Those who regularly travel along State Route 3 between SR 305 and the Hood Canal Bridge should start planning for a slightly longer trip. The Washington State Department of Transportation announced Thursday that it was planning to permanently reduce the speed limit from 55 to 50 mph on that stretch of highway.
Doug Adamson a spokesperson for WSDOT said the decision came following a speed study on that section of highway.
“Periodically we’ll look and people will come to us and say, ‘Hey, we want you guys to look at if it would be beneficial if we were to reduce speed through here,’” Adamson said. The study, Adamson said, took into consideration increasing population density, crash data and average speed.
Adamson noted that a speed reduction can only do so much to keep the roads safe, adding that it is ultimately up to the driver to practice safe driving habits and obey posted signage.
“Everything is dependent on the driver behind the wheel driving safely. You can put up a lot of signs, but if people aren’t following the speed limit — if they’re driving aggressively — it’s very difficult. We need help from every driver who’s out there to put down the cellphone, to not be on Facebook while they’re doing 55 mph.”
The specific section of highway to be reduced is from milepost 53.09 to milepost 59.48 between SR 305 and Baltic Lane Northeast in Poulsbo. Lowered speed limits may be enforced by Washington State Patrol troopers as soon as they are posted. The new signs are expected to be installed the week of Sept. 24.
—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with the North Kitsap Herald. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org