Barricades signal the closure of Adams Street in uptown Port Townsend. The street was initially closed to provide a staging area for a contractor to construct sidewalks on Jefferson Street, and now the Port Townsend City Council is weighing its options, which include reopening the street for traffic or keeping it permanently closed. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Barricades signal the closure of Adams Street in uptown Port Townsend. The street was initially closed to provide a staging area for a contractor to construct sidewalks on Jefferson Street, and now the Port Townsend City Council is weighing its options, which include reopening the street for traffic or keeping it permanently closed. (Brian McLean/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Townsend weighs options for Adams Street

Uptown section has been closed since March

PORT TOWNSEND — Adams Street, which has been closed in uptown Port Townsend since March as part of a sidewalk project, could see some revisions in the coming weeks.

The city’s Transportation Committee has recommended to the City Council the repair and reopening of Adams Street between Jefferson and Franklin streets, but city staff also wants to extend public input on whether the street should be closed permanently.

The council will receive three options to discuss tonight in addition to specific criteria and a general process that would lead to a future street closure within the city.

The council also is expected to approve the city’s 2020 budget during the meeting at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of historic City Hall, 540 Water St.

The Adams Street closure was put into place last spring as a staging area for a contractor to construct sidewalks along Jefferson Street.

During that time, the city received public comments suggesting Adams Street should be closed permanently, interim Public Works Director David Peterson wrote in a memo to council last week.

Peterson also said the public works department consulted with a transportation expert on how to implement future street closures.

“They suggested there are no legal requirements; however, public notice and feedback is suggested,” Peterson said.

Public comments during the closure were that the city did not provide adequate notice, that the shoulders on Adams Street provide on-street parking for festivals and events, that an emergency egress has been lost and that the closure is unsightly, Peterson said.

The city received two emailed comments in October requesting Adams Street remain pedestrian-only. One person suggested there is a need for walking routes to connect uptown with downtown, Peterson said.

Among the options council will consider will be a $15,000 quote from a contractor to improve the aprons and shoulders of the road in order to reopen Adams Street to traffic.

Peterson noted asphalt plants close in early December so it would not be possible to complete the work before the end of the calendar year.

A second option would be to spend $5,000 to have a city streets crew install permanent barricades and landscaping. That option may include installing a rain garden for stormwater quality control, Peterson said.

The city may also keep Adams Street closed through March 20, 2020, and continue to ask for public input before it asks the Transportation Committee to bring back a recommendation in April, Peterson said.

“In the future, should a proposal to close a street be brought forward — whether initiated by the public or staff — staff suggests the process would be for council to assign it to the Transporation Committee who would solicit public comment before a trial or permanent closure,” he said. “The committee would then recommend back to council.”

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Jefferson County Managing Editor Brian McLean can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 6, or at [email protected].

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