Tag Archives: four-way

Parkview Terrace resident seeks speed reductions

The in basket: Michel Feely writes, “I have had problems in my neighborhood with speeders. I live in Parkview Terrace in (South Kitsap) and had nothing but problems with cars, go-carts, motorcycles and a commuter bus for PSNS.

“The problem is that Carter Ave SW is a through street that is posted for 25 mph and nobody does it. Kids play on this street, riding there kick-and-go’s, bikes, skateboards, roller skates and these cars and motorcycles all come racing down this street at speeds well over 50 mph sometimes.

“I wrote to the sheriff and he sends out a patrol car and, of course, when he is here nothing is going on. I have asked several times for some help and even offered to pay for power to have a speed reader to advise the vehicles how fast they are going, or to move the speed sign from Sidney near Albertson’s to Carter Ave SW.

“A suggestion would be to put a four-way stop (at Carter and View) or something to help slow them down as I know the police can’t be here all the time.

“I have tried talking to a few of the repeated drivers and they all said they were sorry and wouldn’t do it again, but the next day they are right back at it. I am not sure if there is anything you can do to help save a life, because somebody is going to get hurt or killed on this street if something isn’t done about it.”

The out basket: I asked Michel if Carter has it worse than the parallel streets in Parkview Terrace – Fry, Denny, Cable and Elder – which all intersect Shannon, as does Carter. He said Carter “seems to be the most traveled and the center street of the development. My daughter lives on Gable and it doesn’t seem to be as bad,” he added.

Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, says, , “We do not use four-way stops for speed control.  Federal guidelines and most other documents regarding traffic calming flat out state do not use stop signs for speed control.

“Some of the reasons that guidelines strongly discourage stop signs to control speeds include that they slow traffic in a very limited area near the sign, and can actually lead to higher speeds as motorists try to make up time lost at the stop sign; noise increases near the signs with vehicle braking and accelerating; and most dangerous, it can lead to a total disregard of the sign.

“If motorists never see any cross traffic, which will probably be the case here,” Jeff explained, “a few aren’t going to see a need to stop and some may not even slow down after some time passes (it will probably be the ones speeding now).”

Any community can apply to get a mobile radar speed sign for a while by calling Kitsap1 at 360-337-5777 or online at help@kitsap1.com.

But public works has only one of them. “The signs we move from place to place are actually post-mounted,” Jeff said. “We have to install permanent sleeves in the ground with grounding rods.  These signs are moved about every four months. They are (state) Labor and Industry-permitted signs because of the solar power and must be permitted each time (with a fee) we move them around.

“We reserve these signs to locations with speeding issues on arterial roads where speed humps are not an option.”

“Since these roads are classified local access roads we would not consider them for the post-mounted speed signs,” he said, but speed humps are an option in Parkwood East, and residents there can seek them or other traffic calming devices, also at Kitsap1.

 

Signal replacement at Lebo & Old Wheaton questioned

The in basket: Luella Pellman asks, “Why did they take the stop light out near the hospital at Lebo and Cherry (in Bremerton) and put a four-way stop there?  Seems like a very busy corner for just stop signs.”

She wonders if the signal will be replaced.

The out basket: Not unless the corner gets a lot busier.

The old signal there had a lot of problems due to age, with intermittently non-functioning traffic detectors in the pavement sometimes creating long delays for those waiting for the signal to change.

In designing the improvements under way on Old Wheaton Way, “We completed an analysis of the intersection and found that (our criteria) did not require the signal to be there,” says Bremerton city street engineer Gunnar Fridriksson.  “Signals are expensive for installation, typically about $350K,” he said, “plus yearly maintenance and electrical expenses. So if we do not need them – we are removing them and saving those costs.

“We are installing new conduits, just as we did at Sixth and 11th on Pacific so should the signals be needed in the future, we do not need to tear up the roadway to construct it.”

The Road Warrior has been through the intersection several times since the signals were removed and I have found it to be an improvement, with little backup of traffic and no waiting for a signal to change. I’ve not been there at rush hour, but at mid-day, the all-way stop is very effective.

Gunnar also passed along an analysis of traffic signals that said they are not the panacea for all problems they’re often taken for. Among their shortcomings can be detouring traffic onto less-desirable streets when drivers try to avoid the signal, and rear-end collisions. You can see it yourself at http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part4/part4b.htm#section4B02

Old Wheaton and Callahan proposed for four-way stop

The in basket: Alison Slow Loris writes, “It’s a mystery to me why the Bremerton intersection of Callahan Street with Wheaton Way (Old Wheaton, before it becomes Highway 303) is a two-way stop, with Wheaton traffic unimpeded and Callahan traffic forced to stop.

“Traffic appears equal on both streets. Callahan gives access to 303 and serves several medical facilities as well as cross streets leading to more of the same.

“Furthermore,” she said, “while westbound drivers on Callahan have a reasonable line of sight, Wheaton’s curves make it very difficult for eastbound drivers to see when it’s safe to proceed. Due to the nature of the district, many hyper-cautious elderly drivers use those streets, and it’s not unusual to see several eastbound cars lined up at the stop sign waiting for a westbound car to enter the intersection.

“Wouldn’t it make a whole lot more sense to have a four-way stop there?”

The out basket: Another reader suggested the same thing years ago. I didn’t see a problem then and still don’t, but my travel through that intersection is usually westbound, not the direction Alison says is a problem, and in the early evening, not during business hours.

