Letters to the Editor

State Route 302 has alternatives

In addressing the State Route 302 traffic problems, our legislators and the Washington State Department of Transportation can be thankful there are a number of lower cost options that present themselves as alternatives to a reroute through Kitsap County.

Unlike a number of other problematic state highway corridors such as Pacific Highway, SR-302 has two existing parallel corridors at Spruce and Pine and strong two-lane arterials leading to them (Goodrich, 94th, 118th) which, with a little improvement, can handle peak traffic flow and accommodate those who prefer alternative access to SR16.

The existing corridor and the Purdy intersection have been stressed by the work at Borgen Boulevard to accommodate the hospital, and the closing of the Burley/Olalla during overpass construction.

Completion of those projects has and will somewhat ease traffic congestion.

With a few alterations to the existing SR-302 corridor and by providing an alternative access to SR-16 at new 144th or Burley interchanges, those living along or otherwise using Goodrich, 94th, 118th and perhaps a northerly extension off of 82nd, will find several easily traveled alternative paths to SR-16 while avoiding backup at Purdy during peak traffic periods.

The existing alternative diversions from SR-302 to SR-16 involve a six- to nine-mile detour. (Round trip, that’s a gallon of gas — about the same as the toll on the Narrows.)

A reroute using one of the diagonal alternatives (options 5, 6 or 10) would only save a couple of miles of driving and would only provide a secondary more time consuming and costly (gas and budgetary) alternative to the shorter and quicker route through Purdy.

The question is whether travelers will always use a seven- to nine-mile detour or whether it would only be used when the existing corridor becomes too congested.

During this especially tight budgetary cycle, our legislators and WSDOT should improve the existing corridor and its feeders while providing safe and reasonable alternative access to SR-16 for the residents on Goodrich, 94th, 118th, (perhaps 82nd if extended) and to other SR-302 users during peak traffic periods.


Gig Harbor

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