PORT TOWNSEND — Town of Port Townsend is starting a pilot venture at this time to open up the streets and provides residents a option to stretch their legs or eat their lunch safely, Metropolis Supervisor John Mauro mentioned.
The Open Streets Initiative is meant to permit extra individuals to benefit from the open air and assist native companies whereas working towards social distancing.
“This represents an preliminary artistic exploration of what’s doable within the public realm to make sure the well being and security of our group,” Mauro mentioned in a press launch this week.
The momentary modifications might be phased in, Mauro mentioned. No timeline was obtainable Thursday.
The initiative can have 4 components.
• Open up waterfront area on the decrease portion of Adams Road, Pope Marine Park and Tyler Plaza to restricted and appropriately distanced out of doors seating
• Shut the one-way portion of Taylor Road from the Haller Fountain to Water Road to car site visitors to allow secure passage and social-distancing area for pedestrians and bicyclists.
• Improve frequency of rubbish pickup as a consequence of an anticipated improve in take-out orders.
• Increase entry to public restrooms in addition to strategically positioned handwashing and sanitizing stations close to Taylor and Tyler streets.
“These are momentary closures and modifications that we are able to simply make occur,” Mauro mentioned in an interview this week.
“We needed to begin with one thing comparatively easy. A few of these areas, just like the Adams Plaza proper on the waterfront, it’s type of only a gravel parking zone, which isn’t the very best use of that area, significantly as parking isn’t as urgent with the less guests,” he mentioned.
Town now has a handwashing station close to the Cotton Constructing on Water Road, however officers wish to make extra of them obtainable in excessive foot-traffic areas.
“We’re going for reasonable and cheerful at this level as a result of, clearly, income and budgets are wanting fairly gloomy into the longer term,” Mauro mentioned.
Part 1 in Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan “means individuals shouldn’t flock to Port Townsend to buy or eat,” Mauro mentioned, including that lots of the metropolis’s annual occasions have been postponed or canceled.
“However this discount in traditional site visitors flows and gatherings permits us an opportunity to reinvent the streetscape,” he mentioned.
“It additionally provides us the prospect to pilot a couple of new concepts to be prepared for Part 2 when the measures will be tailored to make sure each residents and guests have a secure and pleasant expertise.”
Jefferson County is now engaged on a request for a variance in order that it may possibly transfer into Part 2 earlier than a lot of the remainder of the state.
The Open Streets Initiative is being executed in partnership with the Port Townsend Fundamental Road Program.
“The origin of the concept is type of this … it’s from a bit little bit of all over the place,” Mauro mentioned.
“We’ve heard from our group, who has some nice concepts. We’ve heard from employees, who I’ve been encouraging to assume outdoors the field on this new regular. Then I’ve are available in with a couple of concepts myself from among the experiences I’ve had in different cities.
“So it’s this sort of good confluence of group curiosity, employees concepts, a few of my background, and the urgency of the now,” he continued.
“Right here we’re needing to assume very creatively and thoroughly about how we use public funding, how we take a look at our budgets otherwise, how we use our public areas.”
Reporter Ken Park will be reached at [email protected].