POULSBO — With two huge street renovation projects looming on the horizon like a mushroom cloud, the city public works committee Wednesday night decided to postpone proposed Lincoln Rd. safety work and continue to review impacts of another unexpected bomb that came in the form of the Iverson Way extension.
When the Iverson route was created from 7th Avenue to 8th Avenue and Lincoln last year, city officials had expected it to lessen traffic downtown. It did that — but it also created a new peak hour “parking lot” at the intersection of 8th and Lincoln.
Uncertain whether the traffic problem was temporary or long-term, committee members have agreed to take a “wait and see” stance on Lincoln Rd. until Iverson extension issues have been fully assessed.
“We’re still learning what Iverson has done to us,” councilman Dale Rudolph pointed out, noting that he was hesitant to approve a third road project because detour routes will be at a premium this spring and summer.
With Front Street and Lindvig Way projects scheduled to begin as early as May 1, Rudolph said, “We need every avenue we can get.”
This means Lincoln Road.
Last December, Poulsbo’s public safety committee had given the $65,000 safety improvement project its blessing and city council agreed to follow that recommendation by seeking additional public input. Putting an end to the five-way intersection by closing Lincoln at Hostmark Street also gained support from law enforcement officials, and the fire, engineering and public works departments. But for now it’s on hold because of Iverson’s increased usage.
“We’ve stirred the pot on Iverson — we could make (8th Avenue) a one-way street and no one would even notice,” Rudolph said, citing traffic problems at the site. “We thought it would be a downtown bypass, not a 305 bypass.”
“If you want to wait until the dust settles, fine,” city engineer John Stephenson remarked. “My staff won’t complain.”
Councilman Jeff McGinty said he wouldn’t either.
“There’s no urgency there,” McGinty said, noting that the city would be saving money this year by not proceeding with the closure project.