Tag Archives: Loxie

Weird weave by WSP car in commuter traffic

The in basket: I saw an odd thing during the regular afternoon backup on Highway 3, near where it intersects Highway 304 west of Bremerton, about 4 p.,m. on Aug. 17.

I was entering from the Loxie Eagans interchange on-ramp and saw a State Patrol car, emergency light flashing, as it weaved back and forth in the two through lanes at a very low speed, from the outside lane to the inside and back, several times. It stopped all the traffic in both lanes and on the on-ramp.

The trooper then pulled to the shoulder, behind a large gray SUV, also with emergency lights flashing, which in turn was behind one of those boxy Scions.

I asked my WSP contact what was going on.

The out basket: I had heard of “rolling slowdowns,” but never seen one. That’s what I saw that afternoon, Trooper Krista Hedstrom tells me.

There were rolling slowdowns announced from time to time on the old Tacoma Narrows bridge during some phases of the construction of the new one, but I could never quite picture how they worked.

The reason for it this time was altogether different, Krista says. Two drivers had reported the Scion as being driven erratically as it moved south. The SUV officer spotted it and tried to pull it over, but the Scion driver wound up stopping  in one of the driving lanes just beyond the Loxie Eagan on-ramp.

So the moving slowdown maneuver was used to keep other traffic out of the way until the Scion was on the shoulder. Then traffic returned to normal.

The driver was arrested for drunken driving and taken to the county jail, Krista said.

That spot is no stranger to rolling slowdowns, she added. They’re occasionally employed when Canada geese, which frequent the shoulder in front of the Bremerton sewer plant, have babies and a bunch of them wander out into the freeway, parents following. Someone tries to heard them back to the shoulder.

It’s not entirely successful, she added, as the number of goslings tends to diminish over time, presumably traffic victims, but it’s worth a try.

Left on red from Loxie Eagans to Highway 3 is legal

The in basket: Marilyn Painter wonders if there is anything about the left turn from Bremerton’s Loxie Eagans Boulevard onto the Highway 3 on-ramp to go north that doesn’t qualify it as a place a person can make the turn against a red light, after stopping fully and yielding to other traffic. 

” I often see people stopped (there) unwilling to go against the red light,” she said.

The out basket: There is no sign prohibiting it, so yes, those left turns are legal if done correctly. The fact that a red ball light stops would-be left turn traffic, rather than a red arrow light, makes no difference.

Readers who have missed all the previous Road Warrior columns describing this law probably are shaking their heads saying, “What is he talking about?”

It’s a peculiarity of Washington law that left turns onto a one-way street can be made against a red light, but only after making a complete stop and without endangering any other traffic.

This particular intersection is very close to the state patrol headquarters, so there’s a good chance an officer will see you if you do it, so be sure you do it right, stopping fully and yielding to anyone with the green light. I also noticed that it’s a little harder at that spot than others to be sure the two lanes of oncoming traffic also have a red light, which is cause for an extra measure of caution.

One-way streets are sufficiently rare in Kitsap County that the freeway on-ramps are among the few places it can be done. And I find that if I’m not first in the left-turn line, it might as well not be legal, because no driver ahead of me will do it. 

And as a November column on the subject noted, a police officer new to the state might not be aware of the law and cite you for it. It’s in RCW 46.61.055 if you ever need to look it up. It’s in the state Driver’s Guide too.

I’ve had no success finding out what led to this odd exception to normal driving laws, which has existed for years and probably decades. Do any of you readers know?

 

Cutting across Loxie Eagans not a bad accident cause

The in basket: Jon Godfrey Sr. writes to say, “A problem that has been going on for years, and seems not to be getting any better has to do with the constant flow of drivers who think they can get ahead of the line by exiting Highway 3 (in Bremerton), southbound at Loxie Eagan, then dart across Loxie Eagan and enter the on-ramp south bound. 

“This last week produced another accident,” he said in October. “All can understand the frustration caused by the pinch placed upon them at this section of road. I’ve heard of no movement from the highway folks to rectify that problem, or the one I’m referring to. 

“Would the placement of a sign in the left lane of the ramp stating that it is for ‘Left Turn Only’, with an arrow, have a positive impact on the situation? “The right lane has a right turn arrow,” Jon said. “I think if it were made illegal to cross straight over to the south on-ramp, driving through this area would be safer.”

The out basket: Steve Bennett, traffic operations engineer for the Olympic Region of state highways, says accident history doesn’t warrant making it hard for a driver who gets off at the wrong exit by mistake to correct his error.

“In looking at the last three years (2006 through July of this year) of collision history at the intersection,” Steve said, “it does not appear that the behavior described is causing a problem.  “The history shows that there may have been one collision that could possibly be attributed to this movement during this period.   

“While this movement may aggravate people stuck on Highway 3, … we do not want to limit motorists that may have made a mistake by getting off at this ramp or simply changed their minds.  As such we have no plans at this time to limit this movement.”