Tag Archives: roundabouts

Bethel Road much smoother now

The in basket: I must have stayed away from Bethel Road in Port Orchard for a while because I was surprised to see that a major dig-out and patching operation had been completed, providing stretches of new asphalt where the roadway had been rough and cracking.

Some patches  stretched across the entire roadway and it continued on down to the roundabout at Highway 166. It’s a much smoother drive now.

I asked Port Orchard public works how that all meshes with the overall plans for the Bethel Corridor since the city annexed it. Though the plans didn’t extend past Lincoln Road when it was the county’s project. it’s all inside the city now. On the other end, the work stops just past Fred Meyer, which was its terminus under the county plan.

The out basket: Public Works Director Mark Dorsey says, “Upon annexation, getting the Bethel Road Corridor (SR 166 to just south of Fred Meyer) ‘drivable’ for the next 20 years was a city priority….split into 2 years.

“Last year we did (some) grind-out/repairs, plus a full overlay at Bethel/Lund (since this area does not change in the future.) This year we are finishing up the program with remaining grind-out/repairs.”

A city redesign of the overall corridor improvements is now scheduled for 2017-18, but enough money has been garnered finally to move ahead with the long-planned Tremont Avenue widening, which may absorb the city’s attention for a while.

“The actual Bethel Corridor reconstruction project is scheduled to commence right-of-way acquisition in 2025 and construction in 2027 (subject to change),” Mark said.  “We have a draft conceptual Corridor Plan prepared….but it has not been vetted.”

The Tremont project, the latest grant for which has just been approved in the amount of $1.7 million, is to be done by 2018. It will create roundabouts on Tremont at Pottery Avenue and South Kitsap Boulevard in place of traffic signals, widen Tremont to four lanes to Highway 16, and add underground utilities, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations, street lighting and landscaping.

No law against demonstrations in roundabouts

The in basket: Don Rude asks,”Is there a law that prohibits folks from demonstrating, like car washes, voting preferences, etc, in the center of traffic circles?  I think it is a very bad distraction, as still many folks don’t really know how to drive the circles.”

The out basket: Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office says, “I’ve not been able to find anything in (state law) or Kitsap County Code that addresses this issue.

“I agree,” he continued “much like those young persons whom we observe spinning small surfboard size signs around on street corners proclaiming a sale event at a local retail store, those using the center or internal core of a traffic circle / roundabout are distracting to many drivers.

“I suppose if you really stretched the intent / meaning of the wording found in RCW 47.32.130(1) you might be able to make a case,” he said. It deals with “any structure, device, or natural or artificial thing that threatens or endangers the state highway or portion thereof, or that tends to endanger persons traveling thereon, or obstructs or tends to obstruct or constitutes a hazard to vehicles or persons traveling thereon,” saying that thing can be removed.

“The complaint brought up by Mr. Rude,” Scott concluded, “may have to be formally addressed by the state Legislature or a change made to the Kitsap County Code about distractions to drivers of motor vehicles where such distractions are in close proximity to streets / roadways. Then the definition of ‘distraction’ becomes a point of argument!”