Tag Archives: John Carlson

Reader wonders about extra Esquire Hills school zone

The in basket: Matt Clous writes, “Esquire Hills Elementary has a properly marked school zone on John Carlson Road. A quarter-mile west from the school is a marked pedestrian crosswalk – the intersection is also marked as a school zone, yet there is no visible school nearby. What’s up with that?”

The out basket: This takes me back to my efforts to explain the school zone on Sedgwick Road (a state highway) at Converse Avenue in South Kitsap early last year, which a reader insisted was not legal under terms of the law that allows school zones, because it was more (way more) than 300 feet from Hidden Creek Elementary. I never did get a satisfactory explanation, but after that reader, Dave Dahlke, got state Sen. Jan Angel involved, the zone was removed and replaced by horizontal flashing lights at the crosswalk on Sedgwick.

The one of John Carlson is on a county road, so I asked county Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea, “what’s up with that?” I sent along a copy of my column on the Sedgwick zone.

Jeff said, “As you point out in your (column), there are two distinct applications at play here.  First is the school boundary.  The law states that a school speed zone can be established 300 feet from the school itself.  The second part of the law allows the establishment of a school speed zone 300 feet on either side of a marked school crossing.  The school crossing doesn’t have to be at the school itself.

“If the school and county determine that a student walking route warrants a marked school crossing that crossing can be controlled by a 20 mph school zone.”


State records don’t confirm hazard at 303 and John Carlson Road

The in basket: Virginia Pace says she is concerned about “the increasing number of accidents. some with serious injuries, that take place at the corners of John Carlson/Fairgrounds roads and Highway 303.

“John Carlson has become a very busy and fast street,” she said. “Drivers exiting John Carlson on right turns have a large fast intersection to scope out before their turns. A pedestrian gets lost in that scope.

“I counted seven lanes on the north side of 303.  Pedestrians are taking chances in crossing that wide busy intersection. I live near (there), hear the sirens, see the skid marks, see the traffic being routed around the accidents, the broken glass, and motor liquids left on the highway.

“Can this dangerous intersection be evaluated for safety for pedestrians?” she asked. “I am suggesting blinking caution lights on the dividers between north and south lanes. The blinkers would alert drivers and pedestrians to be visually careful. And, without a doubt, there are more pedestrians and bicyclists using all intersections. I see more and more pedestrians walking up and down John Carlson.”

The out basket: State records don’t confirm what Virginia says she witnesses from her home.

Lisa Copeland of the Olympic Region of state highways, says, “In the last five years there have been no pedestrian collisions and two bike collisions at, or near the intersection.

“The first bike accident occurred at a driveway within a 100 feet of the intersection as a car emerging from a driveway hit a bike traveling on the shoulder. The bicyclist hurt his knee.

“The second occurred when a bike crossed against the signal and was struck. The bicyclist was considered at fault in the collision.”

It doesn’t sound like John Carlson/Fairgrounds and 303 stands much chance of being singled out for special pedestrian safety work.

Peril near Esquire Hills from lack of street light

The in basket: Bruce Reed wrote in November to say, “We have been in contact with the school and county officials to get a street light placed at the crosswalk at John Carlson Road and Berkeley Place at the corner of Esquire Hills Elementary School.

“Since fall began were reminded of how dark it is in the  morning when the kids are headed to school or on the nights the school has planned activities.

“There are two other crosswalks by the school and they both have street lights, however,  this particular crosswalk is dangerous,  especially with the sharp (blind) corner just before the crosswalk. My wife and I have attempted to cross the street at night using that crosswalk and, not to our surprise, have we yet (to have) a vehicle stop at the crosswalk for us.

“This crosswalk is pitch black at night and in the early morning and it is next to impossible for a car’s driver to see pedestrians.  Now with the increasing amount of children walking to school, we have become concerned about  the safety  of the students, staff and parents.”

Bruce also described a scary situation in which residents were trying to help the victim of a crash at the intersection in 2010, at night.

“The driver of the car was frantically crying and in pain and was not able to get out of the car. She was a sitting duck in the middle of the road with no headlights as were the good Samaritan’s that were there trying to calm her down and help.  We were trying to signal cars with an umbrella but they really could not see us until the last minute.

“I understand that the county has procedure they follow when putting up street lights,” Bruce said, “and they told us it could take a year or more to get a light at this crosswalk. What I don’t understand is why the county can’t put safety first and make this a priority rather than a possible statistic.”

The out basket: Help is on the way, said Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works last month.

“We are proceeding with installing a street light there,” he said. “Street lights are installed by Puget Sound Energy. I don’t have any estimate of when that work is scheduled by them. As you reader indicated it does take time to work through the process from the request to the actual installation.”

Before the start of school next fall would be a good target, I’d say.