The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) hosted an open house for the State Route 302 (SR 302) corridor study on Tuesday, September 25, 2007, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nearly 200 people gathered at Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Washington to learn about the project and share their perspectives. The open house was the first public meeting held to discuss the study objectives, hear concerns from the public about SR 302 and begin gathering information to support the traffic, engineering and environmental preliminary analysis. Before the end of the year, the project team will identify a range of alternatives that will be carried forward for detailed study in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS process is expected to begin in January 2008 and will include continued public and stakeholder involvement. WSDOT anticipates completion of the environmental process within three to five years.
SR 302 is an important east-west link between Key Peninsula communities and Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and other parts of Washington. Increased traffic resulting from regional population growth has raised concerns about safety and congestion along this corridor. The purpose of the SR 302 study is to evaluate the environmental impacts of creating a new corridor or widening SR 302 to improve mobility and enhance motorist safety. The end result will be development of a preferred improvement alternative based upon the state and federal environmental analysis.
Open House Format
In order to encourage as much participation as possible, WSDOT offered two open house sessions with the same presentations and work group format. The project team sought community input regarding existing conditions along SR 302 and potential solutions for improved safety and mobility.
Meeting participants were asked to sign in upon their arrival, then invited to informally talk with project staff. Meeting handouts included a meeting agenda, comment sheet, and project contact information card. Team public involvement lead, Melinda Posner, welcomed attendees, reviewed the meeting format and introduced the presenters. State Senator Derek Kilmer spoke briefly about the project need and expressed his pleasure at the number of meeting participants. Next, project manager John Donahue and consultant team lead John Perlic discussed the study purpose, environmental review process and anticipated schedule. After Mr. Donahue’s comments and a few clarifying questions, participants were asked to join one of ten pre-assigned work groups. Each work group facilitator led people through the same set of questions and recorded their responses on flip charts. The questions were:
- What concerns you most about SR 302?
- What solutions to SR 302 have you thought about or discussed with neighbors?
- What do you think are the biggest challenges to improving SR 302?
Summary of Public Comment
The following is a summary of public input gathered from comment forms and emails submitted between August and October 2007, and September 2007 open house flip charts. All public comment will be documented in the project record, reviewed by the project team and made available to the public on the Web site, www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr302/newcorridor. These comments will help guide the development of viable SR 302 transportation alternatives. The comments have been edited slightly for grammar and clarity. The number noted in parentheses indicates how many people raised that particular issue.
What concerns you most about SR 302?
Corridor Study Process
- Nothing will happen!
- Study area boundaries too narrow
- Alternatives already being considered but not shared with the community.
- Paying taxes and getting nothing.
- Impacts to waterways, wetlands, natural resources (6)
- Impacts on salmon and oyster beds (4)
- Concerned about wildlife and wetland north of the power line road (144th), in vicinity of Lake Holiday, that feeds into Stansberry Lake and Lake of the Woods (2)
- Concern for preserving habitat (would prefer to avoid new road)
- Environmental impacts to Purdy Spit and Burley Lagoon
- Not convinced about environmental concerns in Burley Lagoon
- Don’t want to lose beautiful trees
- Intersection of SR 302 and Purdy Drive NW has the worst congestion (5)
- Congestion and back-ups at SR 16 exit to Purdy/SR 302 (5)
- Concern about future developments in this area making congestion even worse (4)
- Major congestion at Purdy Park-n-Ride during peak hours (transit, school buses block road)
- Can’t turn left off of SR 302 without blocking traffic
Section from Key Peninsula Highway to 144th is a huge mess
Lack of alternate routes when accidents block SR 302 (or lack of knowledge of routes)
- Concern with increased traffic to/from Shelton since Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened (drivers are avoiding bridge toll)
- Traffic has increased morning and evening since new Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened
- Closing left-turn option (SR 16) at Burley/Olalla has increased traffic at Purdy
- SR 302 is the only connection to Allyn, in the event of an emergency it becomes a very important state road
- Holiday traffic coming onto Purdy Spit, kids running along road near beach
- Loss of scenic country drive
- To what extent will traffic volumes contribute to sprawl and affect rural character?
