Tag Archives: destination

Where’s Port Orchard, B&B customers wonder

The in basket: Kareen Stockton, who runs the Little Clam Bay Bed & Breakfast near Manchester in South Kitsap, says she has a beef with the state’s destination signs coming out of  Bremerton.

“I often have guests that come over to the peninsula on the Bremerton ferry,” she said. “A common complaint I hear from my guests is, ‘Why are there no signs from the Bremerton ferry directing people to Port Orchard?’  Even at the turn going south at Callow the sign directs drivers to Shelton, but does not include Port Orchard.

“I find this puzzling,” Kareen said, “especially since Port Orchard is the county seat.  Any chance of adding Port Orchard to the ‘Shelton sign’?   I am sure my guests are not the only ones who would benefit from this change.”

When I told her Little Clam Bay is closer to Manchester than Port Orchard, she added that as a complaint. There are no signs until well past the first two exits to Port Orchard as one approaches Sedgwick Road on Highway 16 to guide a person coming from Bremerton to Manchester, she said.

The out basket: We encountered this concern earlier this year, when Traffic Operations Engineer Steve Bennett of the state highway department explained why destination signs entering Highway 3 in Silverdale mention Shelton and not Tacoma. Tacoma isn’t on Highway 3 and Shelton is, he said.

As for Kareen’s complaint, Steve said, “We have no plans on changing the signing. Drivers have an obligation to know basically where they are going before they leave, as signing cannot be provided for every possible destination.

“From the Bremerton ferry, possible destinations  include Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Gorst, Port Orchard, Belfair and further away, Port Townsend and Sequim.  You can imagine the litany of signs that would be needed if all these destinations were signed.

“Shelton was chosen for the signs on (the highway from the Bremerton ferry) to give drivers a general idea how to get out of the city to head south.  After leaving Bremerton on Highway 3, drivers then encounter signs showing the way to Port Orchard, Tacoma, Belfair and Shelton. It seems to work well as we do not hear from folks saying they can’t find these cities after getting off the ferry.”

He didn’t say so, but federal standards limit the amount of information on signs at any given location to minimize the time drivers are looking away from traffic to read them.

As for Manchester, Steve says, “On major freeways like (Highway) 16, we do not sign for small unincorporated towns like Manchester, as the available sign space is taken up by larger towns and cities.

“We do however sign for these unincorporated towns, on smaller state highways, when space is available and the location meets our criteria. The criteria for signing to small unincorporated towns is that they must have either a post office or at least two motorist services such as food and a gas station.”

Manchester doesn’t do badly under those conditions. Manchester State Park is included on destination signs on both Highway 16 and Highway 160 (Sedgwick Road) and a sign on Highway 166 (Mile Hill Drive) in Port Orchard, though past downtown, tells how many miles it is to Manchester,

Kareen said she would have liked to see a more direct route signed than going all the way to Sedgwick and doubling back on Long (“very long,” she interjected) Lake Road.

Of course, there is always GPS, but Kareen can’t buy a break there either.

The county renamed her tiny street in 2008 from Montana Street to Jessica Way, because there is another stretch of Montana Street that doesn’t connect to hers. The GPS in my 2010 Prius, bought in January and presumable current, wanted to send me to Beaverton, Oregon, when I ask for Jessica Way. It takes me directly to her B&B when I ask for the old address on Montana Street, but when GPS tells me I’m there, the sign says Jessica Way, which turns out to be little more than a driveway. An unprepared person would drive on, figuring the GPS screwed up.

Ironically, Kareen tells me, she still getS mail from Kitsap County send to the Montana street address.

Arriving at which ‘destination?’

The in basket: I don’t use the state ferries much, but in recent trips to Seattle on the Southworth run, I noticed that the once-awkward welcome-aboard speeches, which include safety instructions, have been turned over to tape recordings done by Seattle radio personalities. Crew members used to do them and they frequently weren’t confidence inspiring. It’s an improvement.

When we arrived in Vashon, there was another recorded message, but the speaker didn’t identify himself, and the message began, “You are arriving at your destination.” Return to your cars and make sure you have all your belongings, he instructed.

I knew that I wasn’t at my destination, of course, but it seemed like a stranger to the ferries, going to Fauntleroy, would hurry to his car and fret about still being aboard when the boat left. Shouldn’t the recorded announcement specify which destination you are arriving at when there’s more than one, I asked myself.

The out basket: Then I asked Susan Harris-Heather, long time spokesman for the ferry system. She said she’d never had a complaint from any ferry system newbies who were misled and discomfited by any confusion about where they were, caused by the recorded messages. 

Putting different messages aboard the boats on the tri-corner Southworth run, as in the multi-terminal San Juan Island run, would be difficult because the boats move around so much from route to route that there probably would be more confusion, not less, she said.