Fatalities on Glenwood Road prompt past and future improvements

The in basket: Christine Larsen of Lake Helena Road writes, “My concern is about Glenwood Road (in South Kitsap). With the death on that road (in November), I have counted at least 7-8 deaths in separate accidents of mostly young people since I moved here in 1997. That just seems like a high rate for a country road. Every time it happens, I wonder if someone is going to look into why it’s so frequent.
“I’d be very interested,” Christine said, “to breakdown the causes of the fatalities on Glenwood in the last 20 years or so and attempt to determine what the dangerous factors are. Obviously speed is one of them. I am guessing the curvy road and large trees are another, but is there anything else that these accidents have in common?
Also curious if the road department has any idea of what could help. Barriers on corners? A safer wall than the large brick one where Glenwood T’s with Lake Flora? Slower speeds? More warning signs?”
The out basket: Jeff Shea, traffic engineer for Kitsap County, which owns the road, says, “We have collision records back to 1992.  Between then and now our records show nine fatal collisions with 10 fatalities along the eight miles of Glenwood Road.  This does not include the most recent collision.

“’Had been drinking’ was noted on the collision report for six of the nine reported collisions.  Excessive speed was also listed on some of them.  Five of the collisions were run-off-the-roads at curves and straightaways, and only one of those didn’t involve alcohol. Two collisions involved a motorist pulling out in front of another vehicle, and in both of those cases alcohol was involved.

“Except for the Lake Flora intersection, there is no other location where more than one fatal collision occurred.

In 2004 and then again in 2009 motorists failed to stop for the Lake Flora stop sign and fatally crashed into the concrete block wall. Neither driver had been drinking. There were no skid marks noted on the collision reports, so there is no indication the drivers made an attempt to stop before hitting the wall.

“The intersection has a large conspicuous stop sign and advanced warning stop ahead sign, along with street lighting at the intersection. Since the drivers died at the scene, it was impossible to determine why they missed the stop sign.

“The block wall is there to support a large cut slope on which a house sits not too far from the wall.  Cutting the slope back significantly would require moving the house.

“Furthermore, I am not certain we could build a wall of any material that would prevent a fatality if struck by a car going 40 mph.”

Glenwood Road is listed on the county Transportation Improvement Program for $2.6 million in improvements to include widening it, paving its shoulders and intersection improvements, between Wildwood and JH roads, to be done in 2016.

Previous work, in 2004, was done between JH Road and Lider Road, included widening of the travel lanes to 12 feet, eight-foot shoulders, six feet of which are paved, some flattening of rises in the travel lanes, and a two-way turn lane between Lake Flora and Lider. It included storm water management and fish passage enhancement work, too.

“Every two years we evaluate our collision records and determine trouble spots,” Jeff said. “We evaluate the high accident locations for safety improvements such as signs, lighting and guardrail just to mention a few safety measures we use.”

 

One thought on “Fatalities on Glenwood Road prompt past and future improvements

  1. How about the fatalities on SW Lk Helena Rd also? Speeding is and continues to be a problem on both Glenwood and SW Lk Helena. Dump trucks, semis, logging trucks and others continually speed well over the 40 or 45 mph limit. The Sheriffs department does traffic control at times, but as soon as they leave the speeds pick up.

    “Every two years we evaluate our collision records and determine trouble spots,” Jeff said. “We evaluate the high accident locations for safety improvements such as signs, lighting and guardrail just to mention a few safety measures we use.” So why does this area/road still have problems? Why are accidents still happening if you have done so much improving over the years?

    Also why do they have only collision records from 1992? It was a county road long before that.

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