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Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: February 18, 2015
Contact: Jeff Shea, Traffic Engineer
jshea@co.kitsap.wa.us, 360-337-7035
No: 2015-013

Permissive left turns (Flashing Yellow Arrow) at Randall Way & Kitsap Mall Boulevard are going away
Increase in collisions cited in unique double left turn lanes

(Port Orchard, WA) - The flashing yellow left turn light has been a success and is well-received at many locations in Kitsap County. But the unique nature of the double left-turn lane at the Randall Way and Kitsap Mall Boulevard intersection has created safety concerns according to Jeff Shea, Traffic Engineer for Kitsap County. “The flashing yellow left-turn arrow has been a very popular addition to our signal system.  Motorists enjoy the ability to make left turns when there is no opposing traffic,” Shea said. The permissive left turns reduce driver frustration and decrease the need to speed through the intersection when the guarded left turn light turns yellow,” according to Shea. “The permissive left turn signal helps improve signal timing and reduces overall wait times at signals because it reduces the number of cars in queues waiting to make the left turn,” Shea added. 

The popular signal change was installed in 2010. The intersection has seen too many collisions including a fatality.   “We watch our collision data, rely on sheriff’s deputy’s’ observations, and respond to motorist’s complaints to find trouble spots that need attention, and we feel this location needs attention” said Shea.  We attempted to solve the problem with a sign near the signal head alerting motorists that they must yield to oncoming traffic.  Unfortunately this did not reduce the collisions.

After modifying the intersection with the flashing yellow arrow we monitored the collisions and watched them drop from a high of 9 in 2011 to 4 in 2013.  In 2014 we saw that we had experienced 8 collisions.  “The fact that it is two lanes makes it different from other installations of this type of signal, and based on the collision data we’ve decided to eliminate the permissive left-turn signal,” said Shea. The signal will return to the protected left-turn green arrow in late February.  The only allowable left turn will be with the green arrow.

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Last Updated:  February 18, 2015