Tag Archives: Waaga

Not seeing ‘red’ on highways signs

The in basket: Susan Miles wrote on Dec. 14 to say, “It’s definitely time to replace the faded  ‘Do Not Enter’ sign at the Waaga Way exit onto Silverdale Way.  All of the red warning coloring is completely gone.  My husband has actually seen someone go the wrong way on this exit.

“How can a traffic sign fade?” she asked.

“I have seen several faded signs, and to me it seems dangerous and unacceptable.  I have seen people drive right through an intersection without stopping because the stop sign was faded.

“Who can be held accountable if these faded signs contribute to a serious accident?” she asked.

The out basket: When I encountered Susan at a party just three days later, she said the sign had already been replaced. I had notified Duke Stryker, head of highway maintenance here, of Susan’s e-mail and he had responded quickly.

Steve Bennett, traffic operations engineer for the Olympia region of state highways, thanked Susan for bringing the problem to their attention.

“In terms of the fading question, signs and most other colored things are continually fading, which is brought on by a host of factors, but primarily sunlight. And by far, of the colors we use for highways signs, red fades the most rapidly.

“I am no scientist,” he said, “but my understanding is that fading is due to oxidation caused by sunlight. Apparently the color red is affected by this process more than most other colors.”

He didn’t address the liability issue, but I am sure the answer lies in whether anyone makes a connection between an accident and a faded sign and the legal acumen of the parties involved.

Many still waiting for Waaga Way/Ridgetop signal

The in basket: Brandi Sydney is among the legion of drivers who often must wait a long time to turn left onto Ridgetop Boulevard from the southbound off-ramp of Highway 303 in Silverdale.

“Will they ever put a light at the intersection of Waaga Way and Ridgetop?” she writes.  “When you take the exit you can go right and head toward Harrison Hospital, but it is almost impossible to take a left and head up Ridgetop,” 

“I have watched people get sick of waiting and just dart out and hope for the best. It is very dangerous. We have lived here three years and will only go that way if it is very, very late at night,” she said.

Speaking of Waaga Way, Lonnie and Janis Scott say that they aren’t certain how to pronounce it.

“We’ve heard it called ‘Vaaga’ and ‘Wa’aga’ as well as

Waaga (with a short a sound),” Lonnie said..

“Do you know the origin of the name, like if it is Scandinavian or Native American?”

The out basket: There’ll probably be a traffic signal there some day, but not before 2012.

Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works says, “Commissioner (Josh) Brown wrote (the state) urging them to consider installing a signal there, and while the intersection warrants a signal, it is low on their priority array for locations to install signals.”

Jamie Swift of the Olympic Region of state highways confirms that. “While there are several intersections in greater need of a signal than Ridgetop, the main issue here is lack of funding,” he said. “The Legislature has already determined the department’s budget for the 2009-2011 biennium and no signal is included in that budget.  

“So the next opportunity to fund a signal here would be in the 2011-2013 session that begins in January of 2011.”

Waaga is pronounced “WAH-guh.’ The late Art Waaga, for whom it is named, was Kitsap County engineer around the time the county built the highway (the state since has assumed jurisdiction and calls in SR303) and gained earlier renown as a member of Olympic College’s most successful basketball team, in 1948-49.