Port Orchard Marina Officials Propose Parking Swap with City

By Chris Henry
The Port of Bremerton’s Port Orchard Marina manager has suggested a swap of parking spaces with the City of Port Orchard that would net the port one additional space in the city’s waterfront parking lot. In exchange, the port would maintain a strip of landscaping for the city.
Under the proposal, Marina Operations Manager Brain Sauer told the city council Tuesday, 31 spaces on the east side of the lot that are now controlled by the port would be switched for a total of 32 spaces on the west side of the lot, near the marina office.
The logic, Sauer said, is that port customers now must drive through the area on the east side of the lot occupied on Saturdays by the Port Orchard Farmer’s Market to get to port spaces proposed for the swap. The farmer’s market runs May through October, directly overlapping the port’s peak season.
Moving port parking nearer the marina office would make more sense, Sauer said. And, he added, if the farmer’s market were able to shift closer to the park, it would open up more city parking for market-goers.
Other parking problems arise during the city’s five major festivals each year. The port gives its customers heads up that their cars are likely to be moved to accommodate festival activities. Typically customers leave an extra set of keys with the port so they can be moved to city parking spaces at no additional charge. The city forfeits those spaces during festivals.
Alternately, cars in port spaces are towed. The festival committees pick up the tab for the tow, and the cars are not impounded, just moved.
The new configuration would do away with the need to play musical cars, Sauer said.
In the past, some vehicles that can’t be moved for one reason or another have been left to sit smack in the middle of the action. That problem also would be solved by the swap, Sauer said.
In his observation, marina customers who arrive by car are apt to have lunch or shop downtown. Allowing these folks to park closer to the action, would make it easier for them to support the downtown economy, Sauer said. People using the paid city parking, however, are more likely to be Seattle-bound, so having them park on the east side of the lot would not detract from downtown business, he said.
Council members seemed receptive to the idea, although there was some discussion of reevaluating the arrangement after one year. Councilwoman Carolyn Powers of the city’s Public Property Committee said she had tried to contact the farmer’s market about the idea, but their representative to the city was out of town. Powers said the proposal would have to be approved by the market before she would give it her endorsement. she approves of the proposal, but she suggested the farmer’s market should have the chance to weigh in on it.
“I like it because its safer,” said Councilman Fred Olin.
Councilman Jerry Childs of the Tourism Committee said the idea was “fantastic,” and he praised the port for being”great partners” with the city during festivals.
The council will discuss the issue and likely act on the proposal at an upcoming meeting to be determined.

And since a picture is worth …. well you know the rest, here are maps showing the present and proposed configurations, courtesy of the Port of Bremerton.



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