Two Washington Avenue concerns in Bremerton

The in basket: Willadean Howell has a couple of suggestions for making Washington Avenue in Bremerton more driver friendly.

She finds the left turn for those coming off the new Manette Bridge to be uncomfortably tight due to the center barrier that divides the two directions of travel on Washington. If the end of the barrier at the bridge access were cut back a short distance, the turn would a lot easier, she said.

She also echoed a suggestion I got year or so ago about making the southbound outside lane of Washington at Sixth Street a right-turn-only lane. Most drivers make that turn and the inside lane is sufficient to handle those wanting to go straight ahead, she argued. As it is now, drivers who otherwise could make a right on red and be on their way are trapped behind any driver who wants to go straight and must wait for a green light.

When another reader made the same  right-turn-only suggestion, city engineers of the time said they wouldn’t what to make such a change piece-meal but would consider it as part of a larger review of downtown traffic flows.

The out basket: Gunnar Fridriksson, the city street engineer who answers my questions these days, says he agrees with his predecessors about the right turn.

“(There are a) couple of issues here,” he said, “one of which

would be reconfiguring the existing signal and its cabinet – and the costs associated therewith.”

“Further, extending Washington’s widened sidewalk, currently south of Fifth Street, up

to Sixth Street may be affected by such a change and must be considered.”

“I do believe this is an excellent issue to be addressed with a downtown circulation study,” Gunnar added. “I will put a note into the file with your e-mail for when we do pick that back up.”

As for the barrier intruding on left turns, there are no plans to chop it back, he said. The state tested the turn with a Kitsap Transit bus and a tractor-trailer and “were able to have both of them make the movement,” he said.

Of course, state officials said they used a bus in designing the new east-end Manette roundabout and they wound up enlarging it after buses actually started using it.

3 thoughts on “Two Washington Avenue concerns in Bremerton

  1. In 2013, when the planned improvements to the sidewalks from 6th Street to the bridge take place, the traffic flow along that part of WA Ave will really take a hit.

  2. (In regards to the topic on the center barrier, turning left onto Washington when coming off the bridge.) It is a little difficult to see the end of the barrier at night, especially when it is raining or if the “A” pillar on the vehicle you are driving obscures the view of it as you turn. There’s also a large lip at the bottom that sticks out quite a bit. Is there any possibility of putting a reflective indicator on the end, or painting it yellow?

    Also, I would like to request that the timing at light at 6th and Washington be adjusted. I often take 6th street to Washington at night and end up sitting forever waiting to turn left, meanwhile the direction with the green light has no traffic.

    Thank you,

  3. I agree they should cut the divider on washington ave coming off the new bridge back. I higly doubt they made that turn with a bus or tractor trailer without crosinging into the right lane on washington which is illegal.

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