Tag Archives: Myhre

Manhole cover called a peril to motorcyclists

The in basket; My motorcycling stepdaughter Ronda Armstrong says there is a “pothole” on Myhre Road in Silverdale just north of its intersection with Ridgetop Boulevard that poses a threat to those, like her, who hit it on a two-wheeler.

It’s just past a rise that hides it from view until one is very close to it, she said.

The out basket: It’s actually one of three manholes grouped together at that spot. The cover may have subsided, leaving a distinct bump. It’s not something I found bothersome crossing it in my 2013 Malibu, but once again I must consider how much different the experience would be on a motorcycle.

I asked the county it it’s something they could change.

The out basket: Doug Bear, spokesman for Kitsap County Public Works, says, “It’s a Puget Sound Energy cover and they have been notified to modify it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.”

Hey, it’s LeVEEN and MIRE roads, I’m told

The in basket: Lillis King writes, “Now that there is a light at Levin Road (in Silverdale), would you remind your readers that the road’s name is pronounced — le VEEN?

“You may know the history of the Swedish immigrant who settled in the Clear Creek Valley and whose house still stands on the Gerald Peterson property<” she said. “Parts of the old Levin (le VEEN) Road can still be traced from Silverdale to almost Poulsbo because it was the main road from Silverdale to Poulsbo, according to Gerry Pederson, once my neighbor.

“You can find more about John Levin on page 468 in the “KItsap County, a History,” published by the Kitsap Historical Society,” she said.

“It drives me crazy to hear people call the road — LEH vin. I hope you can reach many people to know who this pioneer was and how he pronounced his Swedish name.”

The out basket: I’m among the offenders who have called in LEHvin Road and Lillis’ e-mail is the first I’d heard that I was wrong.

But it’s not the first assertion I’ve heard that the common pronunciation of a road in Silverdale is wrong.

Back in the days when Harlan Beery was a sportswriter for this paper, he told me that the road that runs between Harrison Hospital’s Silverdale campus and the complex where Costco sits is not MY-REE road. It, too, is named for a Silverdale pioneer and the name is pronounced MIRE, he said.

I’ve been saying Mire ever since. I don’t know why My-REE has become the pronunciation of choice for so many. The defunct Myhre’s restaurant in Port Orchard, which was a fixture there for decades until its second fire and closure, may have something to do with it, but I’m guessing there’s some other reason.

Will hospital construction add to hurt from Bucklin Hill Road closure?

The in basket: Karen Ebersole writes, “I saw in the Sun  that they are starting a new addition to Harrison Hospital in Silverdale, starting in the fall? Really?  With the closure of Bucklin Hill Road, and now this new construction on the other major road out of Silverdale?  Am I wrong in thinking this is going to be more than a nightmare?”

I asked Kitsap County Public Works whether construction of the new hospital may affect plans to ameliorate the congestion from the year-long Bucklin Hill Road closure and if the hospital has been asked or ordered not to interfere with traffic in its part of Silverdale while the road is closed. The new hospital is to be next to the existing one at Ridgetop Boulevard and Myhre Road.

The out basket: County Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea replied, “We do not have a final mitigation plan for the hospital and don’t know what road improvements may be part of their plan.

“We did have the discussion with Harrison about road work occurring during the bridge project. They are aware that no road work impacting the Ridgetop corridor can take place during the work on Bucklin Hill.”

As an aside, since this column may be the first some drivers have heard about the impending road closure, it is to widen Bucklin Hill Road, replace culverts through which Clear Creek passes beneath the road, and extend water mains to the east of the project. It will begin in July.


Another skeptic wonders about impact of new Silverdale traffic light

The in basket: Bob Arper is worried about the impact on traffic from the new traffic signal being installed at the southbound off-ramp from Highway 303 to Ridgetop Boulevard in Silverdale.

“The traffic back-up in the southbound lane of Ridgetop Boulevard at the interchange and existing light often stretches well beyond the traffic lights at the intersection close to Ridgetop Junior High when school lets out,” Bob said..

“Can you find out if the additional light they are working on will be synched with the lights close to the junior high?”

The in basket: Eventually, they will be. For now, though, the conduit for fiber-optic line to tie the new signal to Hillsboro, the street near the junior high, and Myhre Road down the hill have no specific date for installation.

