Tag Archives: Greaves

Changes coming near Greaves and Clear Creek

The in basket: Kitsap County will be having a contractor revise the traffic signal at Clear Creek Road and Greaves Way north of Silverdale, where the big new shopping center is under construction. They were to start Oct. 1 and I imagine will add a signal arm for the access to and from the center. I asked if the other three legs of the intersection will be changed.

The out basket: No, says Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer, but the state will be adding a turn lane near there.

“The channelization on the other three legs will remain the same,” Jeff said. “Some tweaking of the phase (red, amber, and yellow) changes will be done to accommodate the added traffic from the center.

“The developer is also working with the state on changes to their signal at the SR 3 off-ramp to Kitsap Mall Boulevard.They also will be adding a second turn lane for traffic coming from SR 3 and making the left turn onto Greaves Way,” he said.

New stores will worsen Greaves/Old Frontier, reader predicts

The in basket: Shun Hung Ling e-mails with the latest complaint I’ve gotten about the somewhat unusual intersection of Greaves Way and Old Frontier Road west of Silverdale. About the only problem there he didn’t mention is the visibility of the traffic island where westbound Greaves traffic turns right onto Old Frontier, the most common complaint I get about that spot.

“The signs indicate the traffic on (eastbound) Old Frontier Road heading towards the mall has the right of way,” his e-mail said, “including when they make a left turn to continue on towards Trigger Avenue.

“The traffic on Old Frontier Road heading south must turn left onto Greaves towards the mall or right towards Anderson Hill Road.  The problem here is the two lanes on Old Frontier going south have a stop sign.  The inside car trying to turn left can not see the oncoming traffic when there’s a car in the outside lane trying to turn right.

“When traffic coming east on Old Frontier Road and turning left to continue north has the right of way, they tend to drive somewhat fast and turn left cutting corners, threatening the car wanting to turn left on to Greaves Road.”

Traffic will continue to build with the opening of the new shopping plaza at Greaves and Highway 303, he said, making those problems worse.

He thinks the intersection needs a traffic signal or at least to have the Old Frontier stop signs moved back five or six feet “so both car lanes on Old Frontier heading south can see the traffic coming from their right before they make their turn.

I asked Kitsap County Public Works if any modifications to recognize the increased traffic with the opening of the new plaza are planned.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, county traffic engineer, says, “Before developing the Greaves Way project we looked at current and future traffic volumes. The signal at Clear Creek Road was warranted for current volumes, and installed at the time the road was developed.  The then-current volumes did not warrant the signal at Frontier Road.

“We evaluated it using estimated future volumes and a signal was warranted based on growth and future development’s bringing additional vehicle volumes.

“We did install much of the underground electrical system for a new signal at Frontier Road based on that evaluation.  We continue to monitor the traffic volume at that intersection. As it gets close to meeting volume (criteria), we will propose a signal installation as a future project.

“Stop lines for multi-lane stops can be difficult to navigate when traffic occupies both lanes,” he said. “Stop lines at non-signalized intersections are not usually staggered. Motorists tend to stop as close to the intersection as possible, especially drivers that are familiar with the intersection.

“We consider a couple of things when placing stop lines.  They have to be at least four feet behind the nearest line if there is a marked crosswalk.  We mark them as close to the intersection as possible to give motorists better sight distance to see cross traffic.

“We also try to keep them out of shoulders to help protect pedestrians and bicyclists.

“State law states that a driver must stop at the stop line if one exists, but the driver is allowed to move forward after stopping to see oncoming traffic better,” Jeff said.

Lane changes on Greaves Way creating collisions

The in basket: Brandon Ackerman e-mailed me in December to make me aware of all the bad wrecks at the new intersection on Old Frontier Road at Greaves Way north of Silverdale

“I live on the corner (and) have listened to about 10 to 20 bad accidents in the last two years!” he said. “I think the county needs to change the set-up coming from Greaves.

“There is a turn-only lane coming down the hill with a solid white line. Cars coming from Greaves in the turn-only lane jump at the last minute to the fast lane, which goes straight.

“At that point,” Brandon said, “the cars (turning from) Old Frontier think the car is turning, which gives them the right of way.”

When they turn, Brandon said, the car on Greaves cuts to the other line “and SLAM, big WRECK!”

