Forced Sixth Street right turn being ignored

The in basket: Three readers say the recent change to require vehicles in the right lane of southbound Warren Avenue in Bremerton to turn right onto Sixth Street is being widely ignored by drivers used to that being a through lane.

Suzi Hubert wrote, “I have moved to the left-hand lane as instructed and find that those folks in the right lane go straight ahead to Burwell and I have a heck of a time getting over to make my right-hand turn on Burwell.

“It is most annoying and I am afraid that one of these days I’ll end up going to the ferry instead. Help!!”

Phil Kight asked “Is the city planning on leaving it as a right-turn-only lane, or will it revert back to its formal state when 11th Street is completed? It seems that just about everyone that I’ve seen using that lane ignores the right-turn-only (restriction).”

And an e-mailer going by BJ, wrote, “Why did they make the outside lane on Warren Avenue a right-turn-only at Sixth Street as part of the 11th Street detour? Knowing that we are going to turn right on Burwell, we (used to) travel in the outside lane once we get on Wheaton Way. Now we have to move into the center lane just before Sixth Street and cross our fingers we can get back into the outside lane in the short distance between Sixth and Burwell.

“VERY few people are paying attention to the Right-Turn- Only signs and markings on the road!  Why not leave it like it was with just a detour sign for those that don’t know the area?”

The out basket: When I drove there Thursday morning, a succession of seven cars made the right turn while the light was red. When it turned green, the driver of a large black pickup did indeed proceed straight and caused me some difficulty in getting over into the right lane at Burwell.

I’m not sure how that’s any worse than it was before the city began requiring right turns from that lane. There always were two lanes of traffic mostly wanting to go west on Burwell and competing for the right lane after Sixth. What’s changed, I suspect, is drivers who used to avoid that in the past by using the right lane exclusively no longer can, legally.

Gunnar Fredriksson of the city of Bremerton traffic engineer says, “Yes, the right-lane-must-turn-right restriction is with the project (a three-month closure of 11th Street for sewer work) and not permanent.  This was done to maximize the number of vehicles turning from Warren onto Sixth Street for the detour route.

“We are watching the situation, and for a majority of time, it seems to work quite well. I understand the frustration with those ignoring the signage and going through the intersection.  We are hoping this is part of the learning curve for motorists and will diminish with time.”

The same restriction has been imposed on Sixth Street’s westbound right lane at Warren, also is temporary for the duration of the sewer work on 11th and also is routinely violated. There’s less reason to change lanes beyond Warren on Sixth, and it hasn’t generated any complaints to me.


13 thoughts on “Forced Sixth Street right turn being ignored

  1. What I’d like to know is….why aren’t there more traffic citations being issued? I drive between downtown and Silverdale several times a day and cannot tell you how many blatant violations I see. In fact at 303 and Riddell there is at least 1 car that blows the light every time. My wife and I have a game we play that involves red light runners at Riddell and the Bucklin Hill intersection in Silverdale. If you add up $124.00 a pop that’s a significant revenue.

  2. It should have been right turn only a long time ago. Besides any good driver knows that when in town, through traffic should keep left anyway. I for one hope they keep it…

  3. I also agree that the lane should be right turn only at 6th street but it isn’t being enforced……even at the new Winco light by the fire station is supposed to be right turn only except for emergency vehicles and yet cars are turning left and going straight! I almost got into an accident from a woman driving straight thru when I was going to turn left into the left lane….is that light even monitored or being enforced either? It is becoming a safety issue as well since cars are also running it due to the amount of increased traffic at that light!

  4. It’s like any other traffic signage… people either CHOOSE to ignore it or they think it doesn’t APPLY to them!

    I was very happy to see a Bremerton Police officer parked on 9th at Naval Ave. as I was coming home from work yesterday. People ignore the 20 mph school zone limit all the time; it was quite funny to watch several cars hit their brakes when they saw the police cruiser sitting there!!!! Would love to see it there everyday! 🙂

  5. Since this is posted as part of a construction area detour, are the fines doubles? I haven’t seen how they’ve posted it yet. I don’t think it matters if they leave it, I’ve always found that enough people are turning right at 6th that if you move to the right lane as soon as your pass through 6th it is easy enough to get over even during rush hour. When the lights were still at 4th and 5th that wasn’t the case.

  6. I watched seven consecutive cars go through it today and had to FIGHT to get into the right hand lane –

    I like the idea of the forced right, prevents that last second bottleneck where everyone speeds to get ahead of the other (and have seen many people in crosswalks RUN).

    Do something about this!

  7. The police aren’t going to give any citations for this. I saw several people go straight in the right lane the other day including a cop.

  8. A group of us from the Naval Avenue area that included representatives from Union Hill, Charleston, Naval Avenue PTA, Bremerton School District Transportation Dept., Public Works, Bremerton City Council and the Bremerton PD had a meeting before the project started to discuss concerns with additional traffic from the project in and around Naval Avenue ELC especially for the weeks that school would still be in session. Ideas and solutions were offered.

    Public Works and Bremerton PD have been monitoring the situation closely since that meeting. The speed trailer and extra patrols like the one the poster mentioned above are products of our collective efforts.

    If you have a serious problem with a consistent traffic issue that is a safety concern then I recommend that you contact your City Council representative and have them help you arrange a meeting between yourself, neighborhood groups, public works and the Bremerton PD. I found it to be rather easy to arrange and very effective.

  9. I think the bigger problem at this intersection is that when the southbound Warren light is red and someone is in the right lane to go straight, no one wanting to turn right on 6th can make a turn on red.

  10. My wife & i also have a game. How many cars will pass us while we are standing at the crosswalk at 8th & Naval. Is this crosswalk only for students or can adults use it too? Seriously, someone is going to hit by a car if something is not done about this problem.

  11. Watched 4 vehicles, one of them a fully marked Bremerton police vehicle (which wasn’t signaling to turn right either), drive straight thru in the right lane. Wasn’t hard to merge to take the later right, but it wasn’t during traffic.

  12. I have been driving that road 5 times a week, every week, and I’m so used to it being a straight lane… I got pulled over tonight (at 2am after a looong night at work) and I thought the cop was absolutely going crazy! I never saw a sign or the markings on the road. I guess u just get used to how things have been, and I think some people need to have a bit more empathy in life.
    Like Michael, really?! $124 a pop, please, I bet most people are just making honest mistakes by going straight, just like I did. Maybe if it had been daylight and I didn’t work almost 12 hours I wouldve seen the sign.
    I don’t care one way or another if it stays that way or not, but I am one of those people that are going to be legal now going through that intersection…..I really wish they would just give more warnings and not so many tickets. There’s still a lot of people struggling out there to survive and support there families.

  13. I was told by the bremerton police that it was engineering issue with the light. Then was transfered to engineering where I was told that the bremerton police were too busy to enforce the right turn only. EVEN WHEN IT IS POSTED AND PAINTED ON THE GROUND. The right turn only is going away on the 1st of August. But I would like it to stay if the turn only was followed it would make that area of roadway safer for the people that want to turn right on Burwell.

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