4 August 2021 City Council General Meeting, 5:30 PM – 8:04pm

Half of this meeting occupied by Councilor & public attempts to re-design projects already approved, up for cost overrun approval (5A, Warren/Wheaton & Kitsap Way); feasibility study for Warren Ave bridge ped/bike/wheelchair lane (5B) – and this one’s 100% grant-funded!; and road painting & bike signal installation downtown & along Austin Way (5C). Clarity on Warren Ave bridge non-motorized lane: it’ll be 8’-12’ but with 2’ buffers either side, so a total of 12’-16’. Roy Runyon tells new Councilor Dennehy that if he votes to defund the police, he will face a recall effort from Roy Runyon, just something, he assures Dennehy, he tells all new Councilors. He also instructs Public Works to make drawings larger so they’re visible to public, echoed by Simpson who insists on having all the drawings for bike traffic improvements blown up so that they can be seen by members of the public who are watching on PDAs or phones. Gorman points out that these drawings are shown to Public Works Committee, and Simpson is welcome to attend, as is the public. Dimmitt points out that many of these details are available on website. Or in the Council packet.

If I were on Council, I’d point out all the ways that Councilors & members of the public could learn about the projects they’re asking questions about, or weighing in on, before they attend Council meetings. Do their preparation before the meeting instead of wasting staffer time and increasing meeting length. Many items are brought forward from study session to general meetings on the basis that the public needs to know about them. It sometimes seems to me that some Councilors could study more diligently, instead of using general meetings to repeat queries & comments they made in study session.

Mayor is proud of truly ginormous increase in permit fees from people attracted by our quality of life; Runyon poo-poos this as “just Seattle overflow”. [I do not regret the many times I urged Council to move Public Recognition back to top of agenda. I really don’t. It’s the right thing to do. Still, sometimes I can see why Council buried it at the end of the meeting – there were almost no comments like this when public had to wait hours before Public Recognition came up.]

NB: Per the City, Council Meetings cannot follow normal Zoom meeting format – all panelists AND attendees visible to all – now only Council can see all attendees — because people might talk out of turn. Meetings might get Zoombombed. I do not understand why other meetings can mute whomever they want but these meetings cannot. Nor have I heard of any Zoombombing since early on in pandemic. However, I do not have a degree in tele-technology AND I can recognize a change that ain’t gonna happen. I asked for Gallery view to be restored, at least, as did other member(s) of the public, and that did happen.

2. MAYOR’S REPORT

Lots of Development Activity – already almost $1M over 2019 end of year in permit activity. July 2021 is >$560K over July 2019, the previous record. Mayor attributes this to the quality of life we enjoy here.

3. PUBLIC RECOGNITION

Ki’aha Long: Wants to touch base on a few issues: 1) homeless people, displaced, disenfranchised, “people who only seek $$ from Naval personnel” (that was 2) 3-increase diversity, not just at entry level; 4) hold businesses accountable that do harm to the community. This was delivered rapidly, so I may have missed something. Roy Runyon: For the newly appointed Councilmember, just wants to let him know that any Councilmember who calls for defunding the police will “face a recall effort by me.” He disagrees with Mayor’s (he calls him “Greg”) contention that it’s quality of life that attracts people, says it’s just Seattle overflow. He digresses to talk about reducing regulation which will increase affordable housing. Sean Cupples: The County and KRM displaced a number of people – or that path was being pursued – wants the Council to consider some housing reforms that are common sense. I thank them for restoring Gallery view to the Council meetings.

4. CONSENT AGENDA

A. Claims & Check Register

B. Minutes of Meeting – July 21, 2021

C. Minutes of Study Session – July 28, 2021

D. Public Works Agreement with Long Painting Company for Casad Dam Morning Glory Overflow Coating Replacement Project

Approved unanimously.

5. GENERAL BUSINESS

A. Supplemental Agreement No. 1 with SCJ Alliance for the Kitsap Way (SR310) and Warren Avenue (SR303) Traffic Signal and Multimodal Safety Project

Shane Weber interjects that $30K is for design overrun, he should have caught it. Archer-Parsons presents. Same as her 7/28 presentation to study session. Kitsap Way, SR3 to Montgomery/6th, Warren/Wheaton from Burwell to Furney’s Lane. Etc. This power point presentation was covered in the 28 July study session, and is included in the packet for tonight’s meeting.