Gunnar Fridriksson, street engineer for Bremerton, who says he regularly uses that intersection, says the traffic control there is adequate.

Old Wheaton Way had about twice the traffic of Callahan, 5,000 to 2.500 vehicles per day, when it was last tallied in 2001. The federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, says, “Multi-way stop control can be useful as a safety measure at intersections if certain traffic conditions exist. Safety concerns associated with multi-way stops include pedestrians, bicyclists, and all road users expecting other road users to stop. Multi-way stop control is used where the volume of traffic on the intersecting roads is approximately equal.”

“These traffic volumes are modest,” Gunnar said, “and we’re not aware of an accident history here that would prompt any traffic revisions. We would need to perform further investigation (new traffic counts, etc.,) to see whether (national standards) are met for any proposed improvements.

“I also drive this route fairly regularly, as our offices are up at Olympus Drive,” he said, “and have not seen a problem.  At this time we’ll log this inquiry from Ms. Loris, and see whether additional requests are made for traffic revisions in this area in the future.”

 

 

High speed turns at CK intersection causing wrecks

The in basket: Sharon Anderson wrote on Dec. 3 to say, “It happened again the night of Nov 28 at the intersection of Central Valley and McWilliams (roads) . Someone whipped around the turn from Central Valley onto McWilliams, flew over the sidewalk, and crashed through someone’s fence and landed in their back yard.

“This is the third time that I know of,” she said. “A while back another vehicle wound up in someone’s back yard on Central Valley at the same intersection.  There have been other accidents at this intersection, as well.

“McWilliams is a virtual speed way on many nights,” Sharon said. “Someday, someone will be standing or walking on that same sidewalk or be in their backyard when another vehicle crashes through and possibly injures or kills that person.

“This intersection needs a flashing red light to get people on Central Valley to stop before turning onto McWilliams or some other solution to keep vehicles from turning at such a high speed that they lose control. It is only a matter of time before the next accident.”

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County’s traffic engineer, says some signing improvements are the most likely upgrade to happen there soon.

“The number of collisions at the intersection of Central Valley and McWilliams ranks the intersection 16th in the county,” he said. “While that does not make this intersection the highest priority, it does provide a cue to evaluate the intersection for possible improvements in the future. There was an average of three collisions per year during the past seven years.

“This number represents an expected occurrence of collisions compared to similar intersections on a national scale. Based on the traffic volumes through the McWilliams and Central Valley intersection – about 10,000 vehicles a day – that works out to a little less than one collision per 1,000,000 vehicles that enter the intersection.

“The significance of that number is that we can compare it to national standards. So our rate is 0.914 and the national rate for comparison is 0.990. We are in the right range when compared to the national rate.  We have or will be installing some signage improvements at or near the intersection.

“In regards to your reader’s request for a flashing red light four-way stop, we use the (federal) Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. (Its) criteria are very specific as it relates to four-way stops. The primary (reason) for installing a four-way stop is reducing traffic delays.

“In most four-way-stop scenarios, one or two legs of the intersection have to wait an unreasonable amount of time before making their turning movement.

“At this intersection, the major movements do not conflict with each other and delays there are minimal.  Installing a four-way stop (would)require about 6,000 vehicles a day to stop there. Stopping that many cars increases fuel usage, and contributes to air and noise pollution. It also adds to, rather than alleviates, delays to motorists.

Concerning all-way stops and rolling right turns

The in basket: Alison Loris says in an e-mail, “I have noticed that many drivers do not bother to come to a stop at a four-way-stop sign or traffic light if they are making a right turn, not even a “California stop.”  The intersection of Perry and Sylvan in East Bremerton is just about the worst I’ve seen, but it happens elsewhere too.  Some drivers don’t even appear to glance at the other cars at the intersection.  Surely this is illegal as well as dangerous! The practice of ignoring the four-way stop is irritating to drivers who do wait their turn.”

The out basket: Yes, it’s illegal, but a common practice, and hardly new. Drivers have been doing it as long as I can remember.

The red light cameras being deployed in Bremerton and elsewhere serve their supposed function almost exclusively in the deterrence of that infraction. Most camera-based citations are for rolling right turns.

And they are dangerous, to pedestrians who are trying to cross at the intersection.

It also is quite understandable at Perry and Sylvan, for drivers turning from westbound Sylvan onto northbound Perry. It’s an uphill grade and getting restarted  from a full stop on Sylvan regularly involves some spinning of the tires in the sand on the road. Keeping up one’s momentum in that turn is an attractive tactic.

How long will Belfair 4-way stop stay that way?

The in basket: Natasha Champion asks, “Do you know if there is a future plan to put in a light or a

roundabout at the intersection of Clifton Road and Old Belfair Highway  in Belfair?

“Currently there is a four-way stop and many accidents and near misses,” she said.

The out basket: That intersection is the state’s responsibility, as it is on Highway 300, the short spur that’s a state highway as far as Belfair State Park.

Steve Bennett, operations engineer for the Olympic Region of state highways says the Statewide Intersection Priority List makes no mention of that Belfair intersection, so no signal or roundabout is planned there for the foreseeable future.

I’ve never had much trouble getting through there, though I noticed it was considered enough of a problem that law enforcement was directing traffic through it when the Clifton Lane leg was blocked for the recent Taste of Hood Canal. That probably had to do with the greatly increased pedestrian traffic that day.