The conduit has been installed on the project site, so the two signals at the interchange will work together. “The controller on the existing signal on the east side has been upgraded and interconnected to make coordination easier,” says Doug Bear of the county public works department.

Bob’s inquiry echoes that of Jerry Van Fossen, who predicted a year ago in August that congestion will worsen when the signal is operating.

Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for Kitsap County, said then, “The new signal will be under the control of the state.  (It) has many highway ramps with signalized intersections on both ramp terminals, including the SR 303/Silverdale ramps.  They have the trained personnel to make the signal timing coordination as facilitating as possible, and they are willing to work with us on signal coordinations.

“I can’t make the claim that this won’t impact the other delays,”Jeff said then, “but they should be minimal if at all.

“The county’s road plan calls for lengthening the right turn lane on westbound Ridgetop approaching the interchange in 2018. “This would shorten the queues by allowing more motorists to reach that turn lane without getting delayed in the through-lane queue,” he said.

Bucklin Hill ‘potholes’ are prep work for project

The in basket: Chuck Gurrad says “Recently a road crew installed 24 manufactured pot holes on Bucklin Hill Road between the Tracyton Boulevard-Myhre Road intersection eastward up the hill. They were scattered on all of the three lanes.

“What they were looking for under the asphalt?” he asked. “Do they intend to fill them in properly, and when?

“This was a road in fair condition except for the manhole at the edge of the west bound lane which  needs to be brought up to grade,” Charles said.

The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says, “The potholes your reader referred to were small holes used to help locate utilities for an upcoming stormwater and pedestrian improvement project.

“The holes were patched using cold patch. We’ll send a crew out to take a look and see if some of the patches have come up. The road will be repaved once the project is completed later this summer” Doug said. He sent along a fact sheet, describing the work:7109-CFP Bucklin Hill Fact Sheet (3).pdf

Extend Myhre Road barricade, says Silverdale couple

The in basket: Pat and Sherri Burch of Silverdale said in an e-mail, “We are tired of playing dodge the U-Turn drivers on NW Myhre Road.  It has gotten to the point of (being) dangerous.  Ever since the No Left Turn sign and barricades went up just North of Ridgetop on Myhre where everyone used to turn for Costco, drivers have gotten creative. “They now stop in the turnout for the bus stop and make a U-Turn. We have learned to look for these errant drivers.  Can the county extend the barricades just past the bus stop?  Drivers must not be aware that they can make a left turn a few hundred yards down the road into Lowe’s which feeds into Costco parking. There WILL be a serious accident if this situation is not resolved soon.”

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County traffic engineer, says,  “We are aware of the situation.  We are coordinating with the sheriff’s department on this issue and continue to monitor it for complaints and reported collisions.  If it becomes a bigger problem, we would consider continuing the curbing to the bus stop.”



U-turns are 1 reaction to new Myhre Road barrier

The in basket:  Charelaine Hampton and Mike McDermott both say they’ve seen drivers who are used to turning left from Myhre Road in Silverdale to go downhill to Costco, Petsmart and the other stores in that area pulling a U-turn just past the barrier the county put there to prevent those left turns.

Those drivers then come back and turn right legally into the access. But in the meantime, their U-turns create an accident hazard, both said.

Charelaine says the U-turners use the exit from Harrison Hospital’s Silverdale location and endanger drivers coming out that exit. She sees it almost weekly, when she goes to the hospital for a regular meeting, she said.

Mike described what he saw  one day in October.

“As I turned from Ridgetop onto Myhre there were two cars in front of me. The first one pulled into the center lane before the barrier so they could still make the left turn. The other car went just past the barrier and went into the bus stop on the right side of the road and made a U-turn right in the middle of Myhre to get back to the lane down to Costco.

“Obviously, this deterrent to turning left near Petsmart is going to cause more problems if this is what people are going to do,” he said.

“All people have to do is continue down Ridgetop another block to Mickleberry and turn right,” he said.

The out basket: I would hope that the problem would abate in time as more drivers learn those left turns are now forbidden and plan an alternate route.

I was surprised to discover that just a couple hundred yards further ahead on Myhre is another left turn that still is open that leads down to Costco with hardly any greater travel time, though getting back to Petsmart would require a little more extra time. Until then, I thought it would be necessary to drive all the way down to the next traffic signal on Myhre.

