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Bremerton parking committee hopes to move forward with three-hour parking

A downtown Bremerton parking committee hopes to eliminate the "two-hour shuffle" by making all downtown parking three hours, though a "pay and display system" is still a back-up plan.

The three-hour parking limit would come with a one-hour "off-the-grid" rule, requiring people who park downtown to leave the area for at least an hour before returning to park again. Committee members who met Tuesday believe this will prevent downtown employees from re-parking every two hours during work and encourage them to use the Fourth Street and Washington Avenue garage for $45 per month.

The "two-hour shuffle" was cited as Bremerton's biggest parking problem by members - not the number of spaces.

If the off-the-grid rule wouldn't work, a "pay and display" system like Seattle's would be the last resort - something committee members want to avoid.

"We're still trying to entice people downtown," said City Councilmember and committee member Will Maupin, adding that a pay-to-park system for downtown shoppers and tourists would drive people away.

Frank Gentile, operations manager of the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce, said a paid parking system would be unfriendly to customers, but City Council President Nick Wofford said the committee's ideas would not please everyone.

"No matter what we come up with, someone's going to be unhappy," he said.

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