Bay Street parking allowed on Saturday, despite signs

Signs stating that Bay Street will become a no parking zone on Saturday caused a panic by local merchants on Friday morning, prompting Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola to personally visit all the downtown stores and assure them that the parking will be available during regular retail hours.

The closure is necessary for the delivery and placement of dumpsters and portable toilets. It will be completed by 8 a.m.

As previously announced, Bay Street will be closed to traffic and parking on Sunday to support a volunteer effort to paint the town. This is scheduled to end at 8 p.m.

But the signs that were placed along Bay Street early Friday announcing the Saturday action came as an unpleasant surprise to several merchants who were already upset about the potential loss of revenue resulting from the Sunday closure.

The Paint the Town effort is a private agreement between a volunteer group and local property owners, so the city has not been involved in the details.

Port Orchard Public Works Director Mark Dorsey said he was not aware of the plan to deliver dumpsters—originally scheduled for Friday-- until earlier this week. He “called in a few favors” in order to switch the date, since downtown dumpster placement requires a road closure to accommodate an efficient installation.

“It’s not the city’s responsibility to manage this,” Dorsey said. “But we are helping out because we support the project.”

Dorsey said the signs were worded to include a Saturday closure as part of a legal requirement. He said the signs would be removed after the dumpsters are in place.

The mayor introduced himself as “Lary Coppola from the city” to one merchant, who took the opportunity to follow up on a parking zone enforcement request.

“There has been so much misinformation about this project,” Coppola said, “It’s been like a coconut telegraph. I just wanted people to hear what was happening directly from me.”

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