Port Orchard intersection worries nearby resident

The in basket: Bryan McKinnon says the steep intersection of Sidney Avenue and Kitsap Street in Port Orchard is hazardous.

“Having experienced vehicular woes here myself, I can say that it is very difficult (day or night) to monitor traffic moving north-south on Sidney, especially if driving in a car (vs. an SUV/Truck).  Night time, headlights from uphill, southbound vehicles seem to get lost at one point just past the museum.

“Try driving this and please share your experiences with me,’ he asked. “Dangerous or not?  Changes required?”

I asked him what he’d suggest and he replied, “I’ve started focusing on vehicles turning right off of Prospect Street to head south up Sidney. I think those can be the ones that slip past plain view. Perhaps the simple fix is put a stop sign for southbound traffic at Kitsap/Sidney.  However, if right turns off Prospect are suspect, then no right turns off Prospect onto Sydney.

“Please keep it slow and safe on Kitsap,” he added. “We’ve a lot of kids up the hill, elderly, and a lot of pets. I constantly battle the ‘short cutters’ with speeding …and regarding the stop signs as ‘optional.'”

The out basket: I’m very familiar with this intersection and am one of the short cutters who use it to bypass some of the backup on Bay Street in the afternoon. I don’t speed on Kitsap though and have never felt “battled” when I’m there.

I do agree the uphill traffic is obscured by the slope and can surprise someone waiting at the stop sign at Kitsap Street, but a stop sign on that steep upgrade would be very unpopular with southbound drivers.

I’ve never had a close call there.

I asked Port Orchard Public Works Director Mark Dorsey if the intersection is on their radar for any improvements and he said, “I concur that this ‘historic’ and vital intersection has limited sight distance with respect to southbound traffic visibility, but….there really are no viable solutions to improve the intersection, other than making it a four-way stop, and the city currently has no plan to do so as there is no accident history to warrant the change.”

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