Tag Archives: Wildcat Lake

Mismatched speed limits past two county parks are questioned

The in basket: Two readers have asked about what appear to be misplaced 25 mile per hour speed limit signs in front of two Kitsap County parks, where speed limits are reduced in the summer.

The usual thing is for any sign lowering the speed limit in one direction will be posted directly across from the sign raising it in the other direction.

Jeff Griswell says that is the case on Holly Road east of Wildcat Lake Park. But “on the west side (closer to Camp Union) of the speed zone, the 25 mph sign (heading east) is not directly across from the 40 mph sign (heading west).” It’s across  from the sign warning of a reduced speed zone coming up.

Greg Buher notes the same thing at Long Lake County Park on Long Lake Road.

“Why is the 25 mph zone over twice as long in the southbound lane than it is in the northbound lane?” Greg asks. “For the life of me, I can’t figure this out! I travel this section daily and have observed southbound vehicles speed up at some vague or imaginary point after complying with the 25mph zone for a little while.

“Often, when traveling south, I end up with a car behind me who is ignoring the ‘extra length’ part of the zone,” he said. “There is only one driveway from where the northbound zone starts and the southbound zone ends, so I can’t see the need for this extra length.”  It’s been that way for a few summers, he said.

The out basket: Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for Kitsap County, says,”Both of these are related to the sharp curves in the road that follow the speed zone. We don’t want to mislead drivers by placing a speed limit sign between an advisory speed warning sign and the curve it is placed for.

“We generally place the regular speed limit sign right after the curve. The criteria for the speed advisories have changed in the new (federal manual), so we will be reviewing these two locations to see if the advisories are still needed.  If not, we will move the regular speed limit signs closer to the speed limit change.”

Left-turn lane, street light requested at fatal accident site

The in basket: Roy Lundeen wrote to say he thinks the Holly Road/Wildcat Lake Road intersection, scene of a fatal accident involving a left turner last year, needs a left-turn lane and better lighting.

“If you are turning left from Holly Road onto Wildcat Lake Road (Lakeview Ave) and there is oncoming traffic,”  he said, “while you wait, the traffic you are holding up tends to pass you on the right shoulder, oft times not slowing down much.

“This is particularly noticeable at quitting time in the afternoon,” he said. “Since this turn is at the nearly 90-degree bend in Holly Road, the reduced sight distance/reaction time only increases the probability of a serious accident,” he said. “I feel like I have a bulls-eye target painted on my back.”

As for a street light, he said, “During our dark, drizzly, foggy winter nights it is very difficult to see where Wildcat Road actually is.  If the resident who lives near that intersection has his yard light on, that is very helpful, but it is not his responsibility to light up this intersection.”

The out basket: Doug Bear, spokesman for Kitsap County Public Works, says, “This intersection is one of about 20 around the county that we expect to receive illumination as part of a federal safety grant issued in 2009 known as High Risk Rural Road Program funds. We are in the process of finalizing the locations and designs, and hope to start construction within the next six months.”

Bill Edwards, transportation operations engineer for the county, handled the other part of Roy’s suggestion, saying that.the intersection is under study, but there are no immediate plans to revise it. There is nothing yet on the county’s road plan for the next six years scheduling work there.

“We are doing further engineering studies to determine if left-turn channelization is warranted at the intersection,” he said. “That study is scheduled to be complete in early October. If improvements are warranted, we will consider it in our next round of proposals in early 2011. We have already completed scoring projects for 2010.”

So will last year’s death increase the chances for a left-turn lane there? Jeff Shea, county traffic engineer gets that one.

“We certainly consider all reported accidents when evaluating intersection concerns,” he said. “A fatal collision doesn’t automatically trigger a mitigation project. Some fatal accidents involve driver error which we cannot always engineer a fix for.

“In this case, the (criteria) for a left turn lane are the number of turning vehicles versus the total traffic and opposing traffic. Once the project meets the (criteria), it competes for funding with the other proposed transportation improvement projects. The recent fatality there, as well as the complete accident history, is one of the many factors considered to determine which projects get funded each year.”