Tag Archives: Old Military

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.

Why not a three-way stop on McWilliams & Old Military?

The in basket: Jowdy Randall thinks a Kitsap County project is a waste of money.

“I have noticed the survey markings of turn lanes being installed at the intersection of Old Military and McWilliams roads,” Jowdy said. “This (will) entail the buying of private property, and extensive construction.

“A much simpler and less costly answer would be to install two more stop signs to go with the one already (there). This (would) make the whole intersection much safer. The turn lanes and purchase of land seem like such a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The out basket: Dick Dadisman , the county’s project manager, says, “The McWilliams Road / Old Military Road  intersection improvement project is a safety improvement scheduled for construction this spring/summer.  The project constructs intersection and channelization improvements designed to alleviate congestion, improve operational efficiency and improve safety for the traveling public.

“A detailed traffic study was prepared by the Kitsap County Traffic Division prior to commencing design.  This study evaluated various improvement alternatives, including the addition of stop signs.

“(It) reviewed the current traffic conditions, roadway operational characteristics and collision history, concluding with the best solution for improved safety being to construct a left-turn lane on eastbound McWilliams Road at the intersection.  In addition, this project also widens the roadway to increase bicycle safety and construct sidewalks with handicap ramps for improved pedestrian safety.”

Making it a multi-way stop-controlled intersection would decrease the efficiencies of this intersection, he said. “The two roads are vastly different with the number of daily vehicle trips on NE McWilliams Road (an arterial) over twice as large as the trips on Old Military Road NE (a collector).  Arterial roads are designed to move traffic, and making this a multi-way stop controlled intersection will vastly decrease the level of service on NE McWilliams Road.”

 

Old Military Road speeders trouble resident

The in basket: Craig Reynolds says speeding is particularly bad on Old Military Road between McWilliams and Fairgrounds roads in Central Kitsap, especially at rush hour.

Both directions are bad between 3:30 and 6 p.m., he said. He presumes it to be commuter traffic not wanting to use Highway 303 for whatever reason.

Many are motorcycles and kids with loud exhausts, he said. He thinks residents of the housing on Pine Road regard it as an option to 303 when heading toward Silverdale.

They get up to 45 to 60 mph in the 35 mph zone, he said.

He wonders how the neighbors might score one of the “Your Speed Is…” signs, such as the one in the dip on McWilliams Road just east of where Old Military intersects it. That sign really seems to slow drivers down, he said.

Frankly, that sign annoys me, as it flashes “slow down” if you’re even a mile over the 25 mile-per-hour speed limit, which is hard to avoid on the downgrade leading to it. I prefer the one Port Orchard has on Mile Hill that blinks your speed if you’re over the limit, and flashes red-blue, simulating a police car, if you’re more than 5 over.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, Kitsap County’s traffic engineer says, “Residents can request speed radar signs from Public Works by calling Kitsap1 (360.337.5777).

“Our traffic investigator completes a thorough study to determine if the sign is warranted. The study includes looking at the number of vehicles that are routinely exceeding posted speed limits.

Jeff said, “The radar signs are reserved for higher functional road classifications that do not qualify for speed bumps or other traffic calming devices,” which describes Old Military Road, I’m sure.

Flashing stop sign deployed at CK intersection

The in basket: Paul Werner of Central Kitsap told me in a phone call that stop signs with flashing lights had turned up at on Fairgrounds Road where it crosses Old Military Road.

I had seen those solar powered signs at a trade show at Sea-Tac last winter and the county said afterward that they might use them, but were noncommittal.

I asked the county about their first use here (other than one on the Bangor Navy base) and whether we’ll be seeing more of them.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, the county’s traffic engineer replied, “We have, in fact, installed a solar-powered flashing light stop sign on the two legs of Fairgrounds Road at Old Military Road. “This intersection was being considered for an overhead flashing beacon due to its collision history.  We are evaluating the effectiveness of these flashing stop signs in lieu of the overhead beacon.

“The flashing sign is less expensive (approximately $1,600 each for the signs versus about $10,000 plus ongoing electricity costs) and installation is significantly easier than the overhead beacon.

The signs will flash continuously as long as the solar power keeps them going. Jeff said a version activated by an approaching vehicle exists but is more expensive. They’ll know more about how the solar power will do in the dark of winter after it goes through one. The location of Fairgrounds Road has pretty good exposure to the sun, he said. If the signs stop flashing, they’ll still be stop signs.

“We are not currently looking to install these signs at any other location,” Jeff said. “The proximity to residential housing was another consideration. In residential areas, flashing lights can be annoying to homeowners near the intersection.  This location doesn’t have homes near it.”

 

Covered ‘Detour’ signs on Walker Road and others

The in basket: Kathleen Pulici asks in an e-mail, “What is the reason for the covered-up detour signs on NW Walker Road (in Central Kitsap near) the intersection of Old Military Road where it turns into Madison Road.

“There are also covered up detour signs on both Old Military and Madison Roads,” she said.

The out basket: As with all the orange signs put up and covered with plywood in Bremerton to prepare for the Manette Bridge construction, the CK signs are harbingers of coming roadwork, though on a smaller scale.

The work actually will be on Paulson Road at Royal Creek, where work on sewer and water mains is scheduled and will close Paulson from Jan. 9 to Feb. 3. Walker, Madison and the short stretch of Old Military will be designated detour.

Waaga Way-Old Military access called dangerous

The in basket: Fred Lockett says he has would like to know why vehicles traveling northeast on Old Military Road in Central Kitsap are allowed to make left turns onto Waaga Way, also known as Highway 303.

I have seen several accidents at the intersection and have had several close calls myself,” said Fred.  “Traffic southbound on Waaga Way travels around a somewhat blind curve and has vehicles pulling out in front of them. Because of the same curve, drivers exiting Old Military Rd have a short line of sight, thus a very small window to turn safely onto Waaga Way.  

“I believe left turns should not be allowed at this intersection and some type of barrier should be installed to prevent them,” he said. “People that live on or near Old Military have other options they can use to access Waaga Way.”  

The out basket: Steve Bennett. traffic operations engineer in the state’s Olympic Region, says the accident history at Old Military and Waaga Way doesn’t support Fred’s idea.

“Closing movements at intersections is generally controversial within the affected communities,” he said. “People are very resistant to being forced to travel greater distances than they are accustomed to traveling. 

“We must have a significant collision history in order to justify elimination of any existing intersection movements.  In this case, I do not believe we have sufficient justification to restrict the left turn movements. 

 “A review of the Washington State Patrol collision records found that there were six collisions at this intersection in the last three years. Two of  these collisions  may have been related to the sight distance at the intersection. Fortunately, none …  have resulted in either fatal or serious injuries. 

“When looking at overall collision numbers, there are nearly 300 intersections in our region that have a higher crash frequency than this intersection.

“If we used the number of collisions at Old Military Road as our criteria for closing intersections or restricting movements within intersections, we have a lot of closing to do.”