Parking barricades at courthouse removed

The oversized vehicle in Friday Harbor.

Several voters dropping off their voting ballots Wednesday, Nov. 2 were not happy to find no parking in front of courthouse.

The Town had closed off spots complicating access to the ballot drop box.

“Doing this during a presidential election year,”one voter complained,”Just doesn’t seem smart.” Cones barricading parking spaces bore signs indicating parking would be closed from 12:01 a.m to 2 p.m. Nov. 2, but were actually moved by 10:50 a.m. At issue, according to Town Administrator Duncan Wilson, was a truck coming off the scheduled 10:35 a.m. ferry, carrying propane storage tanks out to Roche Harbor for a new propane company on the island. The 105-foot long giant vehicle would not be able to easily navigate through Friday Harbor’s streets, let alone turn corners, without hitting parked cars.

“It isn’t just blocked off in front of the courthouse, we had to block it off in many areas,” said Wilson. “It will be no small feat getting it through the town without breaking anything.”

The town has had to clear the streets off last minute for oversized trucks coming off the very ferry with no prior warning, so he was grateful to have been notified by the company ahead of time. Along with several voters, the elections office staff, who had been collecting ballots daily, were disgruntled to have parking blocked off, though they conceded since access to parking would resume by the end of the day, there would not be much of an impact on voting. After all, people could park elsewhere and walk, it just isn’t as convenient, said one employee.

“We will be pulling cones as the truck moves through the town,” Wilson said.