Latest fatality steps up pressure at SR3 and Sunnyslope Road

The in basket: Jim Hazel and JoAnne Stefanac e-mailed to press for quick action to make the intersection of Highway 3 and Sunnyslope Road less dangerous. And Jim wondered what he’d be commenting on if he used an e-mail address listed in a letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun recently in connection with that intersection.

“You’ve addressed this before,” JoAnne wrote, “but we’ve had another fatality there again recently and I was wondering if/when they are EVER going to address this dangerous intersection with some kind of improvement? Turning left onto the highway from Sunnyslope Road is taking your life in your hands as the folks are roaring up the hill to ‘get ahead’ of one another before the two lanes merge into one at the top of the hill.

“It’s like a racetrack there most of the time.  Not to mention, dodging the cars coming from the left (from Belfair).  Poor man lost the gamble this week.  How many deaths does it take to get it fixed?

“Honestly, I’d LOVE a (signal),” she said when I asked her what she would suggest, “but I know it’s all about the roundabouts nowadays.  Hate them and don’t think they’d do that on a highway at any rate (Please God!). Would have to be a light.  A life-saving light.

“They have one in Gorst, one at the airport, and in Belfair.  Why not at this most dangerous intersection? Especially considering how much the Sunnyslope and surrounding area is growing, with more and more homes being built at McCormick Woods. It’s not going to get any better as the building continues.”

Jim wrote, “ I consider this to be a very dangerous intersection which I fortunately can usually

avoid. Nonetheless, I am interested in any study or proposed action on it. I have looked over the projects and studies on the DOT web site but found no mention. The letter did indicate, however, that a public comment period will expire on Dec. 16.  How do I find out

what is being commented on and what type of public information is being south?”

The out basket: Doug Adamson of the Olympic Region of state highways replied, “While WSDOT does not have any major projects currently funded for this intersection, WSDOT traffic engineers plan to have additional signage installed on State Route 3. The signs will be installed before the intersection of Sunnyslope Road Southwest. The yellow signs will give drivers advance notification of the approaching intersection.

“The Dec. 16 deadline specifically applies to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which lists upcoming transportation improvement projects scheduled in the next four years. You can find the news release about the public comment period for the STIP here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/news/2016/11/16/looking-future-washington%E2%80%99s-4-year-program-transportation-projects-ready-review.” If you can’t just click on that indecipherable link, just got to www.wsdot.gov and ask for ‘2017-20 transportation improvement’ and the site will come up.

“While there are STIP projects listed for Kitsap County,” Doug continued, “the intersection of SR 3 and Sunnyslope Road is not identified. You can view the project list here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/LocalPrograms/ProgramMgmt/STIP

“The comments related to the intersection of SR 3 and Sunnyslope Road Southwest have been forwarded to regional WSDOT traffic engineers. Unlike the STIP official public comment period, there is no deadline for residents to give us feedback on this intersection or any intersection involving a state highway. People who would like to reach us are able to do so via orfeedback@wsdot.wa.gov

3 thoughts on “Latest fatality steps up pressure at SR3 and Sunnyslope Road

  1. The problem with those “Intersections” on Hwy 3 to Belfair is the fact that those who pull out thinking that they can make it, when they don’t take into consideration that traffic is 55-60 mph, and they see a small gap and they try to jump out. Sunnyslope is right at the top of a hill that has a passing lane, so there are drivers who are driving faster in the passing lane to get up the hill, usually to get around all the semis that are heading up the hill. There is a merge lane for a driver to jump out to so that they can wait for a safe gap. Putting a light right there is a dumb idea, because that would make traffic and passing traffic have to stop on the hill. And the fact that there are heavy trucks that have a slow time climb that hill might have to stop on that hill, will have a hard time getting started up that steep slope and is just going to cause bigger traffic jams, because there will be some trucks that are not as heavy but will still climb slow up the hill in the passing lane. So some peoples issues with no light can make it worse in the future.
    If some of those drivers who go down from hwy 16 to hwy 3 via Sunnyslope make their choice to try and go a back way just needs to deal with the traffic that is going both ways on hwy 3. I mean an extra 5 minutes up the road and they can take the Belfair exit and go right through a light and be on Hwy 3 and not have to worry about merging traffic. But drivers will always take the backway because on occasion the road will be clear and they can turn onto Hwy 3 from Sunnyslope. So they will continue to go that way. Sometimes the long way can be the quickest.

    Oh and Lake Flora road just a few miles up Hwy 3 towards Belfair, can at times have the same problem with vehicles jumping out into traffic.

    1. Also I would like to add, that if you are a driver that is waiting to pull out into traffic from a side street, you need to have patience. When you decide that you are going to pull out, make sure you judge the oncoming traffic speed and that your pulling out is not going to affect the oncoming traffic. If traffic on the main road has to slow down or slam on their brakes because you jump out, then you can create bigger problem with traffic on the main road. It cause traffic jams or the sudden slamming of brakes and can cause major accidents.
      That being said, if you are a driver on the main road and up ahead there is a car trying to enter a roadway or even merge, you don’t have to slam on your brakes to let someone in, just raise your foot off the accelerator to slow down. And please don’t stop on the hwys to allow a car to enter the hwy. That can cause traffic jams, can cause road rage, accidents, etc. I know, because I see this stuff all the time on the Hwys and Interstates everyday when I am at work. I know you feel good about yourself for letting a car in, but it angers those behind you.

      I see this ty

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