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Poulsbo Village looking to Seventh heaven

POULSBO — The Seventh Avenue extension leading from the Poulsbo Village to State Route 305 is now open, and area merchants are optimistic the change will lighten traffic woes.

The highly anticipated extension, which stretches from the north end of the Village to SR 305 at Forest Rock Lane, opened May 16.

Before its debut, business owners in the Village said traffic at Seventh and Liberty would be severely backed up, and the roadways through the parking lot were chronically congested in the early evening.

Now, it seems the clogged arterials have found some relief.

“We are very pleased to find out that the road is open now,” Poulsbo Village property manager Beverly Lyon said. “I have noticed this week that the backup has decreased pretty remarkably.”

Gallery of Hair Design stylist Chris Modica said she’s noticed a bit of a difference too. Though she didn’t initially realize the roadway had been opened, she said she has seen in the last week a lightening of traffic. Before, the wait to get out of the Village and onto the highway was “just ridiculous,” she said, especially at 4:30 or 5 p.m.

For drivers like Modica, who lives in Kingston, the Seventh Avenue extension isn’t just a way to get out of the Village, but is yet another avenue of crossing the busy, and sometimes construction-laden, highway.

Six Star Variety Store owner Jim Whyte said he was glad to see the extension up and running. Though the full impact may not be immediate, he thinks the real difference in traffic will be seen once more motorists are aware of its opening.

“I think it’s going to help the shopping center in the future, once people get used to using it,” he said. “Once they know they can go down to the full length of Seventh Avenue, I think it’s going to help a lot.”

The lights at the Seventh Avenue extension intersection with SR 305 are also in working order. The SR 305 paving project is expected to be finished by October 2008. For more information on this construction effort, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR305/PoulsboSouthtoBondRd/default.htm.

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