Tag Archives: parking

Parked cars on Dickey Road are OK

The in basket: Peter Wimmer asks, “What is the legality of continued parking on a county road? Along Dickey Road in Silverdale, there are three vehicles that park just far enough off of the road, a couple of feet, from the pavement everyday for over a month. They are not abandoned, I see them warming up as I go to work in the morning, and are not normally there during the day. They seem to belong to the residents on Discovery Ridge Court. It looks to be an unsafe parking area and I wasn’t too worried until there was a large black trailer parked over night further down the road closer to the road and unable to see it in the dark.
“I do not know if it was with the three others, but it lends to telling people it is OK to park along the roads, not a habit I want people to get in to.
“Also, the shoulder area by the three vehicles is now getting rutted up from the rain and parking of vans and a truck. Is there anything to be done?
The out basket: Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works, replies, “As long as the vehicles are off the travel way and not abandoned it would not constitute a parking violation. As for the darkness of the trailer, it is required to have red reflectivity (as all street legal vehicles are) to the rear.”

Parking at interchanges prompts a question

The in basket: Debbie Corpolongo of Olalla is curious about what she thinks is an unusual number of cars stopped on Burley-Olalla Road under the overpass on which Highway 16 crosses it.

They are usually passenger vehicles, always have someone in them and are there all hours of the day and night, about every other time she passes that spot, she said.

The out basket: I can’t shed any light on this phenomenon. There were no cars parked there, with or without occupants, the seven times I pulled down the exit ramps to look for someone on my way to or from Tacoma .

Possibilities that occur to me are illicit romantic meetings, drug deals  and child custody visitation hand-offs. I’m not likely to find anyone admitting to two of those if I’m every able to find anyone stopped there to ask.

I did notice something interesting though. Should someone leave their car there unoccupied, they would be subject to having it impounded as soon as law enforcement sees it.

The ubiquitous “No Parking – Tow Away Zones” signs with which the state has lined Highway 16 this year are posted under the bridge too.

Out of curiosity, I checked the Mullenix Road and Tremont Street interchanges, the next two north of Burley Olalla. Mullenix had only Emergency Parking Only signs and there were no signs regarding parking at Tremont. I asked what guides the decision on what parking limitations to impose at the interchanges and whether it matters if someone is in the car.

The out basket: Claudia Bingham Baker of the Olympic Region of state highways replied, “The signs were installed at different times, and as a result their wording varies a little. They all mean the same thing, which is that parking is prohibited.

“Parking on highway or interchange shoulders in areas not signed is not illegal, but it’s also not a good idea. A car parked on a roadway shoulder becomes in essence a fixed object that can be hit by other vehicles. We hear of such collisions frequently.”

Washington State Patrol has a somewhat different attitude. Trooper Russ Winger, spokesman for WSP here, says a car owner has longer to remove his car at Mullenix than at Burley-Olalla.

“If a motorist (at Burley-Olalla) leaves a disabled vehicle on the shoulder,  it is subject to impound,” he said. ” (Our communications) generally make an attempt to contact the registered owner via a phone listing prior to towing but this not usually effective due to reliance on cell phones these days.

“If possible, troopers will give the driver time to call in or return to the vehicle. An hour is normal but not required. We suggest a driver leave a note and phone number with the vehicle, if possible.

“Failing this, the vehicle is subject  to immediate impound. We try to use common sense and be reasonable with this. However, if a vehicle is abandoned in a unsafe location (in lane of travel, blind curve etc, the trooper can immediately remove the vehicle.

“If someone is present with the vehicle and just briefly stopped,  then common sense and reasonableness with the situation is expected.”

Where signs allow only emergency parking, such as at Mullenix Road, “That would be OK to leave a disabled vehicle safely off road, at least until tagged by county sheriff’s office,” Russ said. “(It’s) similar to the way SR16 used to be with our 24-hour rule. I’m not certain what time limit, if any, they use.”

Parking changes coming to Bremerton’s 11th Street

The in basket: Tiffany Royal and Willadean Howell of Bremerton are perplexed by the changes in parking on 11th Street east of Warren Avenue.

Tiffany says “The city/parking enforcement finally put up 2-hour signs on 11th Street, so folks can only park for two hours, Mon-Fri from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Since the parking was added on 11th between Warren and Pacific in 2013, the additional parking has been used, during those hours, by those who are obviously shipyard/downtown workers, from basically 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking on 11th is empty after work hours.
“Today, as I sit at my house, it’s a desert and as empty as it was when 11th was four lanes wide,” she said..
“Why put restrictions on these particular parking spaces?” she asked. “They’re not super premium like the ones closer to the downtown core (or are they, since employees used them?). And who are these spaces for anyway? Outside of the work week, 11th is just as empty as it is right now.

