The in basket: Curtis Allen of Bremerton asks “What is happening on Fourth and Fifth streets? Will they be one-way streets?”
And Jim Hockstein writes, “I don’t recall voting (or even asking for) eliminating parking on Fourth and Fifth, nor that traffic barrier on Warren between Fifth and Burwell.
“Flower beds are nice, but the City of Bremerton needs all the parking there is on Fourth and Fifth. I can see the logic for easing the traffic flow on Warren between Sixth and Burwell.”
The out basket: Fourth and Fifth will remain two-way streets when the work is completed, says Gunnar Fridriksson of the Bremerton city street engineers.
The work is part of the renovation of Kiwanis Park, which lies between the two streets. The work in the streets is creating what are called bulb-outs to slow traffic and give pedestrians a shorter distance to get to the other side of the street.
City Parks Director Wyn Birkenthal said many drivers use Fourth and Fifth to avoid using arterials Burwell and Sixth, which have traffic signals, creating safety problems.
There will be three pairs of bulb-outs across the street from one another on Fifth Street, at the intersections with crosswalks, and three on just the park side of Fourth Street. Around 40 back-in angle parking spaces will lie between the Fourth Street bulb-outs.
Gunnar said, “Overall, we are actually increasing the number of parking spots with the projects. We are introducing angled back-in parking along Fourth Street along the park.” Spaces on Fourth Stret will increase from 111 to 125.
“The bulb-outs at the intersections will not eliminate any parking, as with state law, vehicles are to not park within 30 feet of an intersection. The mid-block bulb-outs will eliminate some parking, I believe about four spaces per block on both sides of the street,” he said.
Street projects don’t require a vote, of course. The tops of the various bulb-outs will be a mixture of hard caps and rain gardens with landscaping, Gunnar said. The ones on Warren Avenue will be hard surface.
Wyn filled me in on what the park will look like when the work is finished.
It will still have a soccer field on its high end, with improved irrigation. New restrooms have been built near where the old ones were demolished.
The lower level will be much different, with the decrepit tennis courts removed and no backstop for ball games. The children’s play area, formerly on the upper level, will be on the lower level about where the ball field used to be, with separate areas for pre-schoolers and those six to 12 years old. An open lawn area will occupy the center of the lower area. Drainage will be improved to keep the lower area playable.
There will be a picnic shelter and post and rail perimeter fencing in place of the “ratty chain link fencing” there before, Wyn said.
It will be “low impact development, to minimize runoff. The walking trial will be pervious asphalt.
The work will be comnplete by February, but the public will have to stay off the grass for an unknown length of time to let it establish itself, Wyn said.