“The county needs to change this intersection or add the big white cone things to keep cars from changing lanes  at the last 50 feet,” Brandon said.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for Kitsap County, says, “We show 10 reported collisions at or near the intersection from early 2010 until early 2012.  The state office that sends us traffic reports is usually about six months or so behind current date.

“We had an earlier complaint about visibility and collisions at this location, so the road department went out in early May and did some heavy pruning to improve motorist’s visibility.

“We will also add a lane usage sign coming down from Greaves Way to let motorist know earlier which lane to use.  Hopefully these two improvements will reduce the number of collisions,” Jeff said. “We will continue to monitor and control the vegetation.”

Why was Greaves Way built?

The in basket: Mary Barton e-mailed to say, “I’m wondering if you can tell me why Greaves Road in Silverdale was created.  “I was driving on Old Frontier from Trigger Avenue” she said, “and encountered this new (to me) intersection (Old Frontier and Greaves).  I took Greaves road by mistake probably because I was confused by the change.

“Greaves road is nice, wide and empty.  Why did we spend money on a road that isn’t used?   What if anything is the county planning for this new road, that if you take a left at

Highway 303 takes us to the worst intersections in the county?”

The out basket: The road (it’s name is actually Greaves Way) is intended to provide a more direct route between west Silverdale/rural Central Kitsap and that “worst” intersection, which gets one onto the Highway 3 and Highway 303 freeways, and to link Clear Creek and Old Frontier roads more directly, while providing access to an area designated by county planners as a major commercial area of the future.

A statement from the county says, “Discussion on design of this roadway was originally initiated in the 1990s, with funding acquired over the years from local and federal sources. (It) was added to the County’s Transportation Improvement Plan in 2000 to initiate design and engineering.  “In 2006, the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan expanded the Silverdale Urban Growth Area and added 450 acres of land for new opportunities for commercial, office and industrial uses. The new road was, and still is (the economy turned and the developments got put on hold), intended to provide a development catalyst to these lands by providing access to a wide-range of new employment and service opportunities for Kitsap County residents.

(It) was also offered as an alternate route into, and around, Silverdale, reducing congestions on Anderson Hill Road and Bucklin Hill Road,” the statement said.

 

County will move Greaves Way trees

The in basket: DJ LaPour read a recent Road Warrior column about Silverdale’s Greaves Way online at kitsapsun.com and posted this comment: “Sadly, the few dozen Thundercloud Plum trees lining Greaves Way are dying from a fungal disease.  So much for landscaping.  I was surprised at the choice of plantings since this variety has been affected by disease all over the Puget Sound area.”

The out basket:The county initially decided to mount a chemical and manual effort to save the trees where they are, but thought better of it.

Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works, without addressing the implied criticism of the choice of that species of tree in the first place, said, “The plum trees are infected with blight caused primarily from poor drainage.” He first described  a program of “cultural methods and chemical treatment to control this disease that  include removing and destroying infected twigs and branches as well as any rotted fruit and an approved fungicide to be applied in early spring when buds break, and at intervals during the spring until dry weather arrives.”

But County Road Superintendent Don Schultz wrote on Thursday, “After further review of our options, we decided to mitigate the situation by removing all of the trees and transplanting them in another area that has suitable soil environment that will sustain them. We will look at planting something else in their place.”

 

Reader lights up Silverdale street light planning

Schematic of proposed roundabout at Silverdale/Chico Way and Newberry Hill Road

The in basket: Greaves Way, the link between Highway 303 and Old Frontier Road northwest of Silverdale. has inspired a couple of questions from Peter Wimmer of Silverdale.

One, he asked, “is there ever going to be ground maintenance on Greaves Way?”

And two, he said, when he  asked the Road Warrior column about the fancy lighting on that road a couple years ago, “the project engineer said that it was done (because) it was the ‘Gateway to Silverdale.’ Then at the Dec. 21 Central Kitsap Community Council meeting where Tina Nelson (senior project manager for the county), gave the brief on the Silverdale Way roundabout and Bucklin Hill Road bridge project, I asked about the lighting and she said that it was going to be the standard grey metal pole lighting.