Willadean, who lives on Pleasant Avenue, said that due to cars in the parking spaces on 11th east of Pacific, where there is no time limit,  “it’s nearly impossible to get out of Pleasant onto 11th without nearly getting hit. You can’t see traffic coming.”

The out basket: Thomas Knuckey of the city traffic engineers said of the timed spaces west of Pacific, “the two-hour parking is an interim restriction that was put on 11th to address parking issues associated with adjacent construction; both the Washington Avenue project along with an apartment building on Highland.

“The issue is that limiting parking to two hours makes spaces available both for Washington Avenue residents, and also provides parking for service/construction vehicles who were using the on-street parking in and around Highland and causing issues for residents.

“It is anticipated this time restriction will be removed after the work is complete,” he said.

As for Willadean’s complaint, Tom said “We checked the sight distance and concur that it needs to be improved; we’re therefore eliminating parking on the south side of 11th between Pacific and Pleasant to address the issue.”

 

 

Silverdale Post Office access is a puzzle

The in basket: Jerry VanFossen of Silverdale passed along a complaint voiced at a recent meeting of the Central Kitsap Community Council about traffic flow at the Silverdale Post Office.

A woman told the group that she was “almost killed” while trying to turn left fromSilverdale Way into the northern access to the post office parking lot . Another driver was turning left out of that access and they might have collided but for good fortune.

The council asked Jerry to find out if leaving the parking lot via that access was permitted. He asked me.

The out basket: There are no signs at the northern access to help answer that question. The southern access provides a hint with a one-way sign pointing into the lot, which means don’t exit there. And the striping in the lot hints at the same, with the spaces angled toward the exit.

Getting any guidance from the post office was futile. I left phone messages when I was lucky enough to get a person to answer, electronic messages when I was able to reach a mailbox that wasn’t full and unable to take messages, and visited once and left a lengthy written description of what I wanted to know. I never got a return call.

Finally an employee who didn’t want to give me her name told me the post office is between postmasters and the previous one was leaving about the time I left my long written message. She said they “are waiting for things to get better” after a replacement is named.

She also said a woman had complained about the parking lot about a month ago, perhaps the same woman who addressed the community council.

I asked Trooper Russ Winger of the state patrol here who would be responsible in a collision between left turners, one in a two-way turn lane and the other entering from a side street.

It turns out Russ knows that parking lot first hand and replied, “If you look at that parking lot and roadway on Google Earth it becomes clear (in my opinion) that the parking lot is designed to be one-way. The parking stalls are angled to allow easy turns into them from the north. The south end is clearly marked with signage as one-way, exit only with right or left turn. There is no southern entrance to the parking lot.

“Drivers do wrongly enter there on occasion and I have seen exiting vehicles honk at the offending drivers,” he said. ” They usually try and sneak in quickly and grab a close parking stall as traffic clearly does not flow in that direction. Most customers who use the post office there on a regular basis know this.

“I have used the lot on many occasions and have not seen anyone try and exit to the north,” he said.  “Normal daytime traffic there is so busy it would be like walking the wrong way on a busy one-way escalator. It’s sometimes difficult to even back out of a parking stall with the volume of parked vehicles and traffic flowing in from the north.

“I think you can exit at the north end of the lot but it seems to be clearly intended for post office employee use. If you did find yourself attempting to exit at the north end you would be required to yield to traffic on Silverdale Way first. The vehicles already on the roadway have the right of way,” Russ said.

Dear Abby and the disabled parking police

The in basket: Since the daily crossword puzzles in The Kitsap Sun and Dear Abby were put on the same page,  I always read Dear Abby, though it seems to be as much a huckster for books as an advice column these days.

One day recently, she fielded a letter from a woman who got yelled at by someone who thought she was using a handicapped parking space without being disabled.

Abby replied that confronting someone you suspect of gaming the disabled parking rules can lead to the kind of false accusation of which the letter writer said she had been a victim.

Abby then recommended a person, “write down the license number of the car and inform the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you are right, the authorities will be interested in that information.”

That’s a bit short of saying the authorities will do anything about it, which is a good thing. I asked the state Department of Licensing, our equivalent of the DMV, to see what they would do with such a notification.

The out basket: “I’m afraid that isn’t the best advice,” Brad Benfield of the DOL replied. “My agency issues the placards and plates used for access to parking spaces for individuals with disabilities, but we don’t have any way to investigate alleged misuse or any enforcement power. We would not have a way to follow up on disabled parking space misuse.

