Tag Archives: Wildwood

Sidney Road bypass lane at Wildwood called ‘a joke’

The in basket: Nick, who gave no last name, wrote in mid-October , “A number of the people I talked to think the (recently built) county bypass lane at Sidney and Wildwood roads is a joke .

“The northbound bypass lane still has traffic cones blocking its use. If you are coming off Wildwood and turning to go north on Sidney, and you have a low vehicle, the power pole and high guard rail block your view of any traffic coming toward you on Sidney. Consequently, you have to pull up almost into the southbound lane of Sidney. There has been one vehicle accident that I know of so far.

“Why didn’t  the county start the bypass  lane north of Wildwood so there would be turn lane onto Wildwood?”

The out basket: Once again, I found visiting a completed county project at an out-of-the-way location provided a big surprise as to its scope. As with the work the county did at Mullenix and Bethel-Burley a while back, the Sidney bypass lane involved a lot of earth work and a retaining wall, not just an extra lane of pavement.

There were no cones when I was there and no northbound bypass lane was part of the project.

Jeff Shea, Kitsap County’s traffic engineer, detailed the evolution of the job.

“A history of collisions with stopped left turning vehicles being rear-ended put this intersection on the construction program list. On a 45 mph road, that can be very dangerous.

“Our initial plan was to construct a left turn lane and get turning traffic out of the through lane of the road,” Jeff said. “(But) the turn lane length extended well past the Wildwood intersection.  Extending the lane past the intersection is unacceptable for safety reasons.

“The second alternative was a continuous two-way left turn lane that included both the Wildwood and Shannon Drive intersections. This was ruled out because of the conflict of left turning vehicles from both directions.  Due to the direction of the intersections’ offset, left-turning vehicles from both directions would share the same lane, which could lead to a very dangerous head-on collision.

“We did some research on the Federal Highway Administration website and found some states were using the ‘bypass’ lane configuration successfully to reduce rear-end collisions. The decision was made to try the configuration at this location due to the collision pattern and monitor the location to see if it works.

“While out looking at the completed project,” Jeff said, “I personally witnessed a motorist maneuver around a stopped left-turning vehicle at a high rate of speed.  If the lane had not been present, I would have either witnessed a rear-end collision or a motorist driving into the ditch.

“I am not sure what the reader is referring to by the bypass lane in the northbound direction, because there is no bypass in that direction.  The rear-end collision frequency at Wildwood did not warrant any improvements at that intersection.

“The collision that I am aware of at this location was due to a motorist pulling out in front of an oncoming vehicle.

“Since the collision we have installed a stop line to help motorists know where to stop and look in both directions for oncoming cars.  Since the stop line was installed I am not aware of any collisions at this location.

“As to the cones still being there…they were not placed there by Kitsap County and have been removed.”



Fatalities on Glenwood Road prompt past and future improvements

The in basket: Christine Larsen of Lake Helena Road writes, “My concern is about Glenwood Road (in South Kitsap). With the death on that road (in November), I have counted at least 7-8 deaths in separate accidents of mostly young people since I moved here in 1997. That just seems like a high rate for a country road. Every time it happens, I wonder if someone is going to look into why it’s so frequent.
“I’d be very interested,” Christine said, “to breakdown the causes of the fatalities on Glenwood in the last 20 years or so and attempt to determine what the dangerous factors are. Obviously speed is one of them. I am guessing the curvy road and large trees are another, but is there anything else that these accidents have in common?
Also curious if the road department has any idea of what could help. Barriers on corners? A safer wall than the large brick one where Glenwood T’s with Lake Flora? Slower speeds? More warning signs?”
The out basket: Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for Kitsap County, which owns the road, says, “We have collision records back to 1992.  Between then and now our records show nine fatal collisions with 10 fatalities along the eight miles of Glenwood Road.  This does not include the most recent collision.

“’Had been drinking’ was noted on the collision report for six of the nine reported collisions.  Excessive speed was also listed on some of them.  Five of the collisions were run-off-the-roads at curves and straightaways, and only one of those didn’t involve alcohol. Two collisions involved a motorist pulling out in front of another vehicle, and in both of those cases alcohol was involved.

“Except for the Lake Flora intersection, there is no other location where more than one fatal collision occurred.

In 2004 and then again in 2009 motorists failed to stop for the Lake Flora stop sign and fatally crashed into the concrete block wall. Neither driver had been drinking. There were no skid marks noted on the collision reports, so there is no indication the drivers made an attempt to stop before hitting the wall.

“The intersection has a large conspicuous stop sign and advanced warning stop ahead sign, along with street lighting at the intersection. Since the drivers died at the scene, it was impossible to determine why they missed the stop sign.

“The block wall is there to support a large cut slope on which a house sits not too far from the wall.  Cutting the slope back significantly would require moving the house.

“Furthermore, I am not certain we could build a wall of any material that would prevent a fatality if struck by a car going 40 mph.”

Glenwood Road is listed on the county Transportation Improvement Program for $2.6 million in improvements to include widening it, paving its shoulders and intersection improvements, between Wildwood and JH roads, to be done in 2016.

Previous work, in 2004, was done between JH Road and Lider Road, included widening of the travel lanes to 12 feet, eight-foot shoulders, six feet of which are paved, some flattening of rises in the travel lanes, and a two-way turn lane between Lake Flora and Lider. It included storm water management and fish passage enhancement work, too.

“Every two years we evaluate our collision records and determine trouble spots,” Jeff said. “We evaluate the high accident locations for safety improvements such as signs, lighting and guardrail just to mention a few safety measures we use.”