Tag Archives: Fourth

Kiwanis Park street alignment annoys city resident

The in basket: A Fourth Street resident in West Bremerton who signed herself “a grumpy constituent” wrote, “I live on 4th between Naval and Hewitt. The bulb-outs on the north and south sides of Fourth Street near Kiwanis Park (between Veneta and Hewitt) still extend dangerously out into the road to the point that there is no two-way traffic. Someone always pulls over, panicked, to let the other pass.

“There is still no painted center line (perhaps a center line would be enough to let drivers know it was safe to turn it back into a two-way street). There is still no lighting or iridescent marking on the curbs to let you know the bulb-outs are there in the dark and in the fog.

“I almost did a head-on on my way in or almost smacked into the bulb-out at Fourth and Veneta (going east), or almost smacked into the first bulb-out on Fourth going west on my way home the night before.”

The out basket: Jerry Hauth, Bremerton’s new managing engineer for streets, thanked grumpy constituent for bringing this to his attention.

“I am relatively new with the city,” he said, “and I wanted a little time to get familiar with the circumstances out there.

“I was on-site this week and I saw the large bulb-outs at the pedestrian crossings. We measured the road width at the bulb-outs and found that it is wide enough to allow two cars to pass safely. But, it is much narrower than the rest of the road with the hopes it will slow traffic for safety purposes.

“You may have noticed that there was no paint striping done this year. The city and the county are still trying to work out the wording on our interagency agreement. We need to have this in place – prior to the county painting our centerlines. Hopefully, we will have this resolved for next year.

“In the interim, at the location we are discussing, I was thinking that a few reflective buttons along the centerline in the area of the bulb-outs would enhance the visibility and may provide the comfort for those drivers not familiar with the area. In addition, a reflective plastic post or reflective markers, in the planter near the edge of the bulb-outs, could help define and delineate the bulb-outs also.

“Let me see what I can do to address your concerns,”he told her.

Those ‘Except Bikes’ signs below Right Turn Only signs at Warren

The in basket: Daniel Crall e-mailed to say, “In Bremerton at Fourth Street and Warren Avenue, the city built a center divider so that a car can not turn left. However, there is a sign that states
that ‘Bikes’ may turn left. Does this mean bicycles or motorcycles?”

The out basket: The signs actually say a right turn only is permitted, with an arrow, but with a second sign, “Except Bikes” just below.

They are on both Fourth and Fifth streets on both sides of Warren.

Gunnar Fridriksson of the city street engineers says, “This allows bicycles to go straight through on Fourth and Fifth streets.  Otherwise, the bicyclists would be subject to citation.”

I asked Gunnar if a left turn by a bicyclist passing through the median barrier would be permitted, and he said he believes that would be permitted. I also asked if any kind of motorized two-wheeler, from motorcycles to motorized scooters, could take advantage of the exception, and he said no. But the final call would be by a law enforcement officer who witnessed what was done.

Gunnar also said a businessman with a view of the barrier from atop the large glass office building there tells him he occasionally sees cars squeeze through the crosswalk gaps in the barrier. That, of course, is illegal.

Work next to Kiwanis Park concerns readers

The in basket: Curtis Allen of Bremerton asks “What is happening on Fourth and Fifth streets? Will they be one-way streets?”

And Jim Hockstein writes, “I don’t recall voting (or even asking for) eliminating parking on Fourth and Fifth, nor that traffic barrier on Warren between Fifth and Burwell.

“Flower beds are nice, but the City of Bremerton needs all the parking there is on Fourth and Fifth.   I can see the logic for easing the traffic flow on Warren between Sixth and Burwell.”

The out basket: Fourth and Fifth will remain two-way streets when the work is completed, says Gunnar Fridriksson of the Bremerton city street engineers.

The work is part of the renovation of Kiwanis Park, which lies between the two streets. The work in the streets is creating what are called bulb-outs to slow traffic and give pedestrians a shorter distance to get to the other side of the street.

City Parks Director Wyn Birkenthal said many drivers use Fourth and Fifth to avoid using arterials Burwell and Sixth, which have traffic signals, creating safety problems.