“If the roundabout  is not another Silverdale Gateway (and yes, ‘Welcome to Silverdale’ is included in the design) then what is?  This again is showing how Greaves Way is another ‘build it and they will come’ waste of tax dollars. And how do we get a true Gateway to Silverdale with proper lighting?”

The out basket: Peter’s first question implies that the Greaves Way landscaping was planted and forgotten, but Don Schultz, county road superintendent , says that’s not the case.

“Between April and October,” he said, “the county spent almost $10,000 on vegetation management efforts along Greaves Way. This includes about 240 staff hours controlling vegetation along the roadway.”

Their focus was driver visibility and keeping brush growth out of the street. “It is not landscaping in the truest sense,” he said, “but rather managing the vegetation to ensure the travel lanes remain clear.”

Tina Nelson took the second question, and said, “There has been, and continues to be, discussion with the Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) about using the center of the roundabout for a ‘feature’ (a gateway in a sense) to welcome motorists to Silverdale. The decision was made to include minor work within the center (including the wall with the Welcome to Silverdale letters) in the current construction project, and work later on a ‘feature.’ The feature could include art, plants, something by the community, a competition, or other ideas being considered by the CKCC.

“The construction plan is to provide the required lighting that meets (state) standards for safety for the roundabout. The current plan specifies standard (state) light poles. This is county standard for projects if we can’t hang luminaries from existing power poles. The standard poles meet safety specifications, and allow us to use existing inventory parts for any maintenance required. This keeps maintenance costs lower.

“We listened to feedback provided at the December CKCC meeting. We are reviewing the possibility of installing light poles more decorative than the standard poles currently in the project design.

“We are reviewing pole options, initial cost of installation, time and cost for a redesign of the lighting system, and future maintenance costs. Decorative lighting could also be provided to the corridor at a later date in addition to the required lighting. This would be more directed towards pedestrians and create a place and ambiance.”

Speed limits on Greaves and Old Frontier compared

The in basket: Lucrecia Mirano of Silverdale,says, “My question is why Greaves Way, the new street in Silverdale, which is a four-lane street with divider, and no intersections or driveways (yet) has been given a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour, while Old Frontier, a two-lane (with) no divider and lots of driveways and intersections, is set at 40 miles per hour?

“With the Greaves incline when you are going towards the distributor (highway), it is very hard to keep your car under 35 mph,” she said.

The out basket: County Engineer Jon Brand replies, “The speed limit there is based on the design, the 8 percent longitudinal grade, horizontal curvature and safely accommodating non-motorized users. Eventual development along that road is also considered as we set speed limits.

“That being said, I’ve asked our design engineer to review the speed limit to see if it should be raised to 40 mph until more development happens along Greaves Way,” Jon said.

 

Shiny tape coming to island on Greaves Way

The in basket: Barb Frindell think the outside lane on the recently opened Greaves Way in Silverdale needs a little more notice that it’s about to require a right turn onto Old Frontier Road.

“Are they thinking of putting up some arrows in the medium on Greaves Way, where the right-turn-only lane ends?”  she asked. “At night approaching that intersection, it comes up on you before you know it.

“I would think that there might be a few accidents of people jumping the curb area that did not want to be in that lane.”

She told me she envisioned one of those yellow arrow signs like the county has at the end of Newberry Hill Road at Seabeck Highway. 

The out basket: The county’s first response was that the markings are adequate.

“There currently are two pavement arrows for the right-turn lane in place,” said Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea. “In addition to the arrows we have a 320-foot solid white wide gore stripe prior to the intersection. There is also two Right Lane Must Turn Right signs, and an advance street name sign prior to the intersection. We do not plan any additional marking there.” 

On reflection, however, it was decided that some reflective tape will be added to the island that ends the outside lane, so drivers can see it better at night.

Roundabout idea on Greaves Way ahead of its time

The in basket: Paul Ofsthun thinks the realigned intersection of Clear Creek Road and the new Greaves Way in Silverdale would have been a good place for a roundabout, so that the traffic signal installed there wouldn’t have been needed. 

“It only has three arteries and doesn’t have a high volume of traffic,” he said. “Did the county give this option any thought?”

The out basket: Tina Nelson, senior program manager for Kitsap County Public Works, says, yes, one was considered, but it was an idea whose time had not quite come.