- Don’t want the area to look like urban Seattle, I like the rural character
- Don’t want to trade rural character for faster transportation given
- If people want to move and live in a rural area, they need to respect the character of the place they are moving to
- Accidents at intersection of SR 302 and 118th due to congestion and limited sight distance (11)
- Corridor too narrow, over capacity and dangerous (11)
- Limited sight distance and lack of shoulders, turnouts and center lanes (8)
- Difficulty accessing driveways, businesses and side roads along SR 302 corridor (7)
- Exiting SR 16 onto Purdy Drive NW, people use shoulder and weave in and out of traffic (7)
- Wauna curves very dangerous (6)
- Accidents at intersection of SR 302 and Purdy Drive NW (5)
- Purdy Bridge and Purdy Spit too narrow (4)
- Street lighting and fog lines needed (4)
- Center turn-lane needed on SR 302 for emergency turn-out (3)
- Speeding and enforcement are a concern (3)
- Need safe pedestrian facilities (2)
- Lack of vertical sight distance at intersection of SR 302 and 144th (2)
- Passing on shoulder, trying to get off bridge to Tacoma (2)
- Guardrails and low fences needed to keep wildlife off the road
- Victor Road landslides are dangerous
- Problems with tree limbs falling on road in winter
- Key Peninsula Highway is dangerous; improvements should include that roadway
- The new asphalt pavement adjoining SR16 and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is dangerous (inability of the asphalt surface to reflect light). Use concrete instead.
What solutions to SR 302 have you thought about or discussed with neighbors?
82nd, 94th, 97th and 118th
- High accident areas along SR 302 should be priority
- Elevated highway over Purdy Bridge to 94th
- Signal needed at 94th (Lake Kathryn Village)
- Signals as short-term fix at 94th, 82nd and 118th
- Bypass Purdy (re-route from 97th vicinity, head NE and connect to SR 302 near Clayton)
- Short-term left-turn lane at 118th
- Improvements at 118th should have included straightening of curves
- Too expensive to cross 118th (five creek crossings)
- New SR 302 alignment using 144th seems like most sensible solution (6)
- Interchange at 144th (3)
- New bridge across Burley Lagoon at 144th, or at least upgrade the Purdy Bridge
- Access Purdy Drive NW from SR 16 on north end of Purdy at 144th
- Extend 144th west to SR 302 (concerned about impacts on residents)
- 144th tie-in with new bridge above Purdy Drive NW connecting to SR 16 at existing bridge there
- Improvements and connections at east end of 144th are more critical
- 144th alternative will improve emergency vehicle access to St. Anthony’s Hospital
- Continue western portion of 144th and connect with SR 302 near Allyn at 45 degree angle to avoid steep slopes
- 144th with four lanes and interchanges (one group member said that is a terrible idea)
- 141st stops at power line road, concern with punching through to 144th, don’t want new connection
- Anything that keeps route similar to the existing would be good (even considering punching 144th through to SR 16)
- If they punch 144th across Burley Lagoon, it would not disturb existing traffic
- Purdy Spit can’t support traffic, consider punching 144th across Burley Lagoon
- Roundabouts at 144th and 62nd
- SR 16 straight to 144th intersections, on ramp straight to SR 302 (no spur, no light, elevated highway portion over Burley Lagoon at 144th)
- Off ramp at 144th would help Crescent Lake and Olalla Corridor further north tied into Elgin Cliff Road
- Use 154th overpass on SR 16 ramp at north end of Purdy (going south)
- Spur off SR 16 and connect with SR 302 (re-route bridge traffic) in vicinity of 154th
- Don’t change Purdy/154th
- Southbound on ramp at 154th would help prevent people from traveling through Purdy to access SR 16 (not as much of an issue heading north)
- New connection west from Burley/Olalla, north of Burley Lagoon (5)
- Concern about impacts to Burley community
- How far north can it be built before people won’t use it?
