Tag Archives: Phillips

Expect turning pressure at Sedgwick & Phillips in SK

The in basket: Ken Hovater read the recent entry about the improvements  on Sedgwick Road at Ramsey Road that included left turn pockets on Sedgwick and Ramsey and a right turn lane on Ramsey, and asked, “Are there any similar plans to accommodate the increased traffic from the housing development being built near the intersection of Philips Road and Sedgwick?

The out basket: Some, though they wouldn’t be considered similar.

Claudia Bingham Baker, spokesman for the state highways here, said, “The Sedgwick/Phillips intersection already has left-turn pockets, so no changes are planned there.  What will be built at that development is a new eastbound right-turn pocket from Sedgwick, and eastbound right-in/right-out movement onto Sedgwick.”

That work is mostly complete with the pavement widened and a concrete island to force the right-in-right-out limitation started.

There actually are two contiguous housing developments under way there and those improvements appear to be the work of those doing the upper project.

I expect there will have to be signs posted to forbid left turns from the right-out-only access, as the temptation to turn left and go west on Sedgwick will  be great. It appears that the only approved way out of both developments, for those wanting to go toward Highway 16 and Port Orchard, will be via their Phillips Road access and then to Phillips’ intersection with Sedgwick.

Traffic already backs up regularly on Phillips there and it takes only a couple of cars wanting to turn left or go straight before would-be right turners can’t get past and must also wait.

Pressure for some kind of  enhanced traffic control is sure to build there.

The lower development is a “sweat equity” affordable housing project of Housing Kitsap, in which the home owners help build their homes. Stuart Grogan, head of Housing Kitsap, said his organization bought half of the approved development that comprises the two separate projects now.

“All of the circulation, intersection and access improvements as well as any required mitigation was negotiated by the original developer,” he said.

The maze at the end of Phillips Road

The in basket: Nelson Lanchester of South Kitsap wrote, “The wife and I were driving the other day and we were traveling south on Phillips Road at Mullinex. As there was no sign saying ‘Dead End’ or ‘No Outlet,’ we continued south on Phillips Road and we spent the next 30-45 minutes trying to find our way out of the maze.

“Why isn’t there a sign such as ‘Dead End’ or ‘No Outlet’ posted for Phillips Road?” he asked.

The out basket: Because there are two ways out of the maze, which is a pretty fair description of the system of roads in there, and that’s not counting backtracking and leaving via Mullenix.

I looked it up on Kitsap County’s Road Log, which is  a bunch of maps showing the entire county. If I hadn’t, I’d probably have gotten as lost as the Lanchesters were.

You can see the Road Log online at www.kitsapgov.com/pw/roadlog.htm. You’ll want pages 7 and 8, which you can look at only one at a time, which involves some going back and forth between the overall map and those two pages.

If you try it, you’ll want to stay on Phillips, which takes some turns and corners, until you get to Harland Lane, then Bear Tree Lane. Stay on Bear Tree to the end, which is Saber Lane, which takes you to Tucci Lane then to Horizon Lane, the main drag that goes back to Mullenix.

Or turn left off of Bear Tree half way to Saber, onto Bowe Lane, then follow Jacobs, Stonehill and Arab lanes to Burley-Olalla Road, which will take you to Highway 16.

I suspected that some of those would be dirt or gravel, but they are all nicely paved and striped. I have a dim recollection of that all being platted as private unimproved roads way back in my reporting days. I don’t know what has happened since, but the homes and the roads are pretty nice in there.

Power outage provision at new SK signal won’t include generators

The in basket: Doug Pinard is concerned about the new traffic signal being installed on Mullenix Road at Phillips Road in South Kitsap when the lights go out.

He lives in that area, he said, and “it’s very prone to power outages.”  The intersection is not well lighted and drivers will have trouble seeing that there is a signal there when the power is out, he said. He asked if the lights will have backup generators.

The out basket: Backup generators at traffic lights are rare. The only one I know of in the county is at the single point interchange in Silverdale where highways 3 and 303 meet. So I wasn’t surprised when Kitsap County officials said none are planned at Mullenix and Phillips.

They will be bordered in a reflective gold color, which is the accepted provision for power outages. In fact, the signal heads have been mounted already on the cross bars and they have the border.

The intersection will be better lighted when the lights are on. The signal poles have street lights atop them and I spotted at least one additional street light there. That won’t help when the power’s out, of course, but the reflective borders will.

New yellow gas line posts pop up in SK

The in basket: Louise Hoppe asks the purpose of a series of bright yellow plastic posts that have appeared on the shoulder of Salmonberry, Phillips and Long Lake roads in South Kitsap.

They read, vertically, “Warning. Natural Gas Pipeline” and list the main Cascade Natural Gas phone number.

Louise said she’d never seen them anywhere else, and neither have I.

The out basket: Chris Bossard, district manager for Cascade Natural Gas says they are a stepped up program to keep the company’s underground lines from being broken or damaged by digging. It started four or five weeks ago and is an effort to “increase public awareness and pipeline safety.”

The company has its lines marked in other places, but generally by horizontal signage, and mostly inside the cities. The tall, three-sided yellow poles will be showing up in areas outside the cities where a person might not suspect there is a gas line below.

