All posts by Administrator

Phantom lane closures in Highway 305 project

The in basket: Steve Herron of Poulsbo says he drives every day through the new construction corridor on Highway 305 and is getting upset.
“The contractor there is constantly blocking off lanes and closing sections when absolutely no work is going on,” he said. “It’s ridiculous! The last two weeks, traffic has been a mess because the contractor closes lanes on both sides and then some minor work takes places a mile from the closure.
“I am all for worker safety,” Steve said ” but this contractor is saving money by closing the lanes he THINKS he might be working on SOMETIME during the day. Instead he could spend the money to have people put in cones as they are needed, when the work is ready to be done.

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Goodbye to old left turn light at Forest Rock Lane

The in basket: Dana Culleney and Dan Batman are among those who miss the protected/permissive left-turn signal on Highway 305 at Forest Rock Lane in Poulsbo.
“It used to be that when you approached Central Market from the north and there was a green arrow and then the green ball light that let you go,” Dana said. That is called a protected/permissive signal
As part of the widening of the highway through that stretch, they have replaced it with what’s called a protected left turn, permitting the turn only when a green arrow tells you all conflicting movements have a red light.

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Ferries could make use of transponders, reader says

The in basket: Frank Reed read the May 30 Road Warrior about interest accrued on Good to Go! accounts , from which bridge and highways tolls can be paid, and wondered why ferry fares can’t be paid the same way.
“The Washington State ferry system engages in a huge rip-off of its customers and seems to pat itself on the back for doing so,” he wrote. “The crossing tolls, pre-purchased on-line or at toll booths, are not really accounts set up in the customer’s name with a dollar value in them, as are Good to Go accounts, but only slightly different version of the previous system of buying paper tickets. In addition the tickets have fast expiration times and are not user friendly.
“Actual monetary amounts in actual accounts can draw interest (as you pointed out) that can be used by the ferry system, don’t care if toll values vary for seasonal or other reasons and don’t penalize the customer with an expiration date.
My question is why is the ferry system is so intent on using its own pre-paid tolling system which doesn’t work (software problems) and not the Good to Go! system, which according to your article can relatively easily credit the correct facility being used. This would certainly help the bean counters with realistic ferry route usage data.
“Why not use just one tolling system?”

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Booming scooter sales call for driver education

The in basket: When Steve Stewart of the state Department of Licensing called me the other day to seek my help in letting the growing number of scooter and motorcycle owners know what they must do to be legal, I was reminded of an old inquiry to the Road Warrior from Jerry Maurer of North Kitsap.
“My wife acquired a 49cc scooter not too long ago,” he wrote in July 2006. “Our understanding of the
legality of this scooter is that it is considered a moped and no motorcycle license is required.
“(But) we are confused as to where she can drive on Viking Way heading north into Poulsbo.

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Three more issues at Silverdale interchange

The in basket: Gary Jones writes to say, “I’m wondering why the state hasn’t required the contractor of the new highway 3 and 303 interchange to clean up the rest of their construction materials?
“The cones along both sides of Highway 3 and along Highway 303 entering the interchange, along with all of the signs and other debris at the retention pond are such an eyesore. The weeds are even starting to take over some of the cones.”
Leroy McVay of Poulsbo has a different issue with the interchange, betting me $5 that the backup system to keep the traffic signals working in a power outage will consist of batteries. “Remind them the lights go to four-way red flashing and the batteries are only good for about three or four hours,” he wrote.

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Planting the new Highway 304 center area

The in basket:  Carl Erickson writes, “Now that the Highway 304 project from Highway 3 to the shipyard gate is done, I’m curious about what’s going to be planted in the median.
“It seems to me that deciduous trees, as are in the older section, are a dangerous, labor-intensive way to beautify the area with leaves falling and maintenance crews dodging vehicles to clean them up.

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Get those speeders, John Law!!

The in basket: Susan Smith goes for our attention with the following e-mail: “Damn! How can we slow these drivers down? It is 35 mph on Old Military Road NE and we like to walk our dogs on Saturday and Sunday mornings. But some of the folks who live on this road come out of their driveways like bats out of hell and the road walkers/joggers are forced into the ditch to escape becoming hood ornaments.
“And then we have those who choose to use this road as a short cut to and from work to … shave 15 minutes off their commute time,” she said.

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Why are emergency vehicles left with the motor running

The in box: Chris Blankenship on the Road Warrior blog at wrote, “I’ve had it! I just left the Silverdale Costco parking lot where a
Citizens on Patrol large Ford sedan was idling with its lights
flashing behind a parked Grand Marquis. Now you may say that it’s their job to patrol and find the scofflaws who park willy-nilly in the handicap spaces at businesses. (But) couldn’t they just issue a ticket and move along?
“The county must have a better way to spend our (expensive)
gasoline than with this kind of waste,” he said. “You are burning dear tax dollars idling ( and blocking) in the parking lot waiting for a confrontation. The county needs to do away with the Citizen’s on Patrol!”

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Handicapped placards and wallet cards

The in basket: Bev Willeford writes, “My husband has permanent handicap plates on our car. My sister has permanent handicap plates on her car.
“When I drive my sister, and my
husband isn’t with us, am I allowed to park in handicap parking spots
for her as long as she has her wallet card, or does she need to have her placard that is associated with her card?”
The out basket: Deputy Pete Ball of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, who oversees his department’s enforcement of handicapped parking, calls the inquiry “unusual, to say the least.”
Still, he said, “to be perfectly legal under the law, the sister really should use her placard regardless of what car she’s in. I think it would be highly unlikely that they would ever be questioned but to be perfectly legal, her placard and ID card should be together when she is exercising her right to park in the disabled spots.”