- New route in South Kitsap (near Burley/Olalla) would add approximately 8 miles, round trip. At 30 miles per gallon, large increase in gas consumption.
- Sweep alignment north from SR 302 to Sidney near Burley/Olalla
- Burley/Olalla improvements will help alleviate traffic on “Old” SR 302 (address access and lighting to ease traffic)
- Based on new Burley/Olalla interchange, looks like new SR 302 alignment will go north and connect to new interchange
- Burley/Olalla Interchange should be held up until the SR 302 study is done. Perhaps a Burley/Olalla/Pine Road combination would work better save taxpayer money.
- Drivers bound for Key Peninsula won’t want to drive 8 to 10 miles out of their way to access the Key Peninsula via an overpass at Burley/Olalla.
- Routing a new corridor through South Kitsap (near Burley/Olalla) would have a huge impact at the gas pump; which would be in addition to the large and unavoidable environmental impact of adding that much extra CO2 and other pollutants to the atmosphere.
- Create access to Olympic Drive SE and points east on Burley/Olalla, maybe by a frontage road, on the east side of a Hwy 16 overpass. West side access would be available because a highway would connect to the Key Peninsula highway south of Wauna.
- Add a lane between northbound Burnham on ramp and Purdy off ramp
- Fly-over from east and westbound SR 302 at Burnham
Funding and Process
- Key Peninsula Community Plan should be referenced, studied and incorporated in this study process (3)
- Identify where heavy traffic comes from and where it goes (2)
- Make sure preferred alternative selection is a local decision
- Don’t make improvements that will encourage NASCAR
- Have the state allocate funds from former section (3-WB) to the county for Key Peninsula Highway section (allocate improvements jointly)
- Current SR 302 corridor should be considered a local access road only. To expend state dollars on major improvements in the current 302 corridor would be ineffective and a waste of WSDOT construction dollars.
- Allocation of money should be proportional to traffic on county roads
- Seek public/private partnership for funding (Pierce County, cities, transit, etc.)
- Speed up improvements, it shouldn’t take so long to complete fixes
- Coordinate with Mason County and Belfair bypass project team
Need a comprehensive growth plan for transportation, land use, etc.
- Disclose right-of-way limits as part of study
- Will current SR 302 stay if another alignment is chosen?
- Consider toll for SR 302
Lake Kathryn Village
- Add traffic signal at Lake Kathryn Village (3)
- Create access between 97th and 92nd (Lake Kathryn Village) by creating frontage road
- Need center turn lane at 94th Street (Lake Kathryn Village) and 134th
- 144th interchange and connection out by Lake Kathryn (helps with shopping center)
Pine, Spruce and Northern Route
- New interchange at Pine Road; right-of-way already exists (2)
- 144th to Pine Road (2)
- Go north of the Burley Lagoon, Spruce or Pine to 144th (2)
- Pine Road to SR 16
- Pine Road corridor would be extremely cost effective, greatly improve safely and wouldn’t have a dramatic effect on existing properties
- Pine Road, across and through trees, cross Wright-Bliss, etc.
- Come off SR 302 at Pine Road, cut across to connect near SR 3
- Pine to SR 16 or other alternative southbound to catch SR 302 (work together with traffic coming in from west, think about entire SR 302 corridor)
- Need new route north of SR 302 at Spruce or Pine (very unlikely that they’ll be able to cross Burley Lagoon)
- Combine alternatives R2 and R10 from 1993 SR 302 Corridor Study
- New route as far north as possible Project should connect to US 101, cross-sound connection to I-5
- High level bridge/overpass above Burley Lagoon and Purdy Drive NW (2)
- Build new, wider bridge (2)
- Add new bridge beside existing bridge; one-way traffic on each (2)
- Check Purdy Bridge structural safety
- 1937 Bridge – been through several quakes, reached its serviceable life, either let it sit or improve it
- Any attempt to use current bridge is not a good idea (historic bridge would need to be moved and widening through Wauna is not a good idea)
- Widen turn lane onto Purdy Bridge (westbound)
- Build new bridge further south over Burley Lagoon
- Make Purdy Bridge into pedestrian bridge and re-route highway around water
- Fly-over bridge from Purdy Drive NW to SR 302 to provide free left turn (spur) 2-way fly-over AM/PM
- Can pillar for new bridge be placed in Burley Lagoon, using the island?
