Tag Archives: Riddell

Status to remain quo on SR303 near Fred Meyer

The in basket: Sharrell  Lee says, “I want to know if there are any plans to add extra lanes in the approximately three miles between Arbys and Fairgrounds on Highway 303.

“Why?  Have you driven it lately?  The worst area is where the Fred Meyer turn and Camelot turn are situated.  Approximately 3 p.m. any weekday, it is insane with traffic backing up from Lowes to Riddell in either direction.

“Also, the word is that an apartment complex across from Golden Star (restaurant)will soon be built. This will further add to the congestion, and I therefore don’t see how some traffic revision can be avoided.  I’m interested in what the long range highway plans for this area are.”

The out basket: Claudia Bingham-Baker of the Olympic Region of state highways says, “No improvements are currently planned beyond routine highway paving in the area. A study completed in 2002 identified the potential of adding HOV lanes at 11th Street in Bremerton and extending them to the north to Fairgrounds Road, but no funding has been secured.”

 

City, county working on getting stretch of Riddell repaved

The in basket: Joe Haptas writes, “At the present time the county is spending a large amount of money on the improvements at the junction of McWilliams Road and Old Military in Central Kitsap.  Those of us who use this road, wonder why.
“Some funds do need to be spent on Riddell Road between Wheaton Way and Pine Road. This section of the road has to be the worst washboard road in Central Kitsap and needs to be repaved. I believe the road is split between the city of Bremerton and the county and the county side is the worst side.
“Do you know of any plans to repave this short section?”
The in basket: The fact that portion of Riddell serves as the boundary between the city and county seems to be confusing things, but both entities have hopes to repave it this summer.
Doug Bear of county public works says, “The county side of that area is scheduled to be repaved this summer.”
Chal Martin, the city’s public works director, said this week, “We are still hoping to coordinate our effort with Kitsap County and get this segment repaved this summer.  I would say it is 50/50 as I write this response.”
I’ve asked intermittently how responsibility for maintenance and reconstruction is decided with streets and roads that serve as a boundary, as Riddell does, and never got a very clear answer. Reading between the lines of the two responses above, I’d guess the answer isn’t crystal clear to anyone.
As for the McWilliams/Old Military work, the reason was mentioned in a front page Kitsap Sun story Tuesday. It is prompted by 16 accidents at the intersection in the past five years, and hopes to prevent future ones with a left turn lane on eastbound McWilliams.

Riddell Road runoff distresses pair of readers

The in basket: Two readers say storm water runoff on Riddell Road in East Bremerton just west of  Highway 303 needs attention.

Bob Carter wrote in early March to say, “During  a hard rain while driving west on Riddell Road from Wheaton Way most of the entire lane is water flowing down from further west on Riddell Road. This creates a hazard while driving and the road gets large chuck holes and loose gravel on the roadway.

“I noticed the other day the city of Bremerton was patching the holes but after the next rain there will be additional chuck holes in that area. Water run-off needs to be better contained to keep it out of the roadway.

Glen Adrig wrote a couple weeks later to say,  “Since there is only one drain grating on the north side of Riddell (located close to the corner of Riddell/Wheaton), which is tasked to collect and drain the water run off for about a 1/3 of a mile from the west (from Redwood Plaza, to Peace Lutheran, and on up to Bowwood Circle), each moderate rainfall results in flooding and cars splashing huge quantities of water as they travel past Redwood Plaza.

“The closest drain grating is uphill near the intersection of Bowwood Circle and Riddell Road, and it does very little to mitigate the historic flooding on the north side of the road near Riddell and Wheaton.

“I’ve noticed pavement markings from locator services around the northwest corner of Wheaton Way and Riddell Road. Is this an indication that the city of Bremerton is going to finally address the lack of adequate drainage, and the subsequent flooding and bad pavement surfaces caused by all of the water run off that collects on the north side of Riddell at Wheaton Way whenever there is a moderate rainfall?

“This is a fix that has been needed for more than 20 years, and the city is long overdue to remedy this problem,” Glen said.

The out basket: Neither the patching Bob saw nor the painted markings at the Wheaton Way intersection are indications the city has plans to correct this, though it does. Public Works Director Chal Martin says, “We do have a capital improvement project in our Drainage Utility plan for this work.  It is currently scheduled for design work in 2017 and construction work in 2018.”

The markings Glen sees are on nearly every public intersection along Wheaton Way and are preparation for improvements at the intersections to meet Americans with Disability Act standards for pedestrian access.

The pedestrian signals will be converted to audible-beep buttons that sound when they are pushed, and countdown signal heads that tell those in the crosswalk how much more time they have to get across. The curb cuts will be brought up to current standards and the yellow rumble pads that help the blind know where they are will be added.

It’s a state project on that state highway and is related to the repaving on the highway in the city due in 2017. Work on the pedestrian improvements already has begun and workmen can be seen modifying the  poles on which the electronics are mounted.

 

Almira’s jog at Riddell Road confuses right of way issues

The in basket: Christopher Pust writes, “Whenever I am coming home from Lowe’s on Fuson Road (in Bremerton), preparing to turn left onto Riddell, I find that people are confused about who has the right of way.

