School signage on Ridgetop Boulevard confuses

The in basket: Norm and Karen Kunkel are concerned about how much of Ridgetop Boulevard uphill from Highway 303 is a school zone.

They said they saw a yellow pedestrian crossing sign depicting what appears to be a woman and a child, posted just west of Hillsboro Drive and an “End of School Zone” sign just past the intersection and concluded it was a school zone. Karen told me they have been going 20 mph from there all the way up to the actual school zone at the street leading to Emerald Heights Elementary, even though there are 35 mph speed limit signs posted there.

She said she has talked to people who have gotten a school zone citation somewhere in there.

The “End of School Zone” sign just past Hillsboro no longer is there, Norm said last week.

I asked the county where there are school zones on Ridgetop, what the yellow two-figure sign denotes, and if signage on that stretch of Ridgetop Boulevard had recently been changed.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for Kitsap County says, “The only school speed zone on Ridgetop Boulevard is on either side of the intersection of Pinnacle Court leading to Emerald Heights Elementary School. There is no school speed limit zone at Hillsboro.

“The School Sign (it is actually 2 students, not an adult and student) which looks like an old school house (5 sided; floor, sides and roof) is actually a warning sign alerting motorists that a school or school crossing is nearby.  It is to warn motorists that they could see school-age children on or near the roadway.  It does not require the motorist to reduce speed.

“The posted speed limit is the legal speed.  Not until you see a rectangular sign with a school speed limit 20, and flashing lights, times, or “when children are present” placards does the speed limit change.

“We recently revisited all school zones county-wide. Some changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Devices triggered sign modifications.  The end school zone signs were removed because motorists don’t actually go through the school speed zone.  The directional arrow below the School Sign is new to the MUTCD and denotes that the school zone is around the corner on Hillsboro.

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