The tide has turned towards the Colman Dock having great bicycle facilities
After a lot of hard work from many people, Washington State Ferries will incorporate Squeaky Wheels recommendations for the new Colman Dock design. This means that the north gate will re-open and a larger, more efficient, safer and more pleasant holding area along the new north rail will be created.
In an email from Captain George A. Capacci, Washington State Ferries confirmed that a north entry and staging area can be included in the design of the project. It will require funding for staff at the north entry location when in operation.
Squeaky Wheels extends a heartfelt thank you to Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Christine Rolfes, Representative Drew Hansen, Secretary Lynn Pedersen and Captain George Capacci (and those who worked to support them) for helping us on this project and for their ongoing support of non-motorized transportation on Washington ferries. This clearly demonstrates their commitment to accommodate a growing ridership safely, effectively and ecologically. Thank you, too, to all of you who came to the public meetings and submitted comments.
This process also involved the invaluable support of other bicycle advocacy groups including Washington Bikes, West Sound Cycle Club and Cascade Bicycle Club. Thank you! Importantly, thank you to the engineers, staff and supporting consultants of Washington State Ferries, particularly Genevieve Rucki, Elizabeth Faulkner and Leonard Smith for engaging all stakeholders throughout this process and ultimately incorporating key concepts in the final design.
Final funding still needs to be secured but this is a great example of WSDOT / WSF embracing the role of a full multi-modal transportation agency that optimizes bicycling, walking and transit for a smarter transportation system with more capacity for all users. This kind of change is important to our health, environment, happiness, economic viability, and freedom. Thank you.
Ross Hathaway, President of the Board of Directors, Squeaky Wheels
Last week the City fixed a section of substandard shoulder along SR305 north of Vineyard Lane where the guard rail came to the fog line forcing bicyclists to pull in front of drivers on the highway; it was also a hazard for auto drivers with a close obstruction to the highway and was a problem for pedestrian passage. Thank you to the City staff, designer Jaime Saez of SCE Consulting, current and past City Council members and Citizens of Bainbridge Island for funding this and making it happen. Particular thanks are owed to former Council member Debbie Lester and to the Non-Motorized Transportation Advisory Committee for persisting in keeping this work on the City CIP. Squeaky Wheels pursued this particular improvement for several years and we are very happy to see it fixed and to see the City working closely with WSDOT to make bicycling viable for everyone.
Olympic Drive - the short section of roadway from the Winslow ferry dock to Winslow Way - is ... well, let's just say it has lots of room for improvement. It doesn't serve the wide range of users well and it creates a poor first impression of Bainbridge.
Olympic Drive is our front porch and it is long and unwelcoming. Cyclist and cars joust. Visiting pedestrians search for a cute town nestled among tall trees. Commuters rush past this asphalt and concrete jumble.
The City of Bainbridge Island has applied for a WA State DOT grant to make improvements to enhance non-motorized safety and improve the experience for all arriving and departing the Island.
Committee Tackles Ferry/Bike Issues
Knowing and following the rules of the road are the best way to stay safe while pedaling. Whether you are a new rider or a seasoned commuter, double check that you follow these simple steps:
Ride on the correct side of the road, the right, with traffic
Stop at stop signs
Be visible day and night-wear something bright in daytime, add lights, front and rear, at night
Last November, just before the election, Squeaky Wheels launched a campaign to have five road safety projects given top priority. The five roads are: Eagle Harbor Drive between Bucklin Hill and Wyatt; Lynnwood Center Road between Fletcher Bay and Blakely Avenue; Fletcher Bay Road between New Brooklyn Avenue and High School Road; and Miller Road between Tolo Road and Koura Road. These roads all lack shoulders - some such as Miller have heavy traffic, including frequent truck trips. Eagle Harbor Drive is a critical route simply because all traffic from Winslow to the south end, uses it.
Kudos to bike commuter - and Squeaky Wheels member - Jay Abbott for persistently bugging Washington DOT to get the department to trim vegetation at the side of State Route 305. Abbott, a regular ferry commuter, noticed that blackberries were creeping ever more onto the side of his commute route.