And by continuing straight on Ridgetop, as Mike suggested, a driver not only can turn right at Mickelberry, but has two even earlier right turn opportunities to get to where the now-forbidden left turn used to take them.

Asked about the U-turns and other driver reactions to the barrier, Kitsap County Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea chose to reiterate the reasons the barrier went up in the first place.

“The Sheriff’s Department presented me with nine collision reports for about a one-year period (2010) at this location,” he said. ‘They asked if anything could be done to reduce the collision frequency.

“…Most of the collisions were the result of a motorist either turning left out of the approach or turning left into the approach.  The logical counter-measure was to restrict the vehicle movements to right-in right-out only.

“Knowing that a sign alone would not preclude motorists from turning left, we decided to put the curbing in.

In addition to the sign and curbing, flexible delineators (posts) were installed and the yellow striping was reconfigured to an 18-inch solid line, which state law prohibits motorists from crossing.

“There are  two (other) convenient accesses to this commercial property, one further north on Myhre or eastbound motorists on Ridgetop Blvd can stay on Ridgetop and make the first right turn.

“U-turns are not illegal if done in a safe manner, but if problems arise we will address them.”

State law forbids U-turns in certain locations, like on hills, but none of the prohibitions clearly apply on Myhre. Part of the law says they are illegal, “where such vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within five hundred feet.”



Incomplete Silverdale street signs to be replaced

The in basket: Margaret Gibbard e-mailed to say “The signs at the Bucklin Hill Road/Tracyton Boulevard are misleading.  At that intersection, Tracyton Boulevard is south of Bucklin and Myhre is north of Bucklin.  The signs only name Tracyton Boulevard, both north and south on Bucklin.”

The out basket: When Margaret first wrote, I figured it was a small matter of changing one of the small signs on a sign pole. But when I visited the site, I saw that she was talking about the large overhead signs installed on the signal cross-arms. And that’s just the start.

“This intersection should have signs that indicate both roads,” says Jeff Shea, the county traffic engineer, ” and we are working to correct that.”

The county sign shop isn’t equipped to make those signs, so the county contracts with Zumar of Tacoma for them. “The cost of each sign at that size is $2,741,” he said. “They use light-emitting capacitor lighting and their average life span is 10-15 years.”

This new generation of street signs actually lights up. You can see the wire leading into them on the four or five Silverdale intersections that have them, including this one. 

“The light is actually in the sign film itself,” Jeff said.  “LEC illumination increases visibility for motorists as they do not rely on a vehicle’s headlights or street lighting for visibility. LEC technology increases the distance from which they can be seen.”

That can increase safety, I would imagine, as the drivers aren’t looking away from traffic as long to identify where they want to turn.

“An additional benefit of LEC technology,” Jeff said, “is smaller signs. Because the signs are illuminated internally the  (guidelines)  allows smaller letter sizes. This reduces the size and reduces the associated stress on poles.

“We do not plan to retrofit all street name signs, but will consider LEC illumination for any major intersection modification.” As for the omission at the new Bucklin Hill/Tracyton Boulevard intersection, “when the signs are replaced, the manufacturer will remove the film from the old signs, allowing us to use the sign on a future project,” Jeff said.

Though expensive, LEC signs are just half the cost of the alternative to have lighted street signs, those that are backlit, he said.

Silverdale turn lane work has repercussions


The in basket: Susan Day Carlson e-mails to say, “Now that Tracyton Boulevard and Myhre Road are closed for construction, the detour route at Bucklin Hill and Nels Nelson backs up terribly on Nels Nelson at the end of the day for commuters. 

“Can’t the county provide a traffic director during this time?” she asks.

The out basket: No, says Doug Bear of the county public works staff, but the suffering will end soon. Nels Nelson isn’t the official detour anyway, though drivers familiar with the area use it.

“The detour was routed using Central Valley and the signalized intersection at Bucklin Hill because of this concern,” Doug said. “I recognize this adds time to the commute, but the cost to provide additional traffic control, either through a temporary signal or traffic control staff, is prohibitive. 

“The work requiring the detour is scheduled to be completed by (Sept. 25),” he said.