Tag Archives: Mickelberry

Reader has blitz of CK road work questions

The in basket: Wally Carlson has some questions about recent county road work in Central Kitsap.

He wonders why the county didn’t shave the crest of the hill at McWilliams and Old Military roads when it added a left turn lane there. He compared the intersection to “an infinity pool” where he can’t see oncoming traffic.

He asks why the two eastbound lanes of Bucklin Hill Road weren’t continued all the way up to Tractyton Road while the bridge over Clear Creek was being replaced and the road was widened only to Mickelberry Road.

And “while complaining,” he added. “…why use poles and not bury overhead power lines on Bucklin … think that was answered before but i forgot.. money??? not very aesthetic.. only lines in sight,” he said.

The out basket: Tina Nelson, the county’s senior program manager handled all three matters.

“Projects are established based on some kind of need that justifies spending public roadway dollars,” she said. “A big deal for the county is safety, and therefore a safety need is a key reason/need for projects/improvements to take place.

“Locations with high accidents are carefully reviewed and evaluated.  A location may have more than one need; safety (accidents), poor pavement, lack of pedestrian facilities, ADA compliance, capacity, drainage, to mention some.

“We like to, and try to take care of all needs when we do a project, but the dollars only go so far. Significant grade revisions (shaving of the crest) may have large impacts to utilities buried in the roadway and adjacent properties, which are considered in the project scope/solution, bringing up our cost and the costs for others.  Therefore, we may decide to only take care of the most urgent need.

Her answer to question two echoes the one she provided in a July Road Warrior  column when Jonathan McLean asked about the gap left in the sidewalk along the same stretch of Bucklin Hill Road that Wally asks about.

“The limits for the recent Bucklin Hill project were established from Blaine Avenue to the Mickelberry intersection, the highest need,” she said. “Extending the project to Tracyton/Myhre was in the initial plan in 1998, and does make sense, but again dollars only go so far, and we had to end somewhere.

“Plus a minor capacity improvement were made a few years ago at the Bucklin/Myhre/Tracyton intersection, which is what we consider a good example of doing something to help a need, but not get it all done.

“In the current Bucklin Hill project, a transition had to be made from the five-lane section, which is the widening portion extending east of Mickelberry.

Silverdale Water District choose to replace their water main past the county’s project limits. Thereby some work was added, but to stay within budget, and grant approvals, we had to limit the work done.  We ended up with some new pavement and adding extruded curb to manage some drainage issues, but we had to leave the rest alone.

“The biggest need for traffic flow was to get the section completed to Mickelberry.  The added lanes and sidewalk connection on the south side will happen someday, but are not currently in our 6-year plan.

“The new tall poles on the south side of Bucklin Hill are to support transmission lines. Undergrounding of transmission lines is not an option.

“There are no other overhead utilities within the new roadway segment.  Undergrounding of utilities is an expense for the utility owner (Wave, KPUD, Comcast, etc.)  and not necessarily one that the county can demand,” she said.

Mickelberry X-walk at Costco proposed

The in basket: Don Hein writes,”Since Goodwill moved in across from Costco, there’s more foot traffic across that road, but there’s no painted crosswalk.  The situation likely will become more acute with the arrival of Trader Joe.

“Is there a plan to paint a crosswalk there?” he asks. “Erect a sign?  Flashing light?”

The out basket: Kitsap County considers this a mid-block location (no cross street there) and crosswalks in such places have fallen into disfavor. Bremerton removed most if not all of its mid-block crosswalks years ago.

And whatever increased foot traffic occurs at the Costco-Goodwill site, it doesn’t rise to the level that would warrant a crosswalk, says county Traffic Engineer sJeff Shea.

“Crosswalks are generally used at areas where heavy pedestrian traffic crosses traffic lanes,” he said. “As it is, there is not a lot of pedestrian traffic that crosses there, and there is no current plan to add a crosswalk.

“Placing a crosswalk mid-block also presents unique challenges.  By definition mid-block crosswalks are not near intersections where motorists expect to encounter pedestrians.  In this particular location, there are three lanes of traffic to cross. The turn lane in the middle adds an extra degree of difficulty because vehicles waiting to turn can block a motorist from seeing pedestrians.

“Assuming that enough pedestrians begin crossing here to warrant a crosswalk, more than just paint is needed to provide a safer crossing,” he said. “Additional enhancements are required for an effective pedestrian crosswalk here. Those can include more street lighting, in-street pedestrian activated lights, crosswalk signals, or other devices that would clearly convey the crossing to motorists.”

Jeff didn’t get into it, but there also has been a growing recognition that crosswalks can increase risky pedestrian behavior when someone on foot comes to believe that vehicles will always stop and grows less watchful while crossing.