Public comment: Gerald McDonald wants to talk about re-opening Norm Dicks. Gorman tells him that Public Recognition will come up again in 2 weeks. Kiaha Long wants to know why they can’t work at night to avoid disruption. Archer-Parsons says they’ll be working midday between the two rush hours & also evenings/nights. Runyon: wants to know how this will affect level of service. He also asks why Furney’s Lane, it’s outside B’ton (this was exhaustively discussed in study session). Weber explains that our coordinated signal system needs to be updated to accord with FHWA guidelines, hasn’t been updated for about 20 years. He also explains, quite patiently, once more, that Furney’s Lane is our signal due to its proximity to Riddell Rd. Sean Cupples: Are these timings based on 20-year-old timing? What about dynamic signals? Weber: Signals will be retimed based on today’s traffic patterns & volumes. We’re still investigating dynamic signals, not part of this contract.

Council Discussion: Daugs – Confirms with Archer-Parsons that 1) Once this is approved, 100 working days to complete; 2) Some businesses will be impacted but Brother Don’s & the Dugout are looking forward to the ped refuge island; for traffic, one lane will be closed in total at any time, except for signal head replacement when a police officer will direct traffic while light is re-wired; 3) This will provide bicycle community with a dedicated bike lane, painted green; 4) the green paint will NOT be slippery when wet, new paint type. Dennehy: Retiming the signals helps peds & bikers, also vehicular travel flow. Younger: Page 26 of the PDF shows different tasks. (Transcript says Kids Have Way for Kitsap Way) He has a 2-part question – are these three alternatives being considered? A-P – no, we took these to Public Works last year, but as overruns kept coming, we just chose one design. They review the design process for him: basically, 1 lane will be split to provide a buffered bike lane on either side at 11th & Kitsap Way. Simpson: Sees no need for ped refuge islands (Kids Halfway in the transcript) along Kitsap Way. Peds and bikes don’t use the road, when they do use it there’s 25 seconds to cross at Brother Don’s, that’s plenty of time. He says he’s talked to all the businesses between Oyster Bay and National and none of them are excited about having a ped refuge island or bike lane in front of their business as it will make it harder for customers to come in. We need to talk about the 4 options that are on the Warren Ave bridge. [Gorman’s not stopping him! Even though this is the next agenda item!] Gorman finally stops him. Simpson says it’s all part of it. Choking off one lane, bad idea, not what we need to be doing. Two houses at 11th and Kids Halfway (Kitsap Way), how are they going to get out of their damn driveways? Gorman says no profanity, let’s keep the temperature down. Moves to Sullivan, who says she thought they already voted on this; this isn’t to change the design, but to add construction services. Public Works already looked at the retaining walls & jettisoned it as throwing the cost into the stratosphere – so, aren’t we just talking about add’l construction services? Weber says yes, Council already voted on awarding the construction contract 2 weeks ago, this is just to cover a cost overrun for design overrun of approx $30K, plus construction management overruns. Goodnow: I actually commute every day down the Kitsap Way corridor at rush hours & I do think it can support going down to one lane. He likes the dedicated left turn onto Wilbert, just west of Napa Auto Parts. Asks for dimensions of ped refuge islands. Weber says it’s like the island on Kitsap Way near the Red Apple. “The idea was we could safen up that area” by installing these islands. A-P pulls up a drawing that shows the oval curb around the 8’ crossing is about 30’ long. Goodnow points out that this will give extra access for mobility-impaired who’re patronizing the medical clinic. Dennehy: Will there be plants, or just concrete? A-P: Concrete. Don’t want to impair visibility. Gorman: Are there traffic counts for 11th & Kitsap (Kids at Play on the transcript)? He asks, yet again, how it was determined that ped refuge islands. Weber explains, again, that this complies with Comprehensive Plan & FHWA and responds to complaints from peds. Would 25-second time to cross remain same? Weber: Yes. Goodnow asks for the traffic volume counts, Weber supplies them. Younger: Yes, this contract was approved 2 weeks ago, but yeah, “the horse has already left the barn”, this is just for a cost overrun. Gorman agrees that it’s time to vote. Motion carries, 6-1, Simpson opposing.

