Kingston port pursuing grant to study parking garage

KINGSTON — The Port of Kingston is pursuing a grant to study potential for a downtown parking garage.

The port will apply for up to $200,00 from the Federal Transit Administration this month to pay for a feasibility study and preliminary design of a parking structure, port Project Manager Kori Henry said. The grant program promotes multimodal projects, which means the structure would accommodate several forms of transportation, such as cars, van pools and buses.

The port commission voted to pursue the grant at a special meeting Friday at the port office. Deadline for the grant application is July 29.

The money would allow the port to study a variety of alternatives for adding parking in downtown. No design or location for a structure has been chosen, though several have been suggested in the past.

"We just want to get as much information as we can," Commissioner Marc Bissonnette said.

Additional parking was identified as a need in the port's 2006 master plan. Kitsap County is also studying ways of accommodating more Kingston parking. Downtown landowners say the current parking standards are stifling development. The port's recently-launched SoundRunner passenger ferry to Seattle could add to the parking demand as ridership grows.

"Hopefully SoundRunner will make it a problem," Bissonnette said. "If we have 150 riders a day on SoundRunner, we'll have a problem."

To prepare for the grant application, port staff had drawings of a potential parking structure and rough project budget created. The compiled design would accommodate about 70 parking spaces and include space for a small hotel and other businesses. The drawing shows the structure located above Mike Wallace Park, between the Kingston Cove Yacht Club and the passenger ferry terminal. Consultant Rick Lanning estimated its cost at about $3 million.

Henry said the design was an exercise to help predict costs. No drawings will be submitted with the grant application and the grant would not tie the port to any one design or location.

The port received $3.5 million from the Federal Transit Agency in 2008 to purchase passenger ferries and terminal facilities.


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