“Those duties rest with the law enforcement agencies across our state. They have the power to issue tickets to individuals found to have parked illegally in these types of reserved parking spaces. If an individual would like to make a report about this type of activity, reporting it to their local law enforcement agency would be most appropriate.”

Our local police agencies all have different standards for enforcing disabled parking laws. Some will only cite for being in a disabled space without the requisite plate or placard.

When I asked the federal Department of Justice a while back if the disabled person who got the plate or placard can stay in the car in a handicapped space while someone else goes into the store or whatever, I was told that’s up to the local authorities.

So I asked Kitsap Sheriff’s Deputy Schon Montague, who directs the Citizens on Patrol (COP) volunteers who check disabled spaces for violators what he would do with such a complaint.

“People should call 911 when they suspect a law violation, including parking violations,” he said. “In Kitsap County there is no non-emergency phone number. The only way to get a hold of a deputy, COP, city police officer, or humane society officer is to call 911.  If a COP is working, they will respond. If not a deputy will respond.”

That depends on availability, proximity and no other major cop events at that moment, of course.

Truthfully, even if Abby had been right, I don’t think having the police contact you when you’re innocent is a big improvement over being accused by a stranger in a parking lot. Maybe Abbye’s written a book about it….

Parking won’t take place of demolished NAD Park cabin

The in basket: Karen Ebersole e-mailed Jan. 14 to say, “I couldn’t help but wonder what the plans are for the space freed up by the demolished cabin in NAD Park. Yesterday morning … I drove through around 9 a.m., veering around cars lining the road on both sides (must have been 40-plus vehicles)  and dodging people crossing the road in both directions. There was obviously a very well-attended disc golf match under way. This is not the first time this has happened, and I know the Scout Shop is often lacking for parking.

“The article in the Sun this morning indicated they will use it for open space,” Karen said. “I wonder if additional parking was ever considered, as it is often a hazard to drive through there – it tends to be a major thoroughfare.”

The out basket: No additional parking, though a recognized need, isn’t imminent.

Wyn Birkenthal, head of Bremerton Parks, says, “The Parks Department is working on plans to provide additional parking and pedestrian crossing safety on Austin Drive at NAD. (But,) ideally, additional parking wouldn’t come into the open space as far as the old cabin footprint.

“Funding to design and pave a new lot and pedestrian crosswalk is not available at this time and would have to be

procured through grants and\or community participation,” Wyn said.

If, like me, you weren’t sure from the from the story and photo about the demolition, which cabin was razed, it was an old caretakers cabin by the restrooms, not the one the Scouts use.

 

About new Y’s fuel efficient vehicle parking spaces

The in basket: Dan Barry of Silverdale writes, “I notice the new YMCA facility in Silverdale has a large number of parking spaces marked for ‘Low Emitting and Fuel Efficient Vehicles.’  I am curious why spaces are reserved for this particular class of vehicles.

“I’m also curious how it can be enforced since I’m sure the owner’s manuals of virtually every vehicle manufactured in at least the last 20 years, have language identifying the vehicles as having low emissions and being fuel efficient.”

The out basket’ Geoff Ball, senior executive director says the limitation was made in conjunction with Kitsap County, which shares ownership of the parking area. It has what is called “LEEDSilver” certification, which Geoff says is a green building, environmentally friendly approach used in many parts of the new YMCA. Pervious concrete that absorbs rainfall rather than letting if run off is another part of that effort.

There are 20 of the low-emission spaces among the 405 in the lot, Geoff said. They are more conveniently located than many of the general use spaces but not as much so as the handicapped spaces, which also have no curbs.

As for enforcement, that’s a self-regulating. There doesn’t seem to be a legally accepted definition of a low emission fuel efficient vehicle, he said.

“I can’t find any miles per gallon or carbon emissions definitions,” he said. “If other readers are more successful, I’d love to see it. ”

They hope not to see old pickup trucks or large SUVs in those spaces, he said. “It’s nice to see a hybrid there. If driver feels their vehicle is efficient,” the spot can be used.

 

 

 

Big waterfront wedding poses parking questions

The in basket: Karen Ross of North Kitsap said “We are having a wedding (at a home on) Beach Drive in Poulsbo on August 6 in the front yard, which is beach-front property.
“There will be a very large crowd, possibly 180 people, which could mean at least 120 cars.
“I am unable to find out what the law is regarding roadside parking.  The roads in our area have very wide shoulders.  Our neighborhood is rural.
“I plan to go door to door to let neighbors know that cars will be alongside the roads during the wedding,” Karen said.
“Do you know what the law is regarding roadside parking in our area? I would like to know what the law is first before I contact neighbors and I also think it would be good for me to let the county police know.”
The out basket: I would have known the answer had her road had white edge striping. It’s illegal to park on the shoulder with one’s tires on or across that white stripe.