“Design for the new NW Greaves Way project was closely coordinated with (the state’s) new SR3/SR303 interchange design,” she said.  “The evaluation was done by the state Department of Transportation in 2004, and they determined a signal would better facilitate traffic there. 

“Roundabouts were still a relatively new concept for Kitsap County at the time,” Tina said, “and motorists were still getting familiar with their use. Traffic engineering considerations are not necessarily interchangeable between the two options, and in this particular case the decision to use a signal was chosen.

“Since that decision, the use and general acceptance of roundabouts has increased, and roundabouts are often considered instead of signals as new projects are designed. If the Greaves Way project was just starting design today, a different decision might have been made. 

“We currently are considering roundabouts at Lake Flora & JM Dickenson, and at the Silverdale Way / Newberry Hill / Chico Way intersection, and continue to consider their use in future projects and plans.”

“While there are only three legs to the intersection now, it is designed to accommodate a fourth access south of the new roadway at some point in the future,” Tina said.

Greaves Way remains closed and can’t be opened until they get at least three days of dry weather to allow for digging up two small patches of pavement that have settled, recompacting it and then patching the pavement, said Project Manager Jacques Dean. With the uncertainty of winter weather, no  date for a ribbon cutting and opening the new road has been set.  

Updating Silverdale’s newest street, Greaves Way

The in basket: Patricia Evans and Peter Wimmer have commented on the still-to-open Greaves Way that soon will link Old Frontier Road and the Silverdale interchange where highways 3 and 303 meet.

Patricia says she travels Old  Frontier Road to Bangor every day and has her doubts about the new left turn created where Old Frontier and Greaves Way meet.

“When making a left turn after stopping at the new stop sign, a person is not able to make the complete turn without going onto the double yellow line toward the oncoming traffic,” she asserts .”It is a very tight turn even with my GEO.”

She doesn’t think a large truck or a school bus can make the turn without breaking the law.

Peter wonders why the county leaves what he considers the overly fancy street lights  on all night when no traffic is allowed on the road yet.

“I can understand the need for some lighting, but really isn’t that a bit much?” he wrote. “And a bit fancy? How about fixing ones that are not lit before they light  up an unopened stretch of road?  Are we not trying to save money in the budget?”

The out basket: I’m glad they asked, as it’s about time for an update on Greaves Way, which was days from its Nov. 16 ribbon cutting when it was all put on hold.

The reason, Project Manager Jacques Dean tells me, was that the cross-arm on one of the supports for the new traffic signal at Greaves and the realigned Clear Creek Road arrived bent. 

The company that provided it took it back, cut it, welded it and galvanized it. It was brought back Monday and installed, he said..

If the light was the only problem, the road might open next week. But some of the roadway has settled up at the top of Greaves’ hill, Jacques said. The contractor is trying to diagnose the problem.

Silver lining-wise, the postponement Nov. 16 is a good thing, or they’d be dealing with the pavement problem with traffic passing by. 

Whatever they learn, and whenever the road opens, the ribbon cutting won’t be until after the first of the year, he said.

As for Patricia’s concern, I told Jacques it does seem like a tight turn, even in a  passenger car. Another car sitting in the left turn pocket waiting to go east on Greaves (when it’s open) could present a long vehicle turning across its path with problems.

He looked at it Tuesday and says it follows the design, which meets turning radius criteria. A truck or motor home driver who pulls into the intersection before starting his turn won’t have problems, he said. 

The stop sign that halts traffic before making that left turn to continue on to Bangor will be removed. Southbound Old Frontier will become the stop street then and northbound Old Frontier and Greaves will appear to be one street.

Jacques said he hadn’t considered the possibility of disconnecting the street lights until the road opens. They are activated by darkness, but all of them can be disconnected at just two spots. He’ll look into whether labor or permitting issues to unhook them and then hook them up again would offset any savings from letting them come on at night until the road is open, he said.

As for whether the lights are too fancy, Jacques said, “This project can be considered one of the ‘gateways’ into Silverdale.  It will be a significant area of growth in the future and the county and community wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing, thus the ornate light standards, boulevard design, and extensive landscaping. 

“The light standards that were chosen are actually cheaper to purchase and install, including to maintain and replace, than standard light poles and luminaires,” he said,. “The number of light poles is based on standard parameters for a four-lane roadway and necessary disbursement of light.”