Left turn etiquette

intersection
The traffic in Proctor doesn’t typically bother me. It gets a little thick at times but I feel like I can get around pretty good.. until I am stopped in my tracks by left turners behind a green circle. There are two distinct brands of bad left turners that we need to address.

Unnecessary use of crowded intersections
The mildest offenders in the bunch, many of you who turn left onto Proctor Street from North 30th at 5:17pm..should turn sooner. There are multiple options to turn sooner (Alder, Union, etc.) and all of them will save you and the rest of us a lot of time. I realize some of you live on Proctor, and of course you are more than entitled to your left turn onto your street. It is the folks headed for Mason Middle School or Proctor Safeway that have much better routes to consider.

Sitting through an entire green light without moving
This is the group of people for which there is no excuse. AT LEAST ONE CAR MUST TURN LEFT ON EVERY GREEN CIRCLE, even if you finish your turn after the light has turned red. I understand there are a lot of people who do not see it this way. They are wrong. There is no excuse for sitting through an entire round of lights unless the intersection is physically blocked.

As our population density increases, so will our need for new left turn lanes and green arrow signals. Until then we should all do our part to follow the new world order of left turn etiquette to reduce traffic queues. Less waiting at intersections means improvements to the following:

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Air quality
  • Pedestrian safety
  • Traffic safety
  • Drive times
  • Frustration levels
  • Road rage statistics

In other words, by being a better left turner, you can save the world time, money and good health. Follow this simple checklist and you are on your way to being a better left turner:

New world order of left turn etiquette
  1. Avoid turning left at signal-controlled intersections lacking turn lanes or green arrow signals
  2. Enter the intersection when you have the right of way and your light is green
  3. Exit the intersection when you have the right of way and your path is clear
  4. Focus on pedestrians and oncoming vehicles at intersections, NOT the color of the light

Kayak Tacoma but don’t be an idiot

Ruston Way

Idiot’s Rule. Jane’s Addiction said so. This doesn’t mean you should be an idiot.

There seems to be an epidemic of idiocy down at Owen Beach at Point Defiance. Too often, inexperienced folks wander north on Owen Beach toward the Point, on foot or in a kayak, and they have no clue what they are doing. Beach walkers wrap the corner at low tide and then get stranded by high tide before they can make it back. Greenhorn kayakers get spun out and swallowed up by a wicked convergence zone of currents that can stoke up without warning at any time.

Does the beach needs more signs? Or maybe even just more parking lot signs? Something. Anything. There is a lot of ignorance down there and it needs to be reined in. Our local firemen rescue victims of their own stupidity from the sea cliffs too often. Fishermen assist terrified and/or capsized kayakers off Point Defiance too often (it happened again yesterday). It all seems relatively preventable.

Perhaps renting kayaks to people with no experience in the water would be more appropriate along Ruston Way? A kayak newbie has no business paddling Owen Beach. You have a ferry dock on one side and deadly currents on the other. Of course, the drop-in spot seems nice and safe, leading these people to think they have it all under control. After a few minutes of doing circles in front of the family BBQ’s and sunbathers, new paddlers build up false confidence and set off on a course toward 2 potentially hazardous situations.

The ferry dock is a pretty obvious hazard. Even these people can see that. So they often head north instead, toward the scenic point. The convergence zone of currents means a couple things: there is an abundance of attractive marine life and the water is very, very, very unpredictable. All it takes is one seal or dolphin sighting and the inexperienced paddler can’t resist wrapping the corner. This is where the game of Russian Roulette begins.

First and foremost, if you’re inexperienced and paddling near Owen Beach, STAY AS CLOSE TO SHORE AS POSSIBLE AT ALL TIMES. In a kayak, this means 5 or 10 feet from shore, tops. Any further out than that could spell D-R-O-W-N-I-N-G if something goes haywire and the currents are in a mood.

Don’t be the next grown person to end up trembling in the arms of a fisherman. Know your limits and practice paddling somewhere else before you subject yourself to the temptations of Point Defiance.

Safeway Monopoly cheat sheet 2016

First, we determined that we’re all in this together. It’s all of us against the house, not unlike the roulette table. Your success or failure has no effect on my game.

Second, we wanted to improve aggregate productivity levels in the interest of bettering the local economy.

The result is this alphabetized list of all the “important” or “rare” pieces in the 2016 Safeway Monopoly game. It will save you a lot of time. Enjoy.

A-502C
A-504E
B-505A
B-506B
C-513D
D-515A
D-517C
E-524D
E-525E
F-527B
F-528C
G-531A
H-538D
I-541C
J-544B
K-549C
L-551A
M-556B
N-562D
O-565C
P-568B
Q-573C
R-575A
S-579A
T-585C
U-590D
V-592B
W-597C
X-602D
Y-603A
Z-608B
$-613C
$-618H
?-622D
?-625G

Best sandwich award: Harbor Greens

There’s a new sheriff in town. It’s not a new venue, but its footprint atop the sandwich-scape of Tacoma, quite frankly is new. Based on myriad factors, in a matrix of reasoning, Harbor Greens’ sandwiches are the new gold standard, narrowly beating out MSM and Met Market for the local crown. I will walk you through it.

Little Basil

Best single sandwich in town: Harbor Greens

The Little Basil is, indeed, the best overall sandwich in town. Chicken, pesto, mozzarella and basil, grilled on a panini is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Sure, you’re familiar with all the ingredients but you must experience the final product to truly know it. Paninis are grilled to perfection and the gluten free version is bigger than the standard. MSM’s Mike’s Deluxe and Met Market’s Prime Rib Sandwich tied for 2nd place.

Best overall sandwich lineup in town: Harbor Greens

From grilled to cold, standard bread to gluten-free, veggies to turkey, bacon and roast beef – it’s all top-notch. You bring the whole family and their dietary restrictions and Harbor Greens will have all the right sandwiches for $7 or $8 apiece. Of course, they also have an entire grocery store to back it up, which brings us to..

Best sandwich venue in town: Harbor Greens

You can’t go wrong with a sandwich shop that boasts a strong selection of drinks and side items. Harbor Greens is also a grocery store with a full produce section – additional shopping possibilities are endless.

Most convenient sandwich in town: Harbor Greens

Much like MSM (our silver medalist) Harbor Greens can only be fully appreciated when you call in your order ahead of time. As is the case with all great places, there is a good chance it will be crowded. Unlike all other finalists, Harbor Greens offers ample parking every time I visit. Fortunately it is located at 27th & Bridgeport in U.P. where there is NOT an obnoxious Meridian-esque median to navigate. If you do it right, you’ll be in and out in less than 5 minutes. Of course they also have a nice seating area where you can plop down and enjoy on site if you so desire.

Harbor Greens, 2620 Bridgeport Way W, University Place, WA, (253) 460-2901
Harbor Greens, 5225 Olympic Dr NW, Gig Harbor, WA, (253) 851-7911

Commercial tenants in Proctor Station

I’ll say this about the future tenants of Proctor Station: they better kick ass. It’s unfair and real. Everyone will stop super-disliking this building if we get something out of it. Most of us will never go above street level in this place so the street level shops are the only thing that will matter once it’s been around awhile. The building already looks not-that-tall to me, so apparently I’m getting used to it. We’ve heard rumors of the supposed search for tenants, but I will reserve painfully honest judgment until I get a look-see at what moves in. I’m difficult to please so it won’t be easy to stoke my favor. I would just assume fill the whole place with restaurants that stay open late. 

What businesses would you like to see operating in Proctor Station? Anybody have the inside track on who, if anybody, is slated to open up shop?

proctor station construction