Tag Archives: Masi

Masi Shop access on 305 a work in progress

 

The in basket: Andrew McMillen said in an e-mail, “When the Masi Shop on Highway 305 in Suquamish added the new buildings, they  got an on/off merge lane in the southwest direction and an additional exit on the opposing side. 

“The speed limit is 55 mph and soon dropping to 50. However, in both directions traffic frequently has to slow to as low as 20 mph for exiting/entering traffic, sometimes abruptly. 

“Cars coming from the shop heading towards Poulsbo cause through traffic on the highway to slow drastically,” he said. “They don’t enter the merge lane and wait, they just merge all the way onto the highway, which is uphill at that point and slows them down.

“What traffic studies were done on the highway modifications, or will be?” he asked.

The out basket: I can’t answer that exact question, but the Suquamish tribe and the state are working to correct the shortcomings on that short stretch of highway.

It’s clear the highway alignment has been a work in progress. Andrew referred me to a Google Maps aerial of that spot, presumable taken last year. It showed two large arrows indicating a merge of traffic that has just turned left out of the shops to go toward Poulsbo and some left turn arrows for turns into the shops. 

Today. the two large arrows have been scrubbed off and the left turn lane is farther toward the center of the shopping complex. One of three egresses Google Maps showed is now closed and another enlarged.

“What they have done so far is not according to our procedures,” Art Sporseen of state highways told me, “but we are on board with them now and have an improved plan for future improvements.” 

Bob Gatz, tribal engineer, says the tentative plans have not gotten final approval, but he expects the revised alignment to provide a deceleration lane for traffic from Poulsbo turning right into the shops. That should eliminate one of Andrew’s concerns. 

That will widen the highway and allow for a longer acceleration lane toward Poulsbo, Bob said. At present there isn’t enough length to let entering cars get up to highway speed before merging, so it will interesting to see if the changes will fix that.

The center egress from the shops will remain closed and the one closest to Agate Passage will remain right-out-only, Bob said. Allowing left turns there would put cars into the left turn pocket, from which they could not proceed toward Poulsbo.

The tribe’s Port Madison Enterprises, which runs the Masi Shop, Clearwater Casino, Kiana Lodge and a number of other things is paying for the work, state and tribal officials said.

Incidentally, when I pronounced Masi like Masai, as in the African tribe, Russell Steele, head of Port Madison Enterprises corrected me and said it’s pronounced “mossy.” He didn’t know its meaning. 

The old store will soon be torn down, he said, but all the existing gas pumps will remain.