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New speed tables strike complaints in Hansville

HANSVILLE — Having promised to deliver speed tables — devices with a 6- to 8-foot ramp leading up to a 10-foot plateau — to help calm traffic in Hansville, the Greater Hansville Area Road Safety Advisory Committee is now dealing with a major design flaw which has slowed traffic almost to a standstill.

Upset and frustrated residents have been contacting committee members and Kitsap County Public Works, complaining the tables are not what the groups promised they would be. Ideally, the devices would slow traffic to the 30 mph speed limit, and no less. These tables require motorists to slow to 20 mph in order to safely transverse them.

Public Works Traffic Engineer Jeff Shea said the problem delves from the asphalt.

“One of the issues that has come up is we are building them out of asphalt,” he said. “There are not a lot of easy ways to do that... We have to meet exact angles for the approaches. We have gotten some complaints the approaches are different.”

He said the speed tables were created out of asphalt primarily due to cost. Each table, including signage and road striping, costs $3,000, with a price tag of $30,000 for the entire project. If the tables were constructed out of concrete, or if the county were to purchase preformed plastic speed tables, the expense would rise by $2,000 per table. The plastic devices also can cause problems for snow plows and other county vehicles, he said.

Ten speed tables, scattered on Hansville Road, Twin Spits Road, Hood Canal Drive and Bridge View Drive, will complete the project, but crews are going back to correct the tables on Bridge View Drive and Hood Canal Drive, said RSAC co-chairwoman Kathy Bourassa. On Bridge View Drive, crews will extend the ramp up to the plateau from 6 feet to 8.5 feet, allowing motorists higher speeds when crossing the tables.

The county will continue to work on the design while installing a set of tables on Twin Spits Road this week, keeping the ramps longer and the table slightly shorter, she said.

“The ones on Hood Canal Drive we’ve had severe complaints about,” Bourassa said. “With speed tables, you should be able to drive over them at the speed limit... That’s not what they are, that’s not what the community had agreed to, or what the committee promised.”

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue was involved in the planning process to ensure the traffic calming devices would work with their fire engines and ambulances. Bourassa said NKF&R Assistant Chief Dan Smith was planning to drive over the tables Thursday or Friday to test them for the fire trucks.

Because of the delicate instruments and sensitive equipment on the emergency response vehicles, Bourassa said crews will probably take the tables at a much slower speed regardless of the approach.

“We’re trying to keep the speed low between bumps, and there may have been some misunderstandings between the groups in the North End that thought they would be maintaining the speed limit over the tables,” Shea said. He added the county is working to perfect the design, as these are the first tables constructed in Kitsap, so there is a learning curve worked into the process.

“I know people are really, really irate,” Bourassa said. “I don’t blame them, this is not what the committee promised.”

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