Parking and bathrooms? Both still in short supply

POULSBO - The historic district may have anything and everything when it comes to meeting locals' and tourists' shopping needs but for several years now it has come up markedly short in two crucial categories.

“POULSBO – The historic district may have anything and everything when it comes to meeting locals’ and tourists’ shopping needs but for several years now it has come up markedly short in two crucial categories. In the spring and summer months, the Front Street area is a hotbed of activity but the fact that its scenic location brings so many people to town is also a drawback to some degree – especially for those who are looking for a place to park or an empty public restroom. Both are typically in high demand but have so far been pretty low on the city’s to do list. While the proposals have been simmering on the back burner for quite some time, city council last week turned up the heat slightly in hopes of making some headway at long last. Are we moving forward at all? councilwoman Jackie Aitchison asked city engineer John Stephenson of the parking problems on 3rd Avenue. We could resurrect this and develop it if we wanted to, Stephenson responded, noting that he hadn’t heard anything from the Historic Downtown Business Association on the matter in a while. He also pointed out that there were unresolved right-of-way issues and widening problems that could prove expensive to fix. Making the road one-way is also an option, Stephenson said. Every time we meet (with HDPA) they want to discuss this, Aitchison said. Traffic is consistent there, councilman Mike Regis pointed out. Another issue raising a stink downtown is the lack of public restrooms. Regis cited the need to expand the existing bathrooms at Waterfront Park. The major problem there, he added, was the building’s proximity to Liberty Bay. New construction or improvements there would require a shoreline permit. Regis suggested Poulsbo tackle the daunting paperwork task, noting, It just makes sense to have the city do that. Estimates to add more space to the women’s restroom and build a unisex bathroom that is handi-cap accessible are in the $15,000 to $20,000 range, Aitchison said, proposing that the city could pay the bill with its hotel/motel tax revenues. “

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