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Twenty-four miles of mayhem
In a three-year-span, more than 1,100 crashes occurred on a 24-mile stretch of SR 3 from the Mason County line to Keyport.
State, local and federal organizations are working together to reduce that number. They are part of the Cross-Kitsap Corridor Highway Safety Project one of four state funded programs to improve safety.
An official kick-off for the project is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday April 14 at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Bremerton. Former Seattle Seahawks Kicker Norm Johnson is the master of ceremonies.
A coalition has been working on the project since August 2002. Members include the City of Bremerton, Bremerton Police Department, Kitsap County, Kitsap County Health District, Kitsap County Sheriffs Office, Kitsap Transit, Naval Station Bremerton, Washington Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol, and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
State Highways 310 and 304 are also included in the study.
According to Washington State Department of Transportation data (Jan. 1998-Dec. 2000) the most accidents in Central Kitsap occurred at SR 3 and 303; and SR 3 and Newberry Hill Road.
The group is using this data to come up with engineering improvements to the roads and ways to remind drivers to do so safely.
Most collisions happen in clear conditions during daylight hours, said Shirley Wise, Traffic Safety coordinator for Bremerton and Kitsap County. Only a small percentage of crashes are alcohol or weather related she said..
This is a huge benefit to the community because theres no cost to the county, Wise added.
To reduce the number of crashes involving drivers running their cars off the road rumble strips would be installed along SR 3 from SR 304 to SR 16. The strips alert the drivers when the tires have crossed over on to the shoulder.
Water accumulated on the roadway was also a concern along SR 3 near SR 304. WSDOT has already installed a catch basin so water will run off the road Wise said.
Among the other concerns are lack of left turn lanes along the Cross-Kitsap Corridor. WSDOT has plans to add left turn lanes at SR 3 and the Aero Mobile Home Park and SR 3 into the Rodeo Drive-in theater in spring 2005.
Right turns are just as problematic in areas within the Cross-Kitsap Corridor
To reduce crashes on the northbound interchange ramp at SR 3 and Newberry Hill Road, a right turn pocket will be added this month through a minor widening of the paved area and re-striping.
But not all safety problems are road related. Problems such as red light running are caused by drivers.
To help law enforcement catch red light runners tattletale lights (red light indicators) can be mounted on the traffic signals.
The City of Bremerton will install red light indicators this month at:
Kitsap Way (SR 310) and Wycoff Avenue.
Kitsap Way (SR 310) and Marine Drive
Burwell Street (SR 304) and Naval Avenue.