Tag Archives: Central Valley

How about rumble strips on Central Valley shoulders?

 

The in basket: Cathy Houston brings up a familiar subject, danger to pedestrians and school children on Central Valley Road’s shoulders. 

“As we all know, there are several schools in the vicinity,” she said. “Students are walking in the area in all types of weather and in all levels of darkness.

“Traffic is extremely bad at the Central Valley/Fairgrounds intersection. Cars treat the fog line as just another lane marker and use the shoulder as another driving lane. 

“I would like to see some rumble edging along the fog line for the length of the road from Foster Road to McWilliams Road, letting the drivers know in a very obvious way that they have crossed out of their lane,” she said.

She also thinks the fact that a crosswalk at the Fairgrounds Road intersection that continues past the edge line, which others in the area do not, contributes to the danger by “giving drivers a false sense of where the edge of the road is.”

The out basket: Cathy had already contacted Kitsap County Public Works to no avail before writing to me, so she won’t be much surprised by their answer.

“Without a physical barrier (curb, gutter and sidewalk) some motorists do not respect the shoulder area of the roadway,” says Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer.

“It is against the law to drive on the shoulder, except for emergencies and certain other legitimate reasons, but motorists do it anyway. We have tried bumps or tubular markers at other locations and motorists simply drive over them or take them out, and they eventually disappear. 

“I don’t think rumble strips have the desired impact,” he continued. “Rumble strips are designed to alert drowsy and inattentive motorists when they leave the roadway. They have a great track record for reducing run-off-the-road accidents on highways. They are less effective as a method to keep motorists from driving on shoulders. 

“Most motorists drive over them, since they don’t present a physical barrier of any kind, and make the turn on the shoulder.  The white edge line is very visible and makes it clear to the motorist that they are on the shoulder. 

“Rumble strips also present a hazard to bicyclists,” he said, “which is why we leave gaps between series of rumble strips.” 

Cathy’s concerns will be considered in the planning of a $1 million-plus redo of the Central Valley-Fairgrounds intersection in 2012, he said.

In the meantime, “we will remove the (crosswalk) bars in the shoulder and better mark the shoulder area with an edge line clearly visible around the curve radius as part of our pavement marking program this summer,” Jeff said. 

“There is a major sewer project impacting the south side of the intersection. We will mark the north side initially, and complete the south side after the sewer project is completed.”

Central Valley/Fairgrounds signal on the fritz

 

The in basket: I found myself in an unfamiliar place Monday afternoon, though certainly it’s well-known to hundreds of our readers. I rarely use Central Valley Road near Fairgrounds Road, because of the school zones there, and don’t recall the last time I was there at school-closing time.

But Monday I wound up northbound on Central Valley approaching Fairgrounds Road about 3 p.m.

“What a zoo,” I remarked to myself, as the cars ahead of me barely moved while I could see the light was green and should have been moving traffic. I decided to count how many seconds elapsed between the light turning green again and my moving forward. I wondered if school children in the crosswalk were keeping turning traffic from moving, holding up everyone behind them, and whether it was a daily thing for drivers there.

Instead, I wound up counting the length of the green light because it turned yellow after only 10 seconds. Obviously, not many cars got through.

I asked the county if that’s normal behavior for that light.

The out basket: No, says Callene Abernathy of county public works. At least one citizen called in the same complaint Monday night and a signal technician found

that the signal was not operating correctly.  The technician did a temporary fix, she said, and others were to go out Tuesday to see what is wrong with the signal.

Central Valley survey work raises concern

 

The in basket: E-mailers Priscilla & Rudy Barrilleaux of Bremerton say “For the last two weeks there has been a survey crew working on Central Valley Road from Waaga Way to now just beyond Fairgrounds  

Road.  I was wondering if you could please find out the reason for  

the survey?”

They worried that Central Valley might grow to four lanes, Priscilla said.

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says it’s advance work for the 2012 revision of the intersection of Fairgrounds and Central Valley roads . The county has earmarked $1.14 million for the work, so it will be a fairly substantial job, but preliminary engineering won’t begin for a year, says Doug, so there’s no word on how it will be configured. He’s heard no talk of replacing the signals with a roundabout, he said.

Little reaction time at Vena and Central Valley

 

The in basket: Colleen Wells is alarmed by the close proximity of Vena Avenue to the curve in Central Valley Road where Vena intersects it. “You can’t see cars coming around that corner,” she said, “and they can’t see cars on Vena … especially if it’s a small car in the afternoon.” The speed limit there is 35 mph.

The out basket: I was surprised at how quickly I arrived at Vena after negotiating that curve when I tested it, but I also noticed a 25-mph advisory sign for those approaching the curve. 

And I did manage to see an approaching car northbound on Central Valley over the top of the hedge as I waited in my Mazda 3 to pull out from Vena. But it wasn’t a small car. 

I asked the county about the intersection. 

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works said,  “This type of question is routed to our traffic inspectors (which is what I did with this request.) If the sight distance-inhibiting vegetation is within county-owned rights-of-way, we can trim it. Otherwise we do communicate with the property owner to clear the obstruction.

“As to improving that particular intersection, it would require rebuilding (it). That means acquiring more right-of-way and a capital engineering project which would be considered along with, and compete against, the other capital projects on the Transportation Improvement Plan.”

The plan is updated late each year and looks out six years. Vena at Central Valley isn’t mentioned in the current plan.