks Travis for reporting on this.

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