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Bremerton seeks opinions on downtown traffic

The City of Bremerton will take public comments on proposals to change downtown traffic circulation at an open house June 17.

The plan by the Public Works and Utilities department would change Washington Avenue into a two-way street from Sixth Street south to First or Second Street. It would also reverse traffic on Fourth Street between Washington Avenue and Pacific Avenue to move east instead of west.

The city has tried to inform downtown businesses of the traffic proposals with 100 mailings, but 50 to 75 were returned due to vacant buildings or moved businesses, Managing Engineer Larry Matel said.

Making Washington a two-way would provide more accessibility to drivers who want to access parking or the marina from the north, Matel said. Reversing Fourth Street's flow would help drivers leaving the ferry via the tunnel to access the downtown core.

Washington Avenue may also pick up some new parallel parking spots, Matel said, while creating angled parking on Fourth Street between Park Avenue and Pacific Avenue may yield 50 percent more parking spaces.

Matel hopes to bring a final proposal to the City Council by the end of July or August. The changes would come after the Blackberry Festival during Labor Day weekend.

The open house will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. June 17 in the Norm Dicks Government Center council chambers.

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