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Hansville motorists eye Autumn construction plans

HANSVILLE — Residents and visitors racing to get to work, errands or the ferry from Hansville will soon be forced to check their speed as Kitsap County continues to work toward installing 10 speed tables throughout the North End community.

The Greater Hansville Area Road Safety Advisory Committee has been working since the plan was approved with Kitsap County crews and Public Works staff to hammer out an exact timeline for the installation of the traffic calming devices.

“We’re monitoring it,” said RSAC co-chairwoman Patricia Pinkham. “We’ve recently (in August) walked where the tables could be with county workers to see if they are within the county requirements, to check where they are in relation to driveways, light posts and that sort of thing.”

The tables are different than speed bumps in that there is a 6- to 8-foot ramp up and down and a 10- to 14-foot plateau, forming the “table” of the device, that will be less detrimental to cars. The tables won’t completely slow traffic either, but they will force motorists traveling above the speed limit to slow to compliance. Several vocal residents have rallied behind the project at public meetings over the last year and a half, despite statistics indicating 95 percent of speeders are locals. Construction is expected to begin on the project in mid- to late- September, and no later than October.

“We did meet with (Kitsap County Traffic Engineer) Jeff Shea, and he said they should be installed by the beginning of October,” said RSAC co-chair Kathy Bourassa. “We asked him to have them in as soon as he could, before the school buses are out. There are going to be a lot of kids out waiting for them, and we wanted to make sure the speed tables were in before school starts. But I don’t think that is going to happen.”

Shea said because the project was approved this year, it was put at the end of the waiting list, but it will definitely be completed before the end of the year. The roads must first undergo maintenance in the form of chip sealing before the traffic devices can be installed.

Hansville will be the first community in Kitsap County to receive speed tables, and county crews will be studying the results once the devices are in place, Shea said. If the tables work well, they could be considered for other areas.

“This is kind of right in my ballpark,” he said. “Once we know the tables are in place, the county will see if they are effective or not. We’ll be putting down counters both near the speeds tables and on other roads to see how they impact the roads that don’t have them. Those areas may see an increase in speed, and we want to monitor that.”

Bourassa and Pinkham said the tables are just one step to keeping speeds low in Hansville, and Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office patrols will continue to have a presence there. A Cosmo Radar Speed Trailer can also be reserved through the county for a short time so motorists can check their speed while on the road.

“Well, I think my thinking all along has been very clear the speed tables will not help alone, but they are a step,” said North Kitsap Commissioner and Hansville resident Steve Bauer. “I really expect it to make a difference, and it will be a demonstration that may help other areas in the county.”

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