Passing on the right a common hazard at NK intersection

The in basket: Here’s another chapter from “Adventures at Bond, Foss and Pugh,” provided March 5 by Patty Hill, who has written about that North Kitsap intersection before.

“So I’m on Bond Road, heading towards Kingston,” she wrote, “and turning left onto Foss Road (we live out past Tree Farm Lane).  It’s raining and dark.  One truck in front of me and about four cars behind me just passed the 50 mph sign and the ‘no passing on the right’ sign.

“I put my turn signal on and then the truck in front of me put his on right after to also turn left.  I apply the brakes two or three times just so people know.

“I thought ‘great,’ they’re going to stop this time – you never know. There were about seven cars at the most coming from Kingston that we had to wait for.  The first car behind me stopped, the second one decided to go over the solid white line onto the shoulder to pass and about the time he started pulling up, the first car behind me decided they would do the same thing and almost collided. Then the cars farther back slammed on their brakes. We were able to turn onto Foss – without getting hit this time.

“I just can’t understand why no one seems to care about this intersection. You can normally see at least once a month (if not more), glass and car parts lying on the ground after someone must have hit someone else.

“They may be minor accidents, but it’s gotten ridiculous the way no one takes time to wait and has to pass on the right and I hate to say it, but there have been two police cars that have passed me on the right.

“What’s the point of posting a sign about not passing on the right that’s not really close to the intersection where the infraction occurs – no one can see it?!?  To have a busy two-way road with two roads coming off of it, both facing each other has become a nightmare.  It really is scary to sit there with your signals on, lights on, etc. wondering if the car coming up behind you is going to be able to stop.

Is there ever going to be a chance of getting a turn lane or even a roundabout at that location?  As much as that would be a pain, at least it would slow down some people allowing those entering and exiting Bond, Foss or Pugh a chance of not getting killed or having their car destroyed.”

The out basket: As when Jerry Darnall of Kingston made the same points in an October 2012 Road Warrior, there are no plans for a major improvement there.

Claudia Bingham-Baker of the Olympic Region of state Highways, says, “There are still no plans to build a turn-lane at your reader’s intersection. Unfortunately, we do not have funds to improve this intersection, nor the many intersections that have worse collision histories than this one.  I wish I had better news.”

The state at lest put the “no passing on the right” signs there. That’s a rule of the road, and those aren’t routinely signed, but  having a ferry terminal at the end of the road makes many drivers anxious to shave seconds off their trip.

To cherry-pick one small part of Patty’s narrative, about pumping her brakes, I often marvel at the advice that one should just apply steady pressure on the brakes of a car with anti-lock brakes. That deprives a driver of one of the most helpful things he or she can do to avoid being hit from behind, making the brake lights more noticeable. Owners manuals and other car advisories don’t even hint at that reality, and I wonder why.

7 thoughts on “Passing on the right a common hazard at NK intersection

  1. Travis, my guess is that the lady “pumped” her brakes not to avoid a skid, or lockup, but to make them more noticeable, a warning to the following driver. The Flash-flash-flash would get more attention than just the steady light, particularly in the rain.

    And, yes, many drivers use this intersection as a “passing lane”.

  2. My parents are buried at Stone Chapel on Foss and I would occasionally go there to pay respects, but stopped going when I felt my life was in danger from cars behind me flying by on the right at full speed and spewing up gravel into the windshield as I was trying to turn left. Very dangerous intersection when trying to make a left turn. Other people just don’t want to stop for you.

  3. Thanks for the comment Denis, yes that’s why I pumped the brakes – to make sure they could notice me! Lot of good it does though. I guess when someone dies there, then the state may look closer and I’m sure there are a lot more people that have issues with this location, but know the outcome so don’t bother to complain. Thank you Travis!!!

  4. Maybe try turning on your flashers? That would make one more noticeable, I’m sure. It’s scary when you can watch your own accident coming in the rearview mirror.

  5. I have done the flashers before JoAnne, but thanks as that is another part we can do that would be helpful – although with my luck there’s probably some obscure law out there about not using those unless it’s an emergency. However….just like you stated, it is scary when you can watch your own accident coming. That’s what I thought last year when an SUV missed me by inches and swerved at the last minute to the right – fortunately no one was coming out of the other intersection (Pugh Rd), but it sure was a big surprise when it went by me to see that it was a POLICE CAR!!

    Couldn’t believe that one. I know Travis is tired of hearing me go on about this intersection, but I just feel so strongly about keeing it in people’s minds. I truly believe someone is going to get killed there one day, as nowadays everyone’s in a hurry and they don’t want to follow the rules of the road – not just here, but everywhere. Oh well…I pray it doesn’t happen, but odds are it will.

  6. Hi, Travis. I am so glad I don’t live in Kingston and have to go through this intersection every day. It’s frustrating having to wait and it reminds me of the Gunderson Intersection just north of it. The state didn’t do anything until several people got killed. All this intersection needs is a pair of left turn signals for cars turning on to Pugh and Foss.

  7. I thought everyone in the North end knew that regulatory sign was there specifically for the safety issue of someone coming out on the other side road (Pugh or Ross). Passing on the right there is taking a chance that there’s no one coming.

    As far as a roundabout? Silly. We’ve already knocked down the speed limit on Bond to 50 and even lower in areas to 35 even when the median speed at the time was 57.

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