It’s round, but not a roundabout at park

The in basket: Ian MacKenzie says, “My wife and I were driving around Bremerton just looking at neighborhoods and houses and ended up down at the intersection of 13th and Pacific, right at the entrance to the small parking lot of Evergreen Rotary Park.

“There in the intersection is a fairly new roundabout, albeit a very small one. But it is a roundabout none the less and there is signage to indicate it as such. “However, unlike all roundabouts I have ever encountered there are stop signs at the entrance to it on at least two of the sides.

“I am wondering what is this supposed to be. If it truly wants to be a roundabout shouldn’t there be only yield signs at all four entrances to the intersection and follow the normal rules of a roundabout.  If it is not supposed to function like a normal roundabout what is the purpose of this big round thing in the middle of the intersection?”

The out basket: It’s not a real roundabout, and has more in common wit the traffic calming circle in the middle of the intersection at Fifth Street and Chester, or the one that used to be at the park’s other entrance on Park Avenue.

Jerry Hauth, street engineer for the city, says, “The circular feature near the entrance to Evergreen Park should not be treated as a roundabout. It doesn’t meet the geometric criteria for roundabouts and is more representative of fountains, planters (or other features) that have been placed at mid-intersections for a long time. So it is important to comply with the existing signage – for safe passage for those using it.”

It has a sign suggesting it is a roundabout on only one of the four legs, the one coming out of the parking lot. It would seem to require going around the circle rather than making a left turn in front of it. It would be wise to follow that route when leaving the parking lot, as the sign is white with black arrows. Black and white signs are usually regulatory rather than advisory, so cutting in front of the circle, as I saw a driver do when ENTERING the parking lot, might be an infraction for those coming out.

2 thoughts on “It’s round, but not a roundabout at park

  1. Mr. B,
    I read through your article regarding Parcells Road/ Hwy104 intersection difficulties. At first I thought you had received a copy of my letter (attached) from 3/23/15 to Commissioner Gelder requesting a resolution to the problem recently brought up by Kimberley Kelly. I did notice that the Hwy 104 speed limit was lowered from 50 MPH to 45 MPH not to long after I had wrote to Mr. G. This made no difference what-so-ever but it was a nice thought and I thank Mr. G. for doing what he can. Since then there have been a number of collisions, some serious leading to life long disabilities and pain, but who cares, they are adults and accept those transport hazards, and maybe they get themselves a sign along the highway. Oh boy! Kitsap County history will show that a traffic light will be installed after a child is killed at an intersection. Mr. B, ask Mr. G. which child has to die to bring a resolution to the mentioned problem. This will probably happen to a child about ten to fourteen years old, riding their bike to school, needing to cross from the north side of the Hwy 104 to the south side of the Hwy. Best chances of this happening is during ‘bike to school’ day. I bike these roads frequently and I’m always thinking that I’m the frog. And like I said before, it’s only money, and the County does extract plenty from me, so let’s spend some of it and save someone’s life.
    Thanks,
    Richard Kelbon
    9981 Kingston Farm Road
    Kingston, WA 98346
    360-297-7008
    mmkelbon@aol.com

    3/23/15
    Commissioner Gelder,
    How about use your super powers and save someone’s life. Over the past thirty plus years I have witnessed the intersection of Parcells Road/Barber Cutoff Road/ Highway 104 transition from low use cross traffic to very high use high cross traffic. I suppose this occurred over time as more and more development took place on both sides of the highway plus the addition of more ferry traffic and new schools. From where I live, there is no other outlet than to transition through this intersection. Over the years I’ve witnessed some wild and crazy vehicle maneuvers across this intersection. It’s amazing that there have not been more fatality accidents. The roadway is now almost never free of glass and plastic pieces.

    Parcells Road and Barber Cutoff Roads were re-aligned a few years back plus there were left turn lanes installed to facilitate safer cross lane transitions. This was very helpful but added another lane to transition across. About that time a new church was being built at the corner of Parcells and Shorty Campbell Road. I asked the road department representative about installing a traffic light at Highway 104 and Parcells intersection. The response was that church traffic would not increase the transitions significantly and that there were not enough fatalities at this intersection to warrant a traffic light and most of the time this is true.

    However, that is not true when the following events converge: (1) there is a heavy ferry offload, (2) it is rush hour traffic, (3) to a lesser extent there is school bus traffic. When this convergence happens, almost daily, five days a week, in the morning hours and evening hours, the Highway 104/ Parcells intersection becomes very difficult to extremely difficult to transition. Add the fact that this intersection is about mid way between traffic lights on Highway 104 with a posted speed limit of 50 MPH can almost ensure that traffic heading into Kingston will be traveling at that velocity or more while the ferry traffic heading West will be crawling along. Vehicles waiting to cross from Barber Cutoff onto Highway 104 could have easily taken the roads to the light at Lindvog and safely entered onto the highway but instead take the gamble to avoid waiting at a traffic light. Patience only lasts a very short time and then some crazy driving occurs to cross and merge onto Highway 104.

    My request to you is to facilitate a physical change to the intersection in an attempt to minimize cross traffic transitions and thus minimize collisions and avoid fatalities. There are some options:
    First would be to ask the State to install a traffic signal at this intersection. A traffic light has a better tendency to be respected than a Yield or Stop sign or posted speed limits. An added benefit would be to slow the East bound traffic into Kingston a bit knowing that a traffic light is just around the bend. This does have a monetary cost but I look at it as how much is a person’s life worth, especially if it is yours?

    Second would be make the Barber Cutoff traffic one-way heading East thus eliminating about half the cross Highway 104 traffic transitions. Force the traffic to the light at Lindvog or the light at the Albertsons Corner via West Kingston Road. This is much safer all around.
    Third, and compliment to the second above, would be to establish a second route to Highway 104 from Parcells Road to Lindvog and then eliminate left turns from Parcells onto Highway 104 and from Highway 104 onto Parcells. Force this traffic to the regulated intersection. This has some monetary cost also, but it’s only money.

    Either way you look at it, it’s a no win situation, people will always complain, but they will get use to the new traffic pattern. So go ahead, use your super powers, make someone’s day and save their life.

    Respectfully,
    Richard Kelbon

    9981 Kingston Farm Road
    Kingston, WA 98346

    Home: 360-297-7008
    Email: mmkelbon@aol.com

  2. Many people confuse other and older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. East coast rotaries, large multi-lane traffic circles (Arc D’Triomphe, Dupont Circle), and small neighborhood traffic circles are not modern roundabouts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout (UK continental roundabout), go to http://tinyurl.com/kstate-RAB to see pictures.

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