Several fatal crashes along Hansville Road between Kingston and Hansville have some residents concerned about the safety of the road.
According to reports from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, three significant crashes occurred along the corridor between Nov. 3 and Nov. 6, one of which claimed the life of the driver.
On Saturday, Nov. 3 at around 11:17 a.m., a Chevrolet pickup was traveling northbound on Hansville Road NE when the vehicle — for unknown reasons — veered off the side of the road to the right. The truck struck a wire for a utility pole before colliding with a tree head-on. The drive was declared deceased at the scene.
Two other crashes on Hansville Road NE occurred only three days after the tragic Nov. 3 crash. On the morning of Nov. 6, a woman swerved off the road to avoid striking a deer that had jumped in front of her vehicle. Later that same day, a car failed to yield while turning, and another vehicle collided with it at the intersection.
The accidents follow yet another fatal crash that occurred this year on June 19.
However, data from the Washington State Department of Transportation suggest that the number of crashes along that road are decreasing.
In 2007, the county reduced the speed limit from 55 mph to 50 mph north of the Ecology Road intersection and 50 mph to 45 mph to the south of that intersection. Before speeds were reduced, between 2003 and 2007, the road averaged about 21.6 crashes annually. After speed limits were reduced, it has averaged about 13.6 crashes per year.
Between 2006 and 2009, Kitsap County Public Works constructed a number of intersection improvements along the road, including widening the roadway, and installing left turn lanes, improved lighting and flashing intersection beacons, which may have also led to a decrease in crashes.
A number of improvements are currently slated for Hansville Road NE, including a southbound right turn lane at the State Route 104 intersection, planned for 2021, and ongoing shoulder paving, set to be finished in 2020. Additionally, Kitsap County Public Works is in the preliminary stages of scoping improvements for the Hansville Road NE and NE Little Boston Road intersection.
— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.