- During bridge closure, move traffic on 94th as an alternate route
- Weight limitation would help make it safer
- Make Danforth across bridge for local traffic only if new route is developed.
Purdy Drive NW/Purdy Bridge Intersection
- Lengthen left turn lane at Purdy Drive NW and SR 302 (just east of the Purdy bridge) to allow for more vehicle queue space (2)
- Solution starts at intersection of Purdy Drive NW and Purdy Bridge
- Modified, partial roundabout at Purdy intersection
- Should allow northbound through trips on Purdy Drive NW, bypassing stoplights
- Roundabout in Purdy
- Adjust timing of light at intersection of Purdy Drive NW and Purdy bridge to alleviate backups
Purdy Spit/Burley Lagoon
- Improve and preserve Purdy Spit as park/recreation area (5)
- Create three lanes across spit and build parking lot for recreational access
- New route should not shift too far north
- Prefer alignment north and above Burley Lagoon, but not as far as Spruce or Pine
- Remove Purdy Spit and restore Burley Lagoon to historical conditions as mitigation for high-level bridge across Burley Lagoon
- Re-route traffic around spit
- Off ramp left lane from SR 16 to Purdy Spit should be longer – should be entire length of off ramp, off ramp should be two lanes
- Existing right-of-way, overpass over Burley Lagoon, connect at east end of Lake Kathryn Village
- Cut across lagoon at angle to save money and reduce impacts Back-fill Burley Lagoon and put in culvert for stream
- Is it possible to limit growth?
- Preserve rural character, we hate to add a new road
- Balance development with rural lifestyle
State Route 16
- Include SR 16 off ramp to SR 302 alternative in study
- Widen/add exit lane off SR 16 to Purdy/SR 302. Install signs alerting drivers to exiting and merging traffic.
- From SR 16, maybe Rosedale across to Key Peninsula and Lackey
- Straighten alignment of SR 302, new bridge, connect straight to SR 16
- Need for connection between SR 16 and Key Peninsula (keep them on SR 302, new corridor for through-traffic)
- New road off SR 16 to SR 302
- Close current Purdy/SR 302 exit off SR 16 (utilize local road at Canterwood)
- Bypass Wauna curves and Purdy (2)
- Limit access by consolidating driveways to make SR 302 safer
- Consider truck lane as interim fix on the Wauna Curves
- Straighten curves
- Avoid Wauna curves, continue SR 302 along 140th across water (new bridge)
- Accommodate boat launch at Wauna
Zoning and Land Use
- Put a moratorium on building on the Key Peninsula until Key Peninsula Highway is improved. Especially multiple unit housing developments (such as the one by the Shell Station) and multiple single-family housing.
- Larger lot sizes will minimize congestion
- Strict zoning will help decrease traffic
- Limit access to new SR 302 alignment
- Add turn lanes and pull-out lanes for cars, school buses and emergency vehicles (3)
- Add streetlights along SR 302 (3)
- Add guardrails, especially where road curves (3)
- SR 302 needs to be a 4 lane roadway (2)
- No roundabouts (2)
- Key Peninsula Highway is being overlooked in current study (2)
- Re-align using existing roadways to minimize property impacts and construction (2)
- Not in favor of widening existing SR 302
- Two pathways at Key Peninsula Highway; separate traffic to Allyn and Key Peninsula
- Need turn lanes at Wright-Bliss Road
- Consider 160th corridor alignment as alternative
- Add lane markings as temporary fix
- Bridge at Longbranch
- Noise walls
- Rumble buttons at centerline
- Add traffic signal in Key Center, in Home, and at the intersection or SR 302/Elgin Clifton Road and Wright-Bliss Road
- Add passing lanes between Allyn and Shelton
- Increase SR 302 speed limit to 55
- Review all the accidents – fatal and otherwise – that have occurred on the highway in the last three years
- Traffic and accident analysis of sections SR 3 to Wright Bliss Road and Key Peninsula Highway to SR 302
- Ferry service from Key Peninsula to Tacoma
What do you think are the biggest challenges to improving SR 302?
