Well,as many local bremertonians know, there was a large some of money dropped into the “down town” area of Bremerton. This money was used for many things but one of them was to reroute traffic around to try to ease traffic and confusion near the terminal for ingress and egress traffic. There was a tunnel created to route off loading traffic away from the local businesses and drop them farther down Burwell (in the middle of no where). This was to help lighten the traffic on the streets for ship yard workers and others that were trying to get to the local foot ferries. This portion has worked….. ok.
Now, for ingress traffic. Bremerton increased the lanes heading to the pay terminals from one lane to two. This is nice for while there are backups to get on the boat, it gives a little extra space to keep cars out of the way. Now, at the same time they put these lanes in, they also added a third lane on the far left. This lane was to be for local businesses and ferry walk on loading and unloading. Here is where the dibocle starts.
In order to keep some semblance of order the 2 lanes for vehicle traffic onto the boat and the one late for local businesses were separated by a large, but beautiful median. This is a great idea, however they added a little through way at the end for lost travelers who have entered the wrong set of lanes. This little through way forces drivers to do an over 90* turn to get on the correct road where there are no yield signs or stop signs for the two now merging lanes. do to the obtuse nature of the turn, many unfamiliar drivers have mistakenly turned and found themselves now heading the wrong way down the one way. Also while making this turn both oncoming traffic and turning traffic have great trees to enjoy looking at between them while they set themselves up for failure.
This is just one of the minor problems. the even larger problem that really irks me is the “Loading Zone” If you did make it down the correct road either by accident, or using your xray vision to see the signs blocked by all of the fauna put up (for beautification of coarse) you will now find yourself on one of two streets first or second. Yes, the city put signs out for passenger loading and unloading, but you now find yourself looking around and asking yourself, “where is this zone” Fortunately you will have lots of time to find it for the following two reasons. The people at the front of the very large and eminent traffic jam that happens every time the very pulls in have realized that this loading and unloading zone is fictitious. They have givin up hope and decided the best place to load and unload is in the street. Fortunately at the end of second, the road widens to allow approx 3 cars to wait out of the way.
The unfortunate part of this, is the left side of the road is usually occupied by parked vehicles. The last vehicle in the line and the last person on the right end up creating a very tight funnel. The people that finally do squeeze through this funnel finally see their awaiting passengers and quickly try to scurry them in or out of their vehicle. This works for the first one or two, however as they consume 30seconds or so on average taking care of their business, everyone behind them is held up. Some people who are dropping people off will take advantage and let people out. Others like to wait. These are the people that still have hope of the loading and unloading zone. This cycle continues over and over causing a great traffic jam.
Now, lets move on to first street. This street has approx 5 spaces. These spaces are almost always in use by the same vehicles all the time. My guess is they are the local business owners who have no where to park, so they park in front of their businesses and move their vehicles every hour or two after the parking nazi comes around. This leaves one narrow lane of traffic to repeat the same process as second. Now, on this street there happens to be a large parking garage used by a few large businesses and schools in the area. The schedules work out so that the parking lot usually is emptying at the same time people are trying to load and unload. Now you have a whole new group of individuals in the mix adding to the congestion. Now, on top of that, Everest college has many students pulling into this same garage. Yes, more traffic on this narrow street.
Now lets bring this whole mess full circle. I have already explained the purpose of the tunnel, I have described the lack of a clear loading and unloading zone. Now lets go back to those same ship yard workers that clogged the streets originally blocking the exiting traffic from the boat. 99% of this traffic goes to one of three ferries. They are all located near each other. This foot traffic still has yet to be redirected. while there is one route that they can take to get to the boats by hanging a right out of their gate, walking up the sidewalk and around the bus route. This route keeps them out of traffic and keeps them from crossing the road. Unfortunately it is slightly longer and I mean slightly. Unfortunately this is not the most common route. Many of these ship yard workers end up crossing the two lanes for traffic loading the boat. They then cross the one lane for loading, unloading, and local business traffic. They make a short walk down the sidewalk where they then cross the driveway that has many cars leaving and entering, continue down and then cross the local traffic as it is turning to leave the area again. That is four intersections. Unfortunately there are thousands of people leaving this area so the lines are usually up 20-30 minutes long.
Great Job Bremerton, thanks for clearing up the roads.