B. Professional Services Agreement with SCJ Alliance for Design of the Warren Avenue Bridge Pedestrian Improvements Project

Vicki Grover presents, same as she presented last week. Still down to earth: puts the agenda item into plain language – this is just a feasibility analysis to determine, with the help of the public, the configuration of the add’l ped width to be added to Warren Ave bridge, from 16th St to Callahan Dr. They’ll be looking at 4 configurations, etc. over 6 mos, then “the selection of a preferred alternative”. The consultant fee for this is $255,435, 100% grant-funded.

Kiaha Long: Commends this project, very crucial. Runyon: Concerned that there’s been a huge amount of public input, many are opposed to reducing the width of the travel lanes, we need to maintain the width of the travel lanes. He wants to change the language to prohibit the widening of the existing bridge deck, thereby reducing the travel lanes. [I don’t understand this. Lanes are staying the same, no?] He instructs the staffers to expand the data so that the public can view blueprints, other drawings. Gorman asks Knuckey to talk about the cantilever. Knuckey says cantilever is one item within the alternatives. Grover says this process is to involve all the stakeholders, Kitsap Transit, Bike Club, ADA community, etc. That’s what makes this a successful project. Sean Cupples: Language talks about foot traffic, seems like it excludes bicycles, per p. 57 of the Agenda Packet. Grover: All forms of pedestrian traffic, including wheelchairs and bikes. Gerald McDonald: Agrees with Runyon. Don’t narrow the lanes. Cantilever might work. Don’t narrow the lanes, we’d be foolish to do so. I ask about the Iverson 14’ width, Grover had said last week that design guidelines were 8’-12’. Weber talks about Shared Use Path Standard, which is 10’-12’ — but it is buffered / has shoulders so total width is 12’-16’. Gorman moves on, even though this doesn’t really answer my question. Charlie Michel: Makes an argument for narrower lanes as a traffic slowing device.

Council Discussion: Goodnow – at last we’re doing a feasibility study with public input! At last! [OK, so I’m wrong, lanes may narrow some.] Dennehy – free grant $$, a 6-mo process to get input, sounds great, can’t see any down side. Daugs – Reiterates that we’re just now going in to Phase One. Asks if tonight’s comments will be in the study’s public outreach comments. Knuckey – we’re taking everything we’ve heard from the get-go (my phrasing) plus the SCJ outreach. Sullivan doesn’t want lanes narrowed. Talks about DUCK accident in Seattle some years ago. Weber – yeah, we’d been thinking about narrowing the lanes more but then DUCK happened, we talked to WSDOT and that’s why we added a center median and not narrowing the lanes much more than the present 11-foot. Knuckey – this is a complicated balancing act to come up with a design that’s structurally feasible. “Pedestrian loads are actually pretty heavy” he references peds watching fireworks. Younger: Kudos to Iverson & Dutky, if they hadn’t reached out to me we’d still have only 2 alternatives. START TRANSCRIPT: So if you have something you want to bring up.
19:08:54 You need to reach out to your council member they’re your conduit to the study sessions and bring these ideas up because I’m really pleased with the, with the product that we have before us tonight because of those two individuals. END TRANSCRIPT. Asks if costs will be included in SCJ’s final feasibility study. Grover says Public Works (PW) will select the preferred alternative from SCJ’s study which will be available to Council and public. Knuckey points out that this will be part of Complete Streets, and PW will work with the CS Committee. Simpson: Explains that Council has discussed this extensively. Explains what they’ve discussed. Says we’re now at the point where we’re going to decide on what design criteria we wanted. We want the bridge accessible to everybody. The input we’re getting from the public is that narrowing down the lanes of traffic is not going to help the City, it’s going to hurt the City. He says we should widen area on the west or east side of the bridge that would open up to more pedestrian traffic. [What? What?] Gorman is excited about this project, likes Younger’s comments, calls for the question. Motion carries unanimously.

