Busy Intersection not High on Priority List

The in basket: John DiGiovanni says “Central Valley Road and Fairgrounds Road is an extremely busy intersection particularly from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. With Woodlands and Cottonwood elementary schools and Fairview Junior High and Olympic High School in close proximity, in addition to fairgrounds events through the year, why has the intersection not been upgraded?
“Currently only one direction of travel is
permitted at a time, ” he said, “with no left hand turn lanes. At times, quite frequently, I have seen vehicles backed up to 25 or 35 vehicles as the wait for the three other directions of travel are cycled.


The in basket: John DiGiovanni says “Central Valley Road and Fairgrounds Road is an extremely busy intersection particularly from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. With Woodlands and Cottonwood elementary schools and Fairview Junior High and Olympic High School in close proximity, in addition to fairgrounds events through the year, why has the intersection not been upgraded?
“Currently only one direction of travel is
permitted at a time, ” he said, “with no left hand turn lanes. At times, quite frequently, I have seen vehicles backed up to 25 or 35 vehicles as the wait for the three other directions of travel are cycled.
“It seems putting in a left-turn lane allowing the north/south lanes and the east/west lane to get a green at the same time would greatly improve the intersection.”
The out basket: That would mean widening an intersection that has a drop-off in one quadrant, which could be fairly expensive.
Curiously, said Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works, that intersection has never undergone the four-step evaluation that leads to a project’s being placed on the county’s six-year road plan, even thought a citizen complaint such as John’s is all it takes.
It will get the evaluation this summer for consideration in the 2007-12 plan, Doug said.
The evaluation puts higher importance on projects that preserve a roadway or a bridge than it does on capacity improvements (moving traffic), with safety ranked somewhere in between. Since John’s description of the problem seems related more to backup of cars than safety or preservation, I’m not sure how well it will score.
Those with a taste for numbers and ranking systems can learn more by going on line at http://www.kitsapgov.com/pw/pdf/pw_2056_tip_book.pdf. It’s a little heavy in bureaucratese, though.

3 thoughts on “Busy Intersection not High on Priority List

  1. I have wondered for years about the intersection of Central Valley and Fairgrounds Roads, and the associated problems; one would think it would be high on the county’s project list.
    The explanation given for this intersection not being upgraded was “Curiously, that intersection has never undergone the four-step evaluation that leads to a project being placed on the county’s six-year road plan”.
    It’s hard to believe that no one has ever complained about this intersection. As pointed out it has to be one of the busiest in the county. Apparently personal that place projects on the ‘county’s six year road plan’ have never attended the Kitsap County Fair or had the misfortune to transit this area during times of high vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
    It’s interesting to note that the intersection of Central Valley, Mc Williams road and NW 64th street, less than half a mile south of the above mentioned intersection, although not nearly as busy has the following; a right turn lane on McWilliams for north bound traffic, two left turn lanes North and South bound on Central Valley Road , one for east on McWilliams and the other for west on NW 64th Street.
    The question begs to be asked “How was the ‘four step evaluation’ applied to this intersection? Of note is the fact that NW 64th Street is less than 200 yards long with very few homes.
    Another intersection worth mentioning in the same general area is Fairgrounds Road, Nels Nelson and Stampede. At one time this was a two way stop, with Fairgrounds Road the thru traffic. It seems there were a couple of bad accidents there a month, and for a fact there was more than one complaint submitted to do something before someone died. Only after, and within days of a Washington State Trooper being involved in an accident was this intersection converted to a four-way stop.

  2. I got back from vacation on July 7th and what do you know. The intersection at Fairgrounds and Central valley has been upgraded. Thank You to whoever made it happen. Now, a left turn yield to oncoming traffic and vehicles can now go north/south or east/west at the same time.

  3. Well, well I spoke to soon. no sooner than writing you does my wife inform me that traffic revision signs, left turn yield signs removed, and traffic lights re-worked to only allow one direction to proceed at a time. What a shame drivers can’t pay more attention to directions, there must have been a huge influx of accidents or something for the county to revert back. It would have been interesting to have car counters on Conifer and I believe Silverside in front of the Handy Andies store to see how many vehicles bypassed the light through the residential area to avoid the waits. It seems the County would have had more patience, I remember back a number of years ago when the four-way stop went in at Old Military. There were a number of accidents and I believe a fatality, but the County still gave it time to take.

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