They are permanent and will be replaced if damaged or run over, Chris says.

“You’ll definitely see a lot of them outside the city limits,” he said. The city serves places in pretty much every corner of the county, plus Belfair

The company still wants people to call 811 before digging, but the posts are intended to emphasize the need.

 

 

Mullenix/Phillips gets a caution light

The in basket: Sharon Vetter, who lives hear the intersection of  Phillips and Mullenix roads in South Kitsap, writes to say, “In late March, flashing light equipment was installed at that intersection but has yet to be activated.  Any idea when these lights will begin working?”

The out basket: As soon as Puget Sound Energy gives the go-ahead, says Callene Aberathy of Kitsap County Public Works.

“It will flash yellow facing Mullenix and red facing Phillips,” she said, and was installed due to accident history, traffic volumes and visibility limitations on Mullenix.

“This intersection is in the top 25 high collision intersections in the county,” she added.  We have two other locations with similar attributes where we are installing flashing beacons this year – Gunderson/Port Gamble and Anderson Hill/Willamette Meridian.”

Driver worries about Phillips Road stop bars

The in basket: Lorrie Kalmbach-Ehlers writes to say, “I cross Sedgwick Road on Phillips Road in (South Kitsap) daily and can’t understand why they marked the stop lines so far back on Phillips Road.

“Coming south to north, there is no way to see eastbound traffic sufficiently on Sedgwick unless you are in an F350 or

something as tall,” she said. “Crossing north to south, the bank to the left is so high you can’t see

around it to safely observe east to west traffic on

Sedgwick without almost putting yourself into that same mentioned traffic.  It’s very unsafe and

daily makes me wonder when someone is going to get

killed there.”

The out basket: I discovered when I checked Lorrie’s complaint that the stop bars on Phillips are farther back than almost all others on Sedgwick, and that there is a wide variation in where stop bars on Sedgwick’s crossroads are, relative to their stop signs.

But I also had to tell her that it shouldn’t be a problem, as there is enough room in front of the stop bars for a driver to edge ahead until she or he can see approaching traffic on Sedgwick.

State law requires a stop at the stop bar, but there is nothing to prevent a driver from stopping again when far enough forward to see better.

In actuality, I think I must ignore the stop bars except at traffic signals, as that is where the in-pavement vehicle detectors will detect me. Elsewhere, I just stop where I have the best view of oncoming vehicles without having the nose of my car in their way.

Brenden Clarke was the project engineer on the recent Sedgwick safety project that revised the Phillips Road intersection. Brenden has moved on, but his successor, Jeff Cook, explains why the bars are where they are.

He said their locations are to prevent interference with vehicles coming from the left-turn pockets on Sedgwick. “The models used for the turning movements include SUVs and school buses,” he added.

Of course, drivers like me who edge forward to improve their view of on-coming traffic will be in the way of those turners anyway, but at least the stop bars seek to minimize that conflict.

Odds & Ends on Sedgwick project

The in basket: Comments on the Road Warrior blog at kitsapsun.com and an e-mail or two show that the survey work on Sedgwick Road in South Kitsap has created some interest.

Jim Himes is among those who wonder if the road, actually a state highway, is to be widened. 

The out basket: Yes, but not to four lanes. The state has let a contract to R/G Bowers of Centralia for $4.18 million to make the highway safer between Highway 16 and Long Lake Road by flattening and widening the shoulders, extending the two-way turn lane in front of Fred Meyers east to Brasch Road, add turns lanes at Phillips Road, make the troublesome off-set intersection at Converse Avenue a standard crossing and other work. Overall, it will cost more than $8 million.

Lots of information about it is available on line at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR160/SR16_LongLake/ and this paper had a front page story about it last month. 

Neither answered some questions I had before and after driving past all the survey stakes and other preparations, though. I asked Project Engineer Brenden Clarke:

– Do the survey stakes way off the road just east of Bravo Terrace mean they’ll be making that uphill curve more of a straight shot?

– Will anything be done to make it easier to make a left turn out of Bravo Terrace?

– Which leg of Converse will be moved to line up with the other?

– The orange mesh fencing on the shoulders of the highway east of Phillips doesn’t seem to leave any room for wider, flatter shoulders there, where the dropoff seems to be the worst. Will work be done there?

The out basket: The uphill curve near Bravo Terrace will remain as it is, said Brenden. The survey stakes just denote the limits of the flattening of the shoulder slopes. And getting out of Bravo Terrace to turn left won’t be made any easier by the project. 

The north leg of Converse Avenue will be moved to line up with the south leg, he said, and the intersection will get better illumination, as well. Offset intersections such as Converse today prevent simultaneous left turns in opposing directions, worsening delays. 

The orange “high visibility fencing” is to keep the contractor and utility relocaters out of sensitive environmental areas when it’s not necessary to be there, he said. The shoulders will be flattened and widened between Phillips and Long Lake, as well as uphill from Phillips, he said.

One homeowner along Sedgwick was alarmed to find a crew of inmates being watched by an armed guard working in his front yard a couple of weeks ago, putting up a silt fence to prepare for the widening. He wondered how that occurred, and the answer will be in the next Road Warrior.