Tag Archives: 13th

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.

13th & Corbet on Kitsap Way is a complex right-of-way spot

The in basket: Tom Baker of the Bremerton city electronics shop, who often helps me with answers, posed a question last month.

“Eastbound on Kitsap Way (in Bremerton) at the busy intersection of Corbet Drive, 13th Street and Wilbert.” he asked, “who has the right of way when turning left onto Corbet, and there is a vehicle turning right from 13th onto Kitsap Way? The right turning vehicle is looking at the oncoming traffic, and not at the car about to turn left in front of him.

“I believe the vehicle in the traveled way has the right of way, but I will yield to the right-turning traffic,” he said.

The out basket: This is a complicated intersection and right of way issues there are equally complex. Corbet and 13th intersect Kitsap Way within a few feet of each other. Wilbert is across the street  and is more conventional.

Lt. Pete Fisher of Bremerton police says any car entering a roadway, especially from a stop sign, must yield to those on the roadway being entered, so the driver turning off of Kitsap Way would have the right of way. Tom is correct.

In the first year of Road Warrior, 1996, I handled a related question. Who has the right of way when a driver on Corbet turning left onto Kitsap Way conflicts with a driver on 13th turning right. Their paths will cross.

Pete Fisher agrees with what I was told then by Sgt. Tom Pratt of BPD. They say that the common rule that the vehicle on the right has right of way over that on its left, most often mentioned when discussing four-way stops, governs in that situation. So the left turner from Corbet would have right of way over the right turner from 13th.

What’s the point of 13th & Warren traffic detectors?

The in basket: I noticed that the new traffic signal at 13th and Warren in Bremerton has traffic detection wires (called “loops”) cut into the asphalt on Warren, even though left turns are forbidden by signs suspended over the intersection there and right turns don’t require a green light.

Having noticed that, I looked at Warren’s pavement just up the street at 16th Street, the entrance to Olympic College. It also has wires to detect southbound traffic, even though the only signal-controlled turn permitted there southbound was eliminated when right turns were given a Yield sign.

I asked what good the detectors do.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridricksson of the city street engineers says, “At 13th Street, the loops are functioning and being used now for vehicle

detection on Warren.  Even though left-hand turns on Warren are prohibited, the signal system still needs to know where the demand is.

“Same story at 16th Street – except for the southbound right turn lane,” he said.  “That

loop is still there, but I believe has been disconnected in the cabinet, as the Yield sign controls the lane.”

Without the loops, the signal would detect constant traffic on Warren, he said, just as it does when one of the in-pavement detectors fails. It won’t change as needed.

Two Warren Avenue changes mystify readers

The in basket: Yvonne Dean and Bruce Waterbury have asked what the city of Bremerton has in mind when the projects along Warren Avenue at 11th, 13th and 16th streets are finished,

“Help,” Yvonne wrote. “Can you tell people just what is happening on 16th with the new curbing and on 13th with the new traffic light installed by Olympic College. Will we still be able to go up and around Warren off of 16th?  Are people going to be able to make left turns off of 13th onto Warren Avenue to go south?”

Bruce wrote, “I am wondering why there is now a stop sign in the middle of the road at the working stop lights at Wheaton Way and 16th Street. Where it is positioned, one has to stop at the first line for the lights, then move one car length ahead to stop at the stop sign line.  Is this just a cheap trick to ticket people again? Who is running the street department? Stevie Wonder?”

The out basket: The stop sign next to the new pedestrian islands at 16th Street will be gone soon, replaced by a Yield sign, says Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers.

“We have been delayed a bit with weather to be able to complete pavement markings and the final concrete work.  The island is for pedestrian refuge. The stop sign is a temporary measure to make folks aware that the northbound left turn from Warren has the right of way here.”

When the traffic signal at 13th is activated, left turns will be allowed from 13th Street onto Warren in either direction, but signs will prohibit left turns from Warren to 13th, also in either direction. “We will be removing the curb currently in place at the centerline of Warren,” Gunnar said.

In 2011, Olympic College acquired from the city that portion of Broadway Avenue that runs through the college, presumably to make leaving Warren at 16th and cutting through the college less attractive, and perhaps impossible. “The college is looking to make some revisions regarding circulation there, but are waiting for us to get the signal fully operational before proceeding,” he said.

 

13th and Warren to get a new traffic signal

The in basket: Tom Baker (no relation) of the city of Bremerton electronics department was kind enough to let me know in an Oct. 19 e-mail that I was behind the curve in understanding changes the city will be making to Warren Avenue next year.

He was a few days ahead of Broadway Avenue resident Rena Caton in telling me there soon will be a new traffic signal on Warren at 13th Street, the southern end of Olympic College’s new parking lots.

I had been reporting that the city would extend the right turn lane on southbound Warren for turns onto 11th Street, but was unaware the college wanted to add a new signal.

I was glad for the opportunity to revisit the issue, as it had occurred to me that vehicles waiting in the southbound LEFT turn lane to go east on 11th were spilling into the inside through lanes, making their own contribution to the worsening backups on Warren.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers tells me, yes, he hopes to fold the college’s plans for a traffic signal at 13th and Warren into the city’s plans, so that both can be done at the same time.

The southbound left turn lane on Warren will be lengthened, he said, though not as much as the right turn lane.

“All we need (now) are two buses in the left hand turn lane and it blocks the inside southbound lane,” he said.

So the 11th and Warren intersection will get longer lanes for turns in both directions, and all new traffic signal equipment to replace the lights now hanging from wires there.

Left turns from Warren at 13th’s new signal will be prohibited, he said, allowing shorter stops and avoiding further delay of Warren Avenue through traffic.

Left turns will be allowed from 13th onto Warren, he said, good news for Rena and her neighbors, who otherwise would continue having trouble getting headed toward the Warren Avenue Bridge.

The yellow center line curbing that prohibits all left turns at 13th and Warren today will be removed when the signal goes in, he said.

Gunnar said the college will ask the city to turn the section of Broadway between 13th and 16th streets over to the college in what’s called a “vacation.”

If approved that stretch would remain a street, but under college control, he said. The college probably would make it off-limits to most vehicle traffic, to minimize danger to students crossing back and forth from the its new parking lots.

The one or two properties on that portion of Broadway not owed by the college would get easements to allow them a way in and out, Gunnar said.

Pedestrians will be allowed to cross Warren at 13th only on the southern part of the intersection. Configuration of a crosswalk on the northern side would endanger those on foot, he said.

The college will pay 100 percent of the 13th street signals, he said. The state will pay 86.5 percent of the 11th and Warren upgrades, with the city paying the rest.