Bremerton is ready for a HAWK signal, city
And what does that mean? The High-intensity activated
crosswalk beacon is a fancy way of saying pedestrians are getting
their own traffic light to cross Sixth Street at High Avenue
Currently, you have to walk to either Veneta Avenue
or Naval Avenue to find a safe place to cross there.
The pedestrian improvement is one of five around the
city, totaling $688,000 in grant-funded projects. The Bremerton
City Council approved a contractor to begin the work in July, with
completion in September.
Another intersection, Kitsap Way and Harlow Drive, is
due to get a crosswalk, “flashing beacon” to help with crossing
and a pedestrian island in the middle of the road to make easier as
well. There have been recent
calls from Kitsap Lake Junction to get something to help with
crossing the runway-sized street.
More pedestrian improvements are coming to Kitsap Way
and 11th Street, Charleston Boulevard and First Street and 11th
Street and High Avenue.
Councilman Greg Wheeler, himself a frequent walker
around town, praised the changes, which he says have “opened up
opportunities” for pedestrians of all kinds to get around town.
“We’ve literally had a hard time getting folks safely
across our city,” he said.
County coming to help with streets — but
there’s a catch
The most contentious issue on Wednesday’s agenda was
two contracts with Kitsap County, respectively, to do road striping
That may sound like routine work, but city and county
lawyers have for months been disagreeing over the language of the
agreements to do the work. “The holdup has been indemnification
language,” Bremerton Public Works Director Chal Martin told the
Basically, the county, in doing the work, does not
want to be held liable for anything that happens along the way,
unless they are the “sole” cause of it.
Martin ultimately asked the Council to approve the
contracts, even with the language. The reason: the re-striping of
the city’s streets will cost about $60,000 if the county completes
it. A private contract would run about $120,000 to $200,000, Martin
told the Council.
That risk-reward equation divided the Council.
Wheeler and Councilwomen Leslie Daugs and Pat Sullivan voted
against it. The other four voted for it, so it barely passed,
H. Emily remembered
Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent praised H. Emily Moshay, a
longtime Bremerton advocate and volunteer, who passed away Tuesday
can read the story I wrote about her here.)
“Our city is a better place for her having lived
here,” Lent said.
Bike patrol working well
In his monthly report, Bremerton Police Chief Steve
Strachan talked about how the department is ramping up its bicycle
The goal, he said, “is to contact people who may be
causing problems in neighborhoods.”
Strachan said that in April and May, cops on bikes
hit the streets of downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods.
Officers made 50 arrests in two months, to go with 361 “contacts,”
or face-to-face interactions.
“We’re hitting it very very hard,” Strachan said.
Councilman Jerry McDonald, who represents downtown
and Manette, was appreciative of the efforts and hoped the
department could do more.
“I know they’re making a difference out there,” he
Trees at Blueberry Park
A $7,500 grant from the Washington State Department
of Natural Resources will fund the planting of 50 trees at
Blueberry Park in East Bremerton, which the Council approved.
Retirement system needs more
The City Council approved $544,000 for a contract
with Regency BlueShield to pay for medical expenses not covered by
Medicare for what are known as the city’s LEOFF 1 retirees.
These retirees from the city’s police and fire
departments have medical expenses paid for in retirement. That
changed in 1977 and now police and firefighters are covered under
the LEOFF 2 plan, which does not fund health care in
The Associated Press did a three-part series on the
which you can read here.
Parking study moves ahead
The Council did not discuss the “most comprehensive”
parking study in city history, as some have called it, but simply
approved it through the consent agenda.
To read more about the $110,000 study, click here.
Building codes updated
The City Council passed an updated building code
Wednesday night as well. Jeannie Vaughn, the city’s building
official, went over several changes, including one involving
“utility basements.” Basically, owners who only use basements for
utilities but seek to make them habitable for people must have an
“escape” or “rescue opening”
If you’re interested in learning more,
check out the full Council packet here.