C. Public Works Agreement with Sound Pacific, Inc. for Downtown Bremerton and Austin Drive Complete Streets Project

Chris Dimmitt, the graphic novelist manque, presents. Sharrows, buffered bike lanes, and green paint on Austin Dr; downtown crossing on 1st & 2nd along Pacific, bike lanes with green paint and upgraded radar vehicle / bicycle rectangular rapid flashing beacons.

Runyon: Will these improvements remove any traffic lane and reduce level of service? He answers his own question. Don’t vote for it if it will. Dimmitt points out it’s on the public website that level of service will not be reduced. Kiaha: I appreciate this aspect of the bike lanes, as a biker and a walker. As someone who is a constituent of yours, Pres Gorman, I hope you’ll vote in favor of this. Sean Cupples: There’s no cost in the packet and I don’t understand why these 2 projects are coupled. Dimmitt explains it was done for economy of scale, they coupled the project to get better bid from contractors. Charlie Michel: I want to applaud PW and the public for making it clear to bikers AND motorists to know where they are supposed to be . He discusses a particular intersection on Burwell that is so problematic it’s dangerous, this will fix it. It’ll be the first view of Bremerton that people have of Bton & it’ll show them a progressive Bton. Jerry McDonald: It’s premature to do anything along Washington Ave with all the construction going on (he obviously missed Dimmitt last week explaining it’d be night work, pretty freaking quiet) Mc Donald goes on to talk about dangerous bikers. Dangerous dangerous bikers. “They don’t always follow what they probably ought to be following, they’re going against the traffic.” I salute Charlie Michel, the Cicero of Bremerton, & applaud Council for moving into the future, where climate crisis is real, traffic too dense, people ride bikes. Dimmitt explains, again, that this will be done at night.

Council Discussion: Daugs – will we have to redo the one lane that’s presently covered? Dimmitt: No, that’s developer’s responsibility. Daugs – We’ve talked to Kitsap Transit, right? Dimmitt: Yes. They expressed no concerns. Daugs – Will it impact businesses in any way? Dimmitt: We reached out to include their input and concerns as part of the designs. Simpson: Wants Dimmitt to put up the project’s design plans. He does, after some delay. Weber explains it.  Simpson asks him to zoom further into the drawing, assures him that he’s doing fine, explains that some are following along on their PDAs or phones. Weber says all the things that have been said before. He adds that the signals are being modified to detect bikes so they can trigger a bike-only signal. Weber keeps walking through all the detailed design simulations, all in plan view (from above). Gorman mentions that any Councilor who wants to wade through the engineering details, which he personally adores, can attend the PW Committee meetings, and public also welcome to attend virtually. Motion carries.

6. COUNCIL REPORTS

Goodnow is grateful to all who attended PrideFest which had great turnout, very smooth event unless you were in line for beer, thanks to all who came out. May not be able to shoehorn it into Evergreen Park in future. Simpson echoes all other Councilors in wishing Gorman a happy birthday. He wants to do in-person meetings in all of the districts. He doesn’t see why we can’t. The technology’s there. Get out there and talk to the voters. I raise my hand, though I know I have no shot at almost 8pm. This is campaigning! Paid for by taxpayers! Gorman keeps ignoring me, his report starts with thanks to all for birthday greetings. He repeats a pitch for a business, Remedy Speakeasy, given him by that business’s owner, new joint in Manette. He’s doing PR for a business as Council President, which seems odd. He’s reviewing the wall décor, aka photographs of art on their walls, a photo of the menu and a recital of the menu. Photos of 1947 Boys Club has tenuous connection to Councilor Reports. This is a PR pitch, and in fact he says he was asked to promote it and is now doing so. Goodnow says since we’re doing pitches, how about West Sound Film Festival, gives details. Simpson: We could do it, we all have tablets, we as a Council could meet together in each district to better connect to the voters. Gorman says, politely, this isn’t going to happen.

7. ADJOURNMENT OF CITY COUNCIL BUSINESS MEETING  and so it came to an end at 8:04…

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