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Which way is it to Bremerton?
One of the main reasons I have never been able to fully appreciate or approve of the tunnel from the ferry dock is well, it is a TUNNEL from the ferry dock.
A big hole in the ground does tend to limit one’s options. Daily commuters have their routes down to the closest detail and are typically looking to quickly get in and get out of the downtown area.
Visitors and those in town looking to conduct some business can and should be directed to services and or attractions that can be found throughout Bremerton.
The tunnel was completed in 2009. That is five years of operation during which the issue of adequate and serviceable signage has been brought up by citizens and business owners too many times to count. Too many times this topic was brushed aside or left to languish without action.
While I appreciate the fact that the issue is now gaining some traction, I do support the decision by the city Lodging Tax Committee to deny the request to fund a consultant to come up with a design plan. Lodging tax funds are not the funds that should be spent on what are basic serviceable assets that could and should already be in place.
I also fail to understand why the city Parks Department was dragged into the proposal. The city Public Works Department is what oversees and runs the city sign shop.
I have traveled to many regions and towns in the United States over the course of my lifetime. Some are a lot better with signage than others are. Bremerton signage is not that great and has been a big complaint over the years from visiting family and friends. Signs do not need to be fancy. They simply need to be accurate and clear.
I agree that new signs can follow the same styles as the existing ones and that as big of a percentage of funding for the signs needs to be spent on sign construction and not on a paid design consultant.
Earlier this summer a very nicely dressed woman in a high end German sedan pulled up next to a UPS driver, I happen to know who delivers on Kitsap Way, and asked him if there was anything other than fast food or casual dining in Bremerton?
She had been up and down Kitsap Way looking for something to strike her fancy but only had a limited amount of time between her business appointments and was unsure and uncertain of venturing out of that area in the wrong direction.
She certainly knew how to get back on Highway 3 and where Silverdale was and appeared to be inclined to head up there until she took a chance on asking the delivery driver, who happily directed her downtown to one of the sit down, full service waterfront dining options.
For certain there needs to be improvements to the signs coming off the ferry. It is also important to remember that not everyone coming into town on business or pleasure is using the ferry.
Many are coming in off of the major highway and main arterials. Just making more improvements downtown without servicing the rest of Bremerton’s businesses and attractions is a tired old song that needs to be changed.
Colleen Smidt is a longtime resident of Bremerton who writes weekly about issues that matter to Bremerton residents. Email her at email@example.com.