'Traffic calming' coming to Jamestown S'Klallam tribal complex
By Rob Ollikainen
Print This | Email This
FOUR DAYS OF arts and music comes to Port Angeles — buy your tickets now! (And . . . FREE pre-festival show TONIGHT) -- 5/22/13 -10:06 PM
SPORTS: Port Townsend mountain bike team captures state championship -- 5/22/13 -06:02 PM
Three Peninsula cities seek more money for roads -- 5/22/13 -10:43 PM
City to pay Port Angeles man who alleged excessive police force -- 5/22/13 -10:46 PM
Port Angeles City Council puts stamp of approval on harbor cleanup plans -- 5/22/13 -05:37 PM
Chief Operations Officer Annette Nesse said the “traffic calming” project for Old Blyn Highway will improve the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the county road that bisects the growing tribal campus and parallels U.S. Highway 101 in Blyn.
The safety-improvement project includes new crosswalks with pedestrian-activated flashing lights and new landscaping to funnel people to designated crossing areas.
Crosswalks will be installed to the immediate north, south and in front of the tribe's community center and administration building.
Construction is planned for later this summer.
“We are looking at additional signing and actually putting in illumination — proposing illumination — along the roadway throughout the campus area,” said Happy Longfellow of Parametrix, the tribe's engineering consultant, in a Tuesday briefing to county commissioners.
“Included in this is also an [asphalt] overlay project to preserve the roadway surface, as it has some utility crossing patches,” Longfellow added.
Installation of a crowned asphalt surface to eliminate ponding on the 25 mph-speed-limit road is a “separate but affiliated” project, Nesse said.
“We may be able to do them concurrently,” she added in a follow-up interview.
Speed bumps and rumble strips were considered, Longfellow said, but the idea is “shelved for now.”
Commissioners endorsed the tribe's plans during the hourlong informational session.
“I'm satisfied with what I see,” said Commissioner Jim McEntire, whose district covers Blyn and the eastern third of the county.
Commissioner Mike Doherty said the county and the tribe need to work out a hold-harmless agreement before putting a crown on the road.
He emphasized the need for the parties to plan for future development of the Olympic Discovery Trail through the Blyn corridor.
“The tribe is very supportive of the Olympic Discovery Trail, so we want to see that be a part of this as well,” Nesse said.
County Engineer Ross Tyler said the tribe has filed the standard paperwork for the traffic-calming project.
“Since everything that's being done here is being reviewed by the county, there's no odd things going on,” Tyler told commissioners.
“Everything is done to AASHTO [American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials] specifications, just like we would do.”
The project resulted from the tribe's 2010 proposal to put a median on U.S. Highway 101 with U-turns to reroute traffic around the tribal center.
The 101 proposal was opposed by residents, primarily on East Sequim Bay Road.
“Folks were concerned about access and mobility and safety and just not happy with the project in general,” Nesse said.
“So we stepped back and took the project back to the drawing board and basically put that piece of the project on hold, the bigger project, and looked at ways that we could phase that and impact the safety of more local roads that really are directly affected by the Blyn campus.”
The Jamestown S'Klallam campus is shared by tribal members, tribal staff, the general community and tourists.
It includes a library, art gallery, dental clinic and the House of Myths totem-pole-carving shed.
“The one that we chose to do actually came about as a comment in the public open house that we had a couple years ago in October,” Nesse said.
“And that was, 'Why not take a look at Old Blyn Highway and figure out how to improve the safety of that?'”
Nesse said there are “a lot of potential conflicts” between vehicles and pedestrians as the campus has grown.
She added that it is common for motorists to exceed the posted speed limit.
The tribe has secured the $300,000 needed for the traffic-calming and asphalt overlay projects.
“We're excited about this project,” Nesse told commissioners, “and we want to make sure you're on board with what we're proposing.”
Meanwhile, the tribe still plans to realign the Chicken Coop Road and Zaccardo Road intersections with U.S. Highway 101.
The existing intersections would be abandoned in favor of a new, safer intersection.
The project would include a right-turn acceleration lane for people going east, an acceleration lane in the median for people heading west and a deceleration lane for people turning off the highway.
A short tie road would be built to connect the tribe's south campus from Zaccardo Road to the new intersection.
“Basically, it's a really great improvement,” Longfellow said.
“It stays a stop-controlled intersection. It takes two conflict points, or intersections, and combines them into one.”
Nesse said the new intersection is “still a very viable project on its own” but hasn't been funded.
She said that project is “probably several years out.”
“We're going to keep the county in the loop, as well as WSDOT [state Department of Transportation], to see if we can partner with those two entities to change the intersection of Chicken Coop-Zaccardo,” Nesse said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: June 28. 2012 6:24AM