No change in route for Jingle Bell Run

Any worries that Port Orchard's first Jingle Bell Run/Walk might have to change its route were quickly allayed Tuesday night.

Although Jingle Bell Run organizer Sheila Cline was out of town attending a relative's funeral, other event supporters were at the City Council meeting to deliver the message that the event's course along Bay Street should not be changed.

They didn't need to say a word, as it turned out.

After police Chief Al Townsend explained an option for keeping the planned course but allowing westbound traffic to use the center turn lane between Bethel and Sidney avenues, council members unanimously approved an event permit for the Jingle Bell Run, precluding the need for supporters to persuade them.

So runners and walkers in the 5K event will use the westbound lane of Bay Street en route to the Annapolis dock and back, as had been planned all along.

Councilman John Clauson, who works for Kitsap Transit, said allowing detoured buses to reach Bay Street via Bethel and then go west to the passenger ferry dock satisfies Kitsap Transit's concerns.

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk is a major fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation. The inaugural Port Orchard event will be held Dec. 3 in conjunction with the city's annual Festival of Chimes & Lights.

Councilman Jerry Childs reported that the Jingle Bell Run has signed up more than 400 participants and organizers expect the number could reach 600 by the day of the event.

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