Tag Archives: Luoto

Is it Highway 308 or Luoto Road, and where?

The in basket: Amy Roszak asked over a year ago the reason for the signs where Highway 308/Luoto Road meets Silverdale Way-Viking Way in North Kitsap.

“My GPS calls it Luoto Road but there’s absolutely no road sign saying that this is name of this road,” she said.

“Was it only formerly known as Luoto but isn’t now? Is Luoto Rd still used on county maps?  When people are on Highway 3 or Viking Way and looking to turn onto Luoto, shouldn’t there be signs telling them this is the road? All they currently see is ‘Rt. 308.'”

The out basket: Steve Bennett, traffic engineer for the Olympic Region of state highways, says, “Our standard is to use the State Route designation on highway signs.

“That said, when these signs are due for replacement we will try to include Luoto Road, space permitting.”

It shouldn’t be too hard. They can use Burwell Street where it meets Callow Avenue in Bremerton, or Highway 166 in Port Orchard as examples.

That Bremerton intersection uses both the highway designation (highways 304 and 310 meet there) and the street names on signs right next to one another. Whoever is in charge of street signs in Port Orchard calls Highway 166 Bay Street, Bethel Road or Mile Hill Drive, depending on which stretch is involved. Occasionally, an SR 166 logo is added to a sign with the street name on it.

As far as what part of Highway 308 is officially called Luoto Road, the county ‘s road map is all over the place, using just State Route 308 at one point, and both highway and road designations on either end of its place on the map. The county road log, as it’s called, can be viewed on line at www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadlog.htm.

Neither is used on street signs marking the side roads, except at Viking Way and Central Valley Road, where the signs says State Route 308.

Luoto/Highway 3 on-ramp said site of turning conflicts

The in basket: Two readers have told me there is a problem with westbound drivers on Highway 308 (Luoto Road) ignoring the Yield signs as they arc onto the northbound on-ramp to Highway 3 and endangering left turners, who have the right of way.

Over a year ago, retired Dr. Robert L. Davis, who tells me he founded the emergency room at Harrison Hospital back in 1976, called to say the Yield sign, which requires right turners entering that on-ramp to yield to left turners, was obscured by tree limbs. 

Then last August, after the visibility was improved and a second Yield sign was added, he called again to say, “The other day a guy just about wiped me out at the corner. The signs aren’t doing any good, they need a stop sign there.” 

Walt Barrett of Poulsbo told me something similar at a recent social event, saying right turners don’t have to slow down much to make the corner and many don’t. He wondered who would be at fault if there were a collision between right and left turners onto that ramp. 

The out basket: State Trooper Krista Hedstrom says the driver who passed the Yield sign without yielding and then collided with a left turner would be at fault, barring some egregious contributing factor by the left turner, like not having headlights on at night.

My experience is that most freeway on-ramps are wide enough that there is room to dodge another car even if its driver was careless and in violation of the Yield sign. And the inconvenience at and after collision even if one is in the right makes it worth doing.

Steve Bennett, traffic operations engineer for the state’s Olympic Region, said the second Yield sign actually was supposed to be a “Yield Ahead” sign and they will change it. Both are visible simultaneously, so I can’t imagine that makes much difference.

Krista says there are not many, if any, collisions at that spot due to failure to yield, nor do they get many complaints about collisions narrowly avoided there. So an unusual step like replacing the Yield signs with a stop sign is all the more unlikely.

They will cite for failure to yield when they see it, though, she said.

Yield sign coming to Bangor area Highway 3 merge

The in basket: Don Erickson of Seabeck wrote in July to say “Everyday when I leave Keyport,  I travel west on Luoto Road to Highway 3 and

turn left to the southbound on-ramp of the highway. Shortly after

entering the on-ramp, there are two lanes of traffic from Bangor merging

from the right. 

“Since I’m going straight ahead and the traffic is coming

from the right, I say I have the right of way. But everyday its a fight

to keep from getting bumped from the Bangor traffic flying around the

curve and trying to merge into my lane and further left onto the

highway. 

“Who has the right of way and can there be any enforcement of a

speed limit on the Bangor traffic coming around the curve heading south?”

The out basket: State Trooper Krista Hedstrom, spokeswoman for the local detachments, says Don is incorrect in his belief that he has the right of way there. 

The Merge sign depicts the two lanes from Bangor with a thicker line than it does the single lane Don uses, and the greater thickness of the line confers right of way.

She notes that despite the sign’s placement on the shoulder of the double right turn access, it’s still visible by the single lane. “I do agree, though, that it would not hurt to have another sign placed in a location more visible,” she added.

I had not heard Krista’s interpretation of varying thickness of lines on a Merge sign before, so I asked Olympic Region Traffic Operations Engineer Steve Bennett if the traffic engineer’s bible, the Manual on Uniform Traffic  Control Devices supports it. 

Not in so many words, he replied, but it can be inferred from the words that ARE used. But just “to clear things up, we will be installing a Yield sign so that the single-lane ramp yields to the double-lane ramp,” he said.

As for speed enforcement there, they will definitely attend to that, says Krista, but the freeway’s 60 mph is the speed limit on its on-ramps so a driver would really have to be hitting it to exceed the limit there.