There will be three pairs of bulb-outs across the street from one another on Fifth Street, at the intersections with crosswalks, and three on just the park side of Fourth Street. Around 40 back-in angle parking spaces will lie between the Fourth Street bulb-outs.

Gunnar said, “Overall, we are actually increasing the number of parking spots with the projects. We are introducing angled back-in parking along Fourth Street along the park.” Spaces on Fourth Stret will increase from 111 to 125.

“The bulb-outs at the intersections will not eliminate any parking, as with state law, vehicles are to not park within 30 feet of an intersection.  The mid-block bulb-outs will eliminate some parking, I believe about four spaces per block on both sides of the street,” he said.

Street projects don’t require a vote, of course. The tops of the various bulb-outs will be a mixture of hard caps and rain gardens with landscaping, Gunnar said. The ones on Warren Avenue will be hard surface.

Wyn filled me in on what the park will look like when the work is finished.

It will still have a soccer field on its high end, with improved irrigation. New restrooms have been built near where the old ones were demolished.

The lower level will be much different, with the decrepit tennis courts removed and no backstop for ball games. The children’s play area, formerly on the upper level, will be on the lower level about where the ball field used to be, with separate areas for pre-schoolers and those six to 12 years old. An open lawn area will occupy the center of the lower area. Drainage will be improved to keep the lower area playable.

There will be a picnic shelter and post and rail perimeter fencing in place of the “ratty chain link fencing” there before, Wyn said.

It will be “low impact development, to minimize runoff. The walking trial will be pervious asphalt.

The work will be comnplete by February, but the public will have to stay off the grass for an unknown length of time to let it establish itself, Wyn said.

 

Warren Avenue work for pedestrians will end cross-traffic at 4th, 5th

The in basket: I was surprised Monday when I turned left from Burwell Street to Warren Avenue in Bremerton to find a crew making saw cuts in the pavement of the inside northbound lane. Traffic was reduced to a single lane northbound on Warren almost to Fifth Street. I asked what it was for.

The out basket: Drivers will have to get used to northbound Warren being a single lane from Burwell to Sixth Street. Gunnar Fridriksson of the city’s street engineers said the work is the opening volley of a series of projects to make the city safer for pedestrians and bicyclists wanting to cross busy streets.

As a by-product, it soon will no longer be possible to cross Warren at either Fourth or Fifth streets. Only right turns will be possible at both. A raised island where the walkers and bikes can pause half-way across will block auto cross-traffic at both intersections. It should be the end of T-bone crashes involving cars on Warren and those crossing it at those two streets while giving pedestrians an alternative to dashing across the entire street in one movement.

The raised island will stretch from near Burwell to just past Fifth Street. “(They) are built

with standard 6-inch curb and will have patterned red-concrete infill,” Gunnar said.

Stan  Palmer Construction was the only bidder on the work at $769,600 and was given the contract by city council action on July 18.

Gunnar said 20 city locations have been shown to be dangerous places for pedestrians and bicyclists and the city got funding to address about half of them. Most are less extensive, involving revision to crosswalks, bicycle lanes on Kitsap Way and meeting new Americans with Disability Act requirements. Warren and 16th at the main entrance to Olympic College is the only other one with a new refuge island.

Is that a roundabout going in at 4th and Park?

The in basket: I was heading east on Fourth Street approaching Warren Avenue in Bremerton when looking ahead I noticed that the upcoming intersection at Park Avenue, where the new theaters are being built, had a lot of work going on.

I drove down there and found what looked like a new roundabout under construction. There was a roundabout-style sign posted in the intersection, directing drivers around the center of the intersection.

I’m a big fan of roundabouts but I know not everyone is. It seemed like this one has been flying under the radar.

The out basket: It may look like one now, but it won’t be a roundabout when completed, says Brian Fyall, a consultant with the city on the development in that area. It will be a flat granite feature depicting an anchor and four points of the compass. Traffic will pass over it in a traditional intersection alignment.

“The roundabout style sign is a temporary measure,” he said. “The contractor needs to pour a a concrete subbase for the granite accent,” so the middle of the intersection is off-limits for now.