POULSBO — “The short distance from the 305 intersection to [8th] Avenue, combined with the extra-long distance to cross Iverson [at 8th], is a recipe for disaster,’’ wrote Donna Van Renselaar, who works near the intersection of 8th Avenue and Iverson Street.
“The orange flags that have been placed in buckets for pedestrians to carry across are inadequate.’’
Those flags are even more inadequate when they aren’t there.
At 7:30 a.m. Jan. 15, this crosswalk signage near the crosswalk at that intersection was not visible to motorists because it was on its side and chained to a bolt in the ground. On one side of the street, a holder for pedestrian flags was empty.
At 3:30 p.m., the sign was still down, the flag holder still empty.
Pedestrian safety in Poulsbo became a hot topic after two residents were struck by cars and injured, one fatally, within a two-day period.
Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson said Jan. 4 that the city is waiting for the Washington State Patrol report on the pedestrian fatality before deciding what to do, if anything, about the crosswalk at Front Street and Torval Canyon Road, where the fatality occurred.
Erickson said “pedestrian safety is always of concern,” and she pointed to improvements made on Lincoln Road, Noll Road and in the area of Poulsbo Elementary School to provide more separation between vehicles and pedestrians. She said police emphasis patrols on Front Street recently resulted in 14 traffic citations. The city also invested in a longer-lasting paint for sidewalks and street striping, which is done every spring, she said.
Still, some residents say the city needs to take measures now to improve pedestrian safety.
“That has happened to me. Probably nine times out of 10, I have to stand at the intersection and make sure that the person driving sees me and waves back to me,” Lynn Myrvang said. “I love to run and walk around Poulsbo, usually on a daily basis, and I run into this all the time — 4th Avenue Northeast and Iverson Northeast, Jensen Way Northeast and Front Street Northeast, Front Street Northeast and Northeast Sunset Street, Front Street Northeast and Jensen Way Northeast, which is right downtown, and then the driveway onto Front Street from the Rec Center. I’ve almost been hit at every one of those.”
Here are previous editorials and letters to the editor on the subject:
Jan. 15: We call on the city to take action now (In Our Opinion)
Jan. 12: Keep your eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel (In Our Opinion)
Jan. 4: Pedestrian safety must be a priority (Letter to the Editor)
Dec. 28: Make pedestrian safety a priority (In Our Opinion)