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WSDOT to time SR 305 traffic signals

New double-turn lanes at Bond Road and the completion of much of the road has brought relief to drivers navigating the construction cones for the past two years.  - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
New double-turn lanes at Bond Road and the completion of much of the road has brought relief to drivers navigating the construction cones for the past two years.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Poulsbo council member leaves sequencing in DOT’s hands.

POULSBO – State Route 305 from Hostmark Street to Viking Way should become a little less stop-and-go and a little more full spead ahead.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reports sequencing the lights along the construction-laden corridor is still on its radar. Once the completion of the roadway widening wraps up this October, it’s to the lights they’ll go to ensure a smoother traffic flow through the busy area.

The widening project began in August 2006, and turned the two-lane stretch into a four-lane operation complete with High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane designations.

“We need to wait until the project is complete before we can start collecting data, which means all signal work is complete, all lane closures and traffic control devices are removed from the highway,” said Jim Johnstone, transportation engineer for the DOT. “It will take approximately three weeks to collect (and) count data and then a few more weeks to complete our analysis and implement our timing plans.”

The process includes vehicle counts from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at each corresponding intersection. The data is analyzed and fed through a computer program which develops timing plans, Johnstone said.

“These timing plans are used as a starting point for us to retime the corridor,” he added. “Once implemented we observe and tweak as needed until we are satisfied.”

Once the system is fit to DOT’s liking, Johnstone said traffic will be progressed southbound toward Bainbridge during morning commutes and northbound toward State Route 3 in the evenings.

“Hopefully mainline drivers will notice fewer stops and decreased travel time through the corridor,” he added.

Last month, Poulsbo City Council Member Becky Erickson circulated a resolution to area leaders to start the sequencing process to alleviate congestion. Officials from Bainbridge, Poulsbo and the Suquamish Tribe were brought in on the plan, but after a meeting between local and state officials she said she decided it was unnecessary, as the DOT was already on top of the job.

The resolution had been passed on Bainbridge, and was on its way through Poulsbo’s system.

“I tabled the motion because WSDOT was already starting to perform and do what they were supposed to do,” she said.

She added the light timing will also be addressed at the Clearwater Casino near the Agate Passage bridge.

For more information on the SR 305 widening project, which is now on its final lap, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR305/PoulsboSouthtoBondRd/.

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