- Community opposition to some routes; can’t make everyone happy (4)
- Property impacts/condemnation (3)
- Personal property rights – not in my backyard (2)
- Three to five years is unacceptable to those who use SR 302 daily
- Traffic backups during construction
- Resistance from SR 302 and Key Peninsula Highway businesses if alignment shifts away from existing alignment
- Frustrated taxpayers – proper use of funds for other projects that seem to be a waste of money
- Percentage of people in Kitsap County versus Pierce County (majority of people live south of SR 302 and Key Peninsula Highway)
- So much public input, not sure what’s done with it. How does it fit, who decides?
- Direct mailing should include South Kitsap communities that could be affected (zip 98367)
- Mailing was an effective way to get the word out about the meeting and study
- Protecting the watershed and habitat
- Want assurances that stormwater runoff from the highway project itself doesn’t adversely impact shellfish growing waters.
- As DOT improves the transportation corridor these rural areas will become more attractive to live. Increased population means increased pollution potential from septic systems and stormwater runoff (lawn fertilizers, pesticides, pet wastes, domestic animal waste).
- Steep slopes
- Geology / clay
- Bridging Burley Lagoon (environmental permits)
- Crossing salmon streams (tribal government coordination/partnering)
- Environmental permitting and timing of EIS is too long
Funding and Follow Through
- Legislative support and priority (4)
- Timeline – new development happening now – 3 years will be too late
- Challenge of getting people to agree/understand this project will take time
- Building enough capacity for future
- Cost of all the roadway improvements (4)
- Cost of right-of-way acquisition
- Tax dollars should stay in Peninsula
- How will improvements affect property taxes?
- Cost of litigation, delays, etc.
- Sales tax (3.5%) from Peninsula doesn’t go up to Peninsula – Why?
- How much right-of-way along SR 302 does state currently own?
- Conflict between Peninsula Area and Pierce County/multi-agency coordination (2)
- Make sure whole roadway network (including Key Peninsula Highway) is analyzed, not just SR 302 (2)
- 144th alignment would be very costly
- Tacoma Power (permission for 144th right-of-way)
- The biggest challenge falls between Sydney Road and Purdy. Purdy has to be bypassed and SR 302 has to go directly to SR 16.
- Marginal fixes that don’t fix the solution – create potential problems on entire route.
- County’s inability of land use planning on large scale master plan (Mason county coordination with Pierce County)
- Belfair bypass will affect Victor cutoff (needs to be coordinated)
- Key Peninsula planned development will increase current problems
- Interchange distance, spacing criteria/requirements
Improving access in and out of Purdy businesses
- 300-acre park near intersection of SR 302 and 144th (how will this impact the highway?)
- Heavy trucks tearing up the road
- Street lighting at SR 302 / Key Peninsula highway has made great improvement
- We request that traffic data made available to the public ASAP
- Will we have traffic volumes to share at next meeting?
- Rumor confirmation: Key Peninsula goes to Kitsap rather than Pierce County?
Rural Character and Historic Elements
- Impacts to rural character
- Rural character of Burley impacts of route through Oak, Pine, Spruce or Bethel-Burley
- Historical value of Purdy bridge
- Possible historical site in Burley vicinity
- Concerns about destroying historic structures and cutting through farmland