Tag Archives: parking lot

Masonic parking lot in Belfair prompts reader question

The in basket: Greg Tyree has a couple of questions about the road widening project going on in Belfair.

He wonders about the elaborate concrete walls and grading being done next to the Masonic Lodge in town, to serve as its parking lot. He estimates that the work is costing “probably three times the value of the entire property” and wonders why it’s so elaborate.

He also wonders whether the traffic signal in front of Belfair Elementary, removed for the summer while school is out, will be restored and whether an overhead walkway could be built in its place.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker, spokeswoman for the Olympic Region of state highways, says, “”The widening work required that we either install walls or fill the parcel to accommodate the wider road. Walls were less expensive than filling the parcel, thus the walls were included in the project design.”

I didn’t think there was much likelihood of an overhead walkway being built in front of the school, and that people choosing to climb up to use it when they could just dash across the highway seems just as unlikely. But I asked Claudia about it and she said, “”We will replace the signal at the school on our project.  There are no plans or funds to build a pedestrian bridge.”

Close call in parking lot may have been a set-up

The in basket: A few months ago, Gwen H. of South Kitsap told me of an experience that may provide added incentive to back out of a shopping center parking spot slowly and carefully.

She was at Fred Meyer on Sedgwick Road walking to her car, she said.

“Further up the row of cars, was a white pick-up truck in the center of the area between rows, just waiting.

“I got into my car and looked around and slowly began to back up. When I had moved a foot or two, the white truck quickly drove into place behind me and halted.

” I did have my eyes on the mirror and was able to stop just in time.

“He drove on, slowly. I pulled out and followed him toward the exit.

“But, before the exit, he turned right back into the lot and I saw that he already had a previous

large dent on the side of his truck… right where I would have hit him, if I hadn’t stopped in time.

“I am a 50ish woman, was dressed fairly well (I look like I should have insurance).

“Putting it all together, I think he was stalking the lot, setting up an accident for cash.

“Am I too suspicious, or what do you think was going on here?

“What should someone do if they feel they were set up for an accident?”

The out basket: I told her that parking and reporting the close call to store security would be a good idea. Beyond that, I asked Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department if they had had any complaints about such a tactic, and what advice he’d have for Gwen.

“I’ve checked with our call receivers and none of them recall handling phone call complaints of this nature,” Scott said.

“Now… to the question of what to do?

n  Obtain as much description of the suspicious vehicle and driver as possible, ie:  color, make and model of vehicle and certainly the vehicle’s license plate.

n  Gender and physical description of the driver.

n  Attempt to locate any persons nearby who may have witnessed this suspicious action and obtain their name(s) and contact information.

n  Call 9-1-1 to report the incident.  Request contact at the scene by the jurisdictional law enforcement agency.”


Careful with your car door, even in parking lots

The in basket: Joy Forsberg was shocked and upset recently when her insurance company ruled against her in a fender bender in a Bremerton supermarket parking lot.

She said she had her car’s door partially open when a car pulled in beside her and clipped her door. Some trim was dislodged and she was temporarily unable to close that door.

She figured whatever damage occurred would be the responsibility of the other driver, who was insured by All State, as she is, and her $250 deductible wouldn’t be an issue.

But among the various variables All State considered was whether she had looked back and not just sideways when she opened her door. She had admitted that she hadn’t but wonders whether she would have seen the other car if she had, since it came from behind her, approaching from the right.

Nonetheless, the insurance company decided the question of her looking back was pivotal and agree to pay the other driver’s $900 claim and whatever part of her damage the $250 didn’t cover.

She had a friend correct her car’s problem for considerably less than the $300 or so body shops estimated it would cost, but still questions the fairness of the decision.

That’s a valuable lesson for all of us drivers. No citation would be issued in a private property parking lot, so the attitude of one’s insurance company is the key question in cases such as this.

I decided to ask what might have been the decision had it occurred on a public street. I often wonder about this when I get into or out of my car on Lebo Boulevard in front of  the Sheridan Park Recreation Center after playing pickleball there.

The out basket: Lt. Pete Fisher of the Bremerton police traffic division said he couldn’t address Joy’s situation, but cited the state law on the subject.

It says, “No person shall open the door of a motor vehicle on the side adjacent to

moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can

be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor

shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle adjacent to

moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”

Old inquiry about signs in a parking lot gets an answer

The in basket: I just stumbled across the following inquiry from Jim Fairbank of Silverdale, sent by e-mail in December of 2009.

“I just spent some time driving in the most dangerous place in the state: The Kitsap Mall parking lot,” he said. “I have never seen so many idiots that do not know what traffic regulatory signs are. Mostly stop signs, but also yield and speed limit.

“I wonder if these dummies figure that being on private property the signs have no meaning. Is that true or do they have the same requirements as the similar ones on city streets?

The out basket: I’ve answered this one before, but find no evidence that I replied to Jim. The traffic control signs on private property, such as a mall parking lot, will not support a traffic ticket, but can assign responsibility in a collision, for insurance purposes. Serious offenses like hitting a pedestrian or drunken driving can be prosecuted if they happened on private property, but there are rarely signs forbidding such things.