“I consider that I am turning left at what could be considered a two-way stop (though Almira doesn’t intersect exactly in line with Fuson).  This causes me to believe that I must yield to everyone else at the intersection.

“Others don’t seem to see it this way and constantly try to wave me through.  I was taught that I should avoid complying with a ‘wave-through’ and not to wave anyone through because it might confuse who is at fault in the case of a collision.

“I think it is just best to go when you actually have the right of way.  So the end result at this intersection is people on Almira (going straight or turning right) will try to wave me through the intersection, I ignore this and give no other direction, and they wait forever and finally (out of frustration) enter the intersection.

“Since the two roads, Almira and Fuson, aren’t perfectly aligned I could also see that coming from Almira onto Fuson would technically be a right turn onto Riddell and a left turn onto Fuson.  This frame of thought would still require me to yield to them if I am turning left off of Fuson onto Riddell.

“So, who has the right of way at this intersection if someone on Fuson is turning left and someone approaches on Almira going straight or turning right?”

The out basket: Well, first, let’s get the street names correct. The two legs of the street Christopher mentions are both Almira, which doesn’t end until the 90-degree turn where Fuson starts a little to the north. It does jog to the side at Riddell, an often troublesome alignment road engineers try to avoid or correct when possible.

That said, the official word from the Bremerton and Kitsap County law enforcement (Riddell happens to mark the city limit, so either agency might have jurisdiction there) is that Christopher is correct in his actions.

“While at the stop sign at the intersection of Almira Drive and Riddell Road, intending to turn left to head eastbound, a driver must yield to all other traffic that is in the intersection,” says Deputy Scott Wilson, spokesman for Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

“This includes yielding to traffic that may be continuing across Riddell Road on Almira Drive,” he said.

“Which vehicle has the right of way? Any traffic that already is on the roadway of  Riddell Road at either intersection has the right of way.

“For those courteous drivers who wave for you to ‘go ahead and proceed’ because you may be at the stop sign for a period of time… just shake your head from side to side (and smile) to indicate ‘No thank-you.’

“If there is any confusion about which vehicle has the right of way, and a driver enters the intersection without yielding and a collision ensues even though the driver was ‘waved on,’ that driver will be held liable for causing the collision.

“Best advice:  just wait until you’re clear to proceed,” he said.

Lt. Pete Fisher of Bremerton police said he agrees.

I must say, though, that the Almira situation seems much like that at a four-way stop, where common behavior deviates from the law, which says a vehicle on the right has the right of way over one to its left. In real life, drivers, myself included, usually use a first-come, first served approach, pulling out slowly when they feel its their turn and watching to see what others at the intersection will do. I don’t recall ever having a close call doing so.

Cross-traffic on Riddell, of course, complicates that comparison. It adds a perilous element not present at a four-way stop. But when the only drivers are facing each other on Almira, the wordless negotiation common to low-speed driving conflicts should work there. It would take a panicky driver to actually crash into someone coming the other way from a stop on Almira.

But if someone does collide in such a low speed situation after not yielding as the law directs, we now know who will get the ticket.

 

Stay inside white line while turning from Riddell to Pine

The in basket: Deanna Dowell wonders about the legality of something she sees a lot, drivers crossing the white line when turning right from eastbound Riddell Road in East Bremerton to go south on Pine Road.

The out basket:  No, that’s a fairly common behavior that is not legal and can result in a ticket if observed by an officer with time on his hands. The shoulder in that quadrant of the intersection is very wide and lets a driver make the turn at a higher than usual speed for a turn, making it all the more dangerous.

Making a right turn so shallow that it carries the car across the white line is no different that crossing onto the shoulder of a straight stretch to get around a car waiting for oncoming traffic to clear so it can make a left turn.

I see this infraction often on westbound Sedgwick Road at the Highway 16 on-ramp, and at the top of the eastbound Waaga Way (Highway 303) off-ramp onto northbound Central Valley Road. I’m sure there are dozens of other intersections where it is common.

Crossing the white line can endanger pedestrians and bicyclists using the shoulder.

Deanna tells me she’s grateful for the information and has quit crossing that white line while turning. Pine

 

Bremerton cuts less brush with fewer man-hours

The in basket: Penny Swan e-mails to say, “We walk often, and live in the Tracyton area, so use Riddell Road.  Who is responsible for knocking down the blackberry bushes and other brush along Riddell Road, on the south side by Peace Lutheran Church?  County or city?

“It is getting so bad, you have to walk in the street to avoid it, as there are no sidewalks there.”

The out basket: That is the city of Bremerton’s side of Riddell, and they plan to get to it, says Colen Corey, operations manager for city public works.

“Due to cuts in personnel, our mowing program has had to be reduced in regularity and scope,” he said. “In years past, 1,200 to 1,500 man-hours were devoted to mowing and vegetation control on the right-of-way. This year we are on track to spend around 550 man-hours mowing the right-of way.”

Even so, he said, his department will mow that area, “as well as the rest of the right-of way, one more time before the growing season stops.”