Safety concerns lead to parking lot's relocation

"KEYPORT - The wide shoulders at the intersection of Viking Way and State Route 308 can no longer bear the burden they were asked to bear. Over the years, the shoulder has become taken the form of a used car lot and played host to numerous small sales as well. Such additions, though profitable, have simply contributed to ongoing traffic problems. With the near miss reports soaring, Kitsap Transit and officials from Kitsap County are looking to relocate the popular parking area. The site now serves as a parking lot for KT but is becoming more and more dangerous for local motorists, said Doug Bear of Kitsap County Public Works. Several factors present safety concerns there, he explained. Cars stop in the middle of the road or pull slightly to the shoulder to collect and discharge passengers. Cars back out onto the highway and pedestrian traffic is completely uncontrolled. There have been many near misses in the area and we've received many calls from motorists and residents expressing their concern, Bear added. Kitsap Transit recently distributed fliers on cars parked along the shoulder, asking input for a suitable parking solution. Additional comments can be directed to KT at (360) 478-6230. The area is a road shoulder and is not designed to accommodate the vehicle or pedestrian traffic we're seeing there, Bear said, noting that by the end of August county road crews would be adding landscaping that will effectively end parking there. We recognize that this will cause inconvenience and (we) will work with Kitsap Transit to find a solution quickly. But for local residents who have used the shoulder to peddle their wares the landscaping means much more than a mere inconvenience. It's going to close us, explained Dean Huskey, a fruit stand employee who has worked at the site for the past year and a half. Such businesses, which tend to multiply on weekends, do quite well there he added. As several cars pulled off the highway to peruse his selection, Huskey said the location was good while it lasted. He wasn't sure whether the fruit stand would be moved to another spot in North Kitsap but pointed out that the franchise also operates at Wheaton Way in Bremerton and on Silverdale Way in Silverdale. "

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