City Monitoring Traffic Since Lowe’s Opening

I received the e-mail pasted below from Roger Gay complaining about traffic on Sedgwick Road since the Dec. 21 opening of Lowe’s. I called City Engineer Maher Abed, who confirmed what Roger said, that there is only one entrance to the mega store, because of wetlands on the property. The site is further constrained, said Abed, by proximity to Highway 16 and the southbound on-ramp.

Abed said the city is monitoring traffic patterns to see if “adjustments” need to be made. The state Department of Transportation operates the lights at Lowe’s and at the southbound on-ramp (northbound off-ramp). The lights are synchronized for optimal traffic flow, said Abed, but because the store just opened, the traffic pattern may not represent business as usual. So the city is taking a wait and see approach.

“You want to keep in mind when you’re coming into a grand opening situation, traffic is going to be worse until things settle down.

Of the site itself, Abed said, “I think there’s enough property to make this site viable. I wouldn’t say the site is ideal. It worked for their use.”

Here’s Roger’s comment:

Just curious. Under what circumstances did the various planning
commissions, design engineers, and project genious’s decide that the
new Lowe’s store on Sedgwick only needed one entrance? In South
Kitsap we now have 4 stop lights between Sidney and the entrance to
Hywy 16 North bound. If the same technical people who program the
rest of the stoplights in Kitsap County have programmed these then we
are in for some traffic backups. I normally drive down Glenwood to
the Albertsons light and from there I had two lights to go to make a
left turn to the Hywy 16 and head towards Bremerton. Recently after
the Lowes opening it took 10 minutes to travel the same distance that
had taken only 3 to 5 minutes. I literally stopped in traffic while
still next to Albertsons and slowly made my way through numerous red
light changes to reach the left turn to 16. Before this new light
traffic on that stretch of road was very bad at times, now it will be
even worse. The excuse I heard was there was “wetlands” and no other
entrance could be built. Why the heck were they building in the
wetlands area anyway?? If it limited the access why were they
allowed to build there? If this is the planning I can come to expect
from the various planning groups then a change needs to be made. I
am sure a single entrance to a large facility like Lowes would not be
allowed in other jurisdictions, why was it allowed here? Just curious.

Roger Gay

South Kitsap

2 thoughts on “City Monitoring Traffic Since Lowe’s Opening

  1. I’d say the lack of additional accesses to Lowes because of wetlands is due to someone letting them get away with a ‘minimal cost’ situation. Is there no program in the City planning books for alternative designs (elevated drives and such) or offsite mitigation? I doubt that time will heal the situation. I know i’d rather sit there for a while waiting to get in than to drive to Silverdale. I guess we’ll see. Unfortunately now, if things need to be fixed, it will be the general public that pays, not the developers. Monty Mahan

  2. I have a different complaint about the new Lowe’s store in Port Orchard. Here is a copy of an email I sent to them. I am curious to know how others feel about this issue.

    I was dismayed when I walked into the new Lowe’s in Port Orchard and was confronted with signage that was printed in English and SPANISH This is the United States of America. It is not Spain. It is not Mexico.

    In 2006 only 4.6% of Kitsap County was of Hispanic or Latino origin. There is absolutely no reason to provide signs in Spanish. There are no local, regional, state or federal government requirements for bilingual signage.

    Many Americans are becoming frustrated with illegal (and legal) immigration into this country. One can hardly blame the poor people of Mexico for trying to better themselves by coming here. But corporate America should not exacerbate the problem by encouraging immigration by hiring illegals or by paying wages so low that only an immigrant will work for them. Nor should Corporate America create a divided nation by trying to force a bilingual culture.

    Shame on you! This is a new “lowe” in corporate citizenship.

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