Highway 308 signal having trouble

The out basket: Mike McDermott of Poulsbo writes that at least twice in the first week of September, “the traffic signal at Central Valley Road and Highway 308 (the road to Keyport) was flashing red instead of their usual red/green/yellow sequence. 

“This intersection is usually busy, even on weekends without the Navy traffic to Keyport,” Mike said. “At first, I thought it must be a glitch, but if this was done on purpose i want to know.

“This is a potentially dangerous intersection,” he said. “Because of the hills and curves that approach it, visibility of approaching traffic from the other directions is limited.”

At 11 a.m. one Sunday, he said, “when I approached the intersection, cars in three directions were just sitting there. No one was moving because no one could figure out who got there first.”

He wondered who he could call to find out what is happening with the light.

The out basket: Don Anders of the Olympic Region signal shop for state highways says, “We are having problems in this signal cabinet and our crew has been working with it to solve the problem.” They go to all-way flashing red when the problem arises or they are working on it. 

“This cabinet is over 20 years old and may have to be replaced,” Don said, “but a new unit is $25,000 and we are trying to fix the problem before we (have to) replace it.  As we all know funding is very tight for the state and we are working hard to do the right thing.”

People like Mike with a concern about a signal on a state highway in the region can call him at  (360) 357-2616, Don said.

The rules at all-way stops apply when all four directions have a flashing red. The topography Mike describes at 308 and Central Valley is difficult, but all drivers stopped at the light can easily see one another. If they are too timid to sort it out among themselves with eye contact, a wave of the hand and/or a cautious start by one of the cars, all drivers must yield to a car on their right. With only three cars stopped in the situation Mike describes, one of them will have no one to the right and should start first.

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