Tag Archives: brush

Bremerton cuts less brush with fewer man-hours

The in basket: Penny Swan e-mails to say, “We walk often, and live in the Tracyton area, so use Riddell Road.  Who is responsible for knocking down the blackberry bushes and other brush along Riddell Road, on the south side by Peace Lutheran Church?  County or city?

“It is getting so bad, you have to walk in the street to avoid it, as there are no sidewalks there.”

The out basket: That is the city of Bremerton’s side of Riddell, and they plan to get to it, says Colen Corey, operations manager for city public works.

“Due to cuts in personnel, our mowing program has had to be reduced in regularity and scope,” he said. “In years past, 1,200 to 1,500 man-hours were devoted to mowing and vegetation control on the right-of-way. This year we are on track to spend around 550 man-hours mowing the right-of way.”

Even so, he said, his department will mow that area, “as well as the rest of the right-of way, one more time before the growing season stops.”

Have brush cutters missed some NK roads?

The in basket: Jim Jensen of Kaster Road in North Kitsap read the recent Road Warrior column about mowing versus herbicide use to control roadside weeds and said, “It has been my experience that they are doing very little of either.  

“My road used to be mowed at least once a year but it hasn’t been cleared for at least two years,” he said. Blackberry brambles are encroaching into the roadway. 

He also cited Rude Road, which intersects Kaster, and Clear Creek Road as examples of neglect, then said “The portion of Finn Hill that is within the city limits of Poulsbo is mowed but the remainder is not and has not been mowed for several years. 

“I realize that it’s most likely budget considerations causing the lack of mowing, so they should at least say so instead of talking about the mowing and spraying that they do.”

The out basket: Kaster Road is inside the city too, and is described by Poulsbo Public Works Director Barry Loveless as a recent annexation. “So we’ll add it to our list of areas to be trimmed,” he said. City employees do that work. 

Actually, it looks to me like an interested neighbor with a lopper could correct Kaster’s problem.

As for Rude Road and Clear Creek, I didn’t see anything along Rude worthy of mention, but the east side ditch on Clear Creek looks like someone’s alder farm. Alder grows pretty fast, but it looks like no cutting has been done there for a few years. 

Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works said, the county has one person in each road shop (there are three) whose primary duty is brush cutting.” We’ll look into his assertions concerning Rude and Clear Creek roads,” Doug said.




Dealing with tall grass at intersections


The in basket: Two people have complained that tall grass obstructs their view of oncoming traffic as they try to get onto Highway 303. 

Both Pat Hopkins and Debbi Burton say they have to pull out almost into traffic at the stop sign for cars from Central Valley Road going south on 303 to see what’s coming. And Pat says the right turn from John Carlson on a red light also is scarier because of tall grass on the other side of the intersection.

Both wonder when the responsible government agency (the state, in both cases) will mow it. 

The out basket: Duke Stryker, head of local state highway maintenance, said his office has Highway 303 on its mowing list, but it’s a long list and he won’t guarantee it will be done this year. Sometimes they do a highway every other year due to limited time and equipment, he said. 

My wife and I made both turns this week and we both felt we could see enough either through or over the brush to be confident we would see any traffic too close to make the turn unsafe. If I turned out to be wrong, I’d turn onto the shoulder and wait for the traffic to clear. 

I asked Duke how the state feels about citizens taking it upon themselves to cut down tall grass that obstructs their view. He said they encourage it if the vegetation is at the citizen’s driveway, even if on state right of way.

But in places like where Pat and Debbi seek help, there is a means to “adopt a highway” to do more than just clean up litter. It takes a couple of weeks for a person or group to get a permit to cut down vegetation on a stretch of highway, which can be as short as the applicant wishes, he said. It doesn’t have to be a mile.

There might be desirable vegetation the state wouldn’t want cut, he said, something the permit process would prevent. And with the permit comes issuance of hard hats and reflective vests to make working alongside a highway safer. Call (360) 874-3050 to learn more.

His office has recently issued a permit to allow some folks on Bainbridge Island to attack Scotch broom there, he said. In Fife, the businesses along I-5 have a permit and hire a contractor to pick up litter and cut vegetation that might hide their businesses from passing traffic. 

Complicating hopes to have his own crews cut vegetation, he said, is that two of their three mowers are in the repair shop, one for quite a while longer. 

They recently trimmed Highway 302 just across the Kitsap County line to accommodate organizers of a major bicycle ride planned there late this month, he said.

Brush grows thick at Ross Point

The in basket: Roadside vegetation becomes a problem every year about now, as grass and brush put on a growth spurt in early summer. 

I’ve been watching the growth along Highway 166 at Ross Point between Gorst and Port Orchard and have visions of lions crouching in the reeds and leaping out to attack my passing car.

A greater problem, of course, is the narrowing passage available to bicycles and pedestrians approaching and in the curve. I’m surprised I haven’t heard from ‘cyclists who have less and less space between them and passing cars in a poor visibility situation. Maybe they just instinctively avoid that highway and go up Highway 16 to the Port Orchard exits.

I wondered when the state’s mowing crews would get around to Ross Point.

Continue reading