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Speed tables in city’s future?

t City seeks citizen input to make city’s downtown core more pedestrian friendly.

POULSBO — Drivers of Little Norway’s roads may want to pay attention: A change in commute could be on the horizon.

To reduce traffic in the city’s core and make downtown a more pedestrian-friendly place, the city has conducted and released a Traffic Demand Management Study replete with could-be changes. They city will host an informational public meeting from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29. City staff will be available to answer questions and take comment.

The jist of the study focuses on potential changes from the city’s shoreline to State Route 305, and from Lindvig Way south to city limits. It also visits improvements to the Kitsap Transit system and introduces shuttle bus concepts to downtown.

Major recommendations include:

• Placing all-way stop controls (stop signs) at roughly a dozen intersections downtown, including the intersections of Jensen Way and Front Street (northernmost intersection), Sunset Avenue and Front Street and Iverson Street and Seventh Avenue. Also, the five-way intersection of Hostmark Street, Lincoln Road, Fourth Avenue and Front Street would be channelized into two different intersections;

• Making Front Street and Third Avenue one-way, with Front southbound between Jensen and Young Street and Third going north from Hostmark to Iverson, allowing additional angle parking, sidewalks and bicycle lanes;

• adding speed tables to discourage cut-through drivers at various locales, including four on Fourth Avenue, two on Jensen, eight on Front (four in the downtown core, four going north roughly from Jensen to Torval Canyon Road, and one on Sixth Avenue; and

- changing the portion of Front Street near Martha & Mary to two lanes with parking.

“The success of these recommendations will depend on the acceptance of the residents and businesses in the affected areas,” the study reads.

It details traffic solutions that can be carried through without adding roadways, and aims at low-cost solutions. It also gives information on road capacity and near-future traffic volumes. Front Street, for example, sees 1,100-1,800 peak hour cars, the most save SR 305 east of Liberty Bay. In comparison, Jensen Way sees 300 cars and Torval Canyon 360 cars. Costs for implementation vary.

The study itself is a result of technical studies and tests by David Evans & Assoc., and was reviewed by a group of citizen stakeholders, said city engineer Andrzej Kasiniak. Recommendations could be implemented within six months, depending on funding, he added.

Kasiniak said response to the recommendations so far has been mixed, but fairly positive.

After Wednesday’s public meeting, the city council will workshop on the topic from 7-8 p.m. Information on the study, including the final draft plan and minutes from the Citizen Advisory Group meetings, is available at the city’s Web site, www.cityofpoulsbo.com. Before the meeting comments can be emailed to rfarncomb@cityofpoulsbo.com.

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