But Beach Drive doesn’t have edge striping, so I had to go to Deputy Scott Wilson of Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

“This should not be an issue for the Ross family and their wedding guests,” he said.

“Vehicles parked on roads without painted edge (‘fog’) lines follow the same rules as roads with painted edges. Cars parked in this neighborhood should be positioned on the roadway shoulder, facing the direction of travel. Parked vehicles should not block the traveled portion of the roadway,  not block driveways and must remain at least 15 feet from a fire hydrant.

“This is a safety aspect primarily,” Scott said. “if there’s a requirement for sheriff’s patrol, medic or fire engine units to enter the neighborhood for emergency response, they need to be able to do so without having parked vehicles block or hinder their ingress/egress.”

 

Those no-shoulder-parking signs around Gorst

The in basket: I have been noticing the signs in Gorst forbidding shoulder parking for a distance heading north, and have the possibly mistaken impression their location and distance has changed from time to time. At present, there is one on the Port Orchard side of Gorst heading toward Bremerton and another in Gorst, saying you can’t park on the shoulder for the next three miles. That means to the first exit into Bremerton.

I asked Trooper Krista Hedstrom of the local State Patrol detachment if the distance of the prohibition was longer and the placement  of the signs different in the past. I also asked the reason for the restriction.

The out basket: She told me I HAD overlooked a sign forbidding shoulder parking in the other direction, where Highway 304 enters Highway 3 west of Bremerton, extending through Gorst. But otherwise she couldn’t recall or confirm that the signs ever were posted other than where they are now, or carried the prohibition farther north.

The reasons for it, she said, are the narrow shoulders and high traffic volume on Highway 3 between Bremerton and Gorst.

“It should be noted,” she added, “that we give a one-hour window before impounding a vehicle and have WSP communications attempt to contact the registered owner as well.”

Two-hour parking going unused on Charleston Beach Road

The in basket: Elizabeth Clark of Navy Yard City says, “On the east end of Charleston Beach Road in Navy Yard City, there are a few dozen parking spaces that are listed as two hours only.

“It’s clear that they don’t want shipyard workers parking here but it seems like a major waste of space since I very rarely see any cars parked there and the local businesses seem to have ample spaces of there own.  Why so many usable spaces sitting empty when there is such a parking shortage on base?

The out basket: As Brynn Grimley of the paper’s reporting staff wrote a year ago, the county restricted the parking after some business owners complained that customers had trouble finding a place for their cars because shipyard workers were using them all day.

It’s a familiar story in Bremerton, where shipyard employees (and college students) are always on the lookout for free all-day parking and the city tries to craft parking limits that leave spaces available for businesses and home owners.

But Charleston Beach Road is just outside the city limits, so the county has the say there.

And it may be asked to make some changes, because the two-hour spaces at one end of the road aren’t getting much use and the unlimited spaces at the other end are getting too much.

Rick Cordova at Westbay Auto Parts says it appears the word has spread about the availability of the free parking at their end of Charleston Beach Road. Increasingly their employees have to park on site, cutting into customer parking.

Jim Civilla, higher up in the Westbay hierarchy, made some inquiries just last week about whatever became of assurances he felt they got from Bremerton officials when the city’s Gateway project eliminated all parking along the highway that they would still have on-street parking for their employes on the county road.

And Chris Miller of Miller Sheet Metal next door agrees, saying the city should stay interested and involved in the issue, as it was the city project that made all the changes..

But it was all the two-hour parking at the other end of the road that  Elizabeth asked about .

Bryan Schoening of Cliff’s Cycle Center, the closest business to the two-hour spaces, says he’d like to see them retained, at least during business hours.

His business lost multiple spaces in front to the highway project and the public two-hour spaces take some of the sting out of that.

It wasn’t simply a matter of shipyard workers filling the spaces all day, he said. Many vehicles stayed in the same spot for days or weeks, and trash accumulated near them.

In two visits to the road, I found only one vehicle in any of the 50 or so two-hour spaces at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday and 1:30 p.m. on a Saturday, confirming what Elizabeth says she sees.

If those Charleston Beach businesses being impacted by shipyard parking seek some redress from the county, I’m sure the distribution and number of two-hour spaces will be an issue.