Helping cars get through on Hemlock in East Bremerton

The in basket: Al Littlejohn noticed the narrow passageway often left by parked cars on Hemlock Street between Callahan Drive and Clare Avenue near Harrison Medical Center, which often leaves room for only one direction of travel when cars are parked on both sides. He suggests a solution other than the obvious one, which would be prohibiting parking on one side of the other.
Instead, says Al, make Hemlock and Clare a one-way couplet, with one-way traffic only permitted from Callahan downhill and around the curve to Clare, and make Clare one-way uphill from there to Callahan.


The in basket: Al Littlejohn noticed the narrow passageway often left by parked cars on Hemlock Street between Callahan Drive and Clare Avenue near Harrison Medical Center, which often leaves room for only one direction of travel when cars are parked on both sides. He suggests a solution other than the obvious one, which would be prohibiting parking on one side of the other.
Instead, says Al, make Hemlock and Clare a one-way couplet, with one-way traffic only permitted on Hemlock from Callahan downhill and around the curve to Clare, and make Clare one-way uphill from there to Callahan. The short stretch of Clare between Lebo and Hemlock past the Sheridan Park rec center would remain two-way under his plan.
The out basket: Larry Matel, the recently named traffic engineer for the city of Bremerton, replies, “I am not very familiar (yet) with the parking situation near Harrison Medical Center, but if it is like any other city’s hospital/medical center, parking is at a premium. 
 “That said,” he continued, “there are a multitude of ways to approach the situation, and a one-way couplet and associated parking considerations would be but one alternative. The final solution would most likely be a combination of many ideas and approaches.
“However,  transportation and land use decisions in the area are guided by the Harrison District Plan adopted in 1996 after a process where the public was involved in the determination of the plan for the area.  The current plan would most likely have to be amended in a similar process and in a manner that considers all the attendant issues related to local street circulation patterns, traffic diversion into residential neighborhoods, traffic speed issues, pedestrian safety, bicycle considerations, urban design, etc.”
For one thing, Al’s idea would leave the northbound Clare Avenue off-ramp from Warren Avenue Bridge with nowhere to go, so it would have to be closed.
The city will be creating a southbound off-ramp from the Warren Avenue Bridge approach down to Lebo Boulevard soon, to take pressure off the left-turn from Wheaton onto eastbound Sheridan Road. That might prompt some discussion of traffic flows in the hospital area, and create a forum at which Al could raise his idea.

4 thoughts on “Helping cars get through on Hemlock in East Bremerton

  1. For what its worth, I’ve never had a problem getting through on Hemlock…and think of it as a cozy street.
    Sharon O’Hara

  2. P.S.
    Today I drove on Clare Avenue – next to Hemlock and about as wide and strongly suggest high speed bumps to slow down speeders and/or take down shrubbery that block the view for people pulling out of a parking lot onto Clare Avenue.
    I came very close to being hit on the driver’s side by a speeder racing down the hill as I pulled out to go left.

    I do not understand why visibility is allowed to be blocked by shrubbery.
    Had the other car been going the speed limit, it wouldn’t have been a problem and if the shrubbery hadn’t blocked my view, I would have been able to see the speeder and wait.

    Nothing should block a drivers view. And makes me tempted to carry loppers …

  3. Please, don’t mess with Clare Ave. It’s the way home for a lot of us who use it to go downhill to Lebo Blvd. Besides, what would happen with the traffic going uphill on Clare Ave., as is suggested, when it meets up with all of the traffic coming off the bridge on Callahan Drive?

    Another traffic light and a holding lane on the bridge????

  4. Hemlock and Clare are charming streets and traffic isn’t a problem that I can see…it has worked for years.

    A problem is shrubbery obstructing the street view for folks attempting to safely move into traffic..

    I’ve often wondered why the business owners/home owners allow plantings to cause safety issues for drivers unable to see through the overgrown plants before pulling into traffic?

    It is a simple matter to thin these areas to improve visibility. Otherwise, the driver should have the right to use their loppers to thin the shrubs until they are able to see the oncoming traffic.
    In my opinion.

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