Transportation plan passes

At the Port Orchard City Council’s public hearing on Monday night on the city’s proposed Six-Year Transportation Plan, a complaint residents have brought before the Council numerous times in the past was touted yet again.

The council had until Aug. 1 to adopt the plan, a prioritized collection of 16 projects to be done between 2006 and 2011 — residents fought to ensure the cracked roads and lack of sidewalks in Flower Meadows would not be forgotten.

According to Public Works Director Maher Abed, it’s required by the Washington State Department of Transportation that cities complete a Six-Year Plan every year, looking at opportunities for outside funding.

The first project, the widening of Tremont Street with sidewalks and stormwater, is set to begin on March 15.

“We were able to obtain funding this year for most of the Tremont Project,” Abed reported, thanks in part to the “tenacity” of Councilwoman Carolyn Powers.

The plan also encompasses a Bay Street Pedestrian Path, a sidewalk on Pottery Avenue, a residential paving program, a sidewalk improvement project, downtown improvements, a Sidney Avenue overlay, widening Pottery Avenue, widening Melcher Street, widening Fireweed Road, widening Sherman Avenue, replacing the Arnold Creek Crossing, installing a sidewalk on Port Orchard Boulevard, widening Old Clifton Road and two more phases of the Bethel Road widening.

During the public hearing, several residents complained that the residential roads they lived on were in such disrepair, they didn’t understand why more repaving projects weren’t on the list.

Councilmember Rita DiIenno cited that a large part of the prioritizing was based on the traffic counts conducted — the roads with the most traffic received attention first. Councilman Ron Rider also addressed the audience.

“It’s important for all of us to take care of the roads as best we can,” he said, “but just like if you have a household need a new septic tank and a new have to prioritize. You put out the biggest fire first.”

DiIenno moved to approve the Six-Year Plan, amended such that the Arnold Crossing Project was moved to third on the list.

Other minor specifications were also added.

The Council voted unanimously to approve the plan.

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