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BI to consolidate transport projects

Let’s get ready to regroup.

That was the consensus of the sustainable transport committee on Friday as it discussed possible projects.

Members realized as they went through the list that the money would go further if the projects could be combined. It could also add to the leverage to get other funds. This could also allow partners who could also help with the funding.

“It comes down to the money, as always,” said member Kirk Robinson, adding that it’s not just about starting projects but also keeping them going when they’re done, which many don’t think about. never.

Member Alyse Nelson single-handedly said the number of projects is overwhelming. ” How to do it ? ”

Mark Epstein, the city’s project manager, said staff and a consultant noted the projects. “All of these lists are visionary.

City council member Leslie Schneider said she was excited. “We have been waiting for this list for a long time.

Director of Public Works Chris Wierzbicki said it was difficult to decide which projects should be classified in the first and second levels. “We looked at how we could get the most bang for our buck,” he said, adding that this included projects that would complement transportation networks.

Member Don Willott said he was skeptical of the list because the last item in lowest level 3 is the green lane. “The emphasis is on maintaining the rural character of the island. Seems like it’s an afterthought.

Epstein said that’s what the committee is supposed to do: review the community’s list of values ​​and move items up or down as they see fit.

Member Robert Weschler said traffic on Highway 305 is a major concern on the island. It should be moved up because it is at level 2.

Willott said funding partnerships will make a huge difference, but he doesn’t want everyone to forget that reducing the footprint is the main goal.

Schneider said: “We are all going to fight for what we think is really important. Level 1 is going to get pretty big.

Member Barb Zimmer said they needed more time to review the list, and colleague Susan Loftus said it “requires a deeper dive”.

As for next steps, Epstein said the consultants would consider combining projects.

But Willott said he wanted to “really involve the public” in the process.

Various networks

The participants then examined the pedestrian, rolling and cycling networks on maps.

Epstein explained that the goal was to connect things like sidewalk projects to other projects, such as transit.

Willott said it was a good idea to tie the trips, which are a series of connections.

Robinson asked why some projects involved improving something that already exists. “Wouldn’t it be better to do something new” in an area that has nothing? He asked. In some cases, the connector is only a few hundred meters away.

In response, Loftus said, “It’s too much to ask of people.” She said most people would only go half a mile away for a connector.

When it comes to the cycling network, Loftus said it made sense for Winslow to be the focal point as it is the most populated area.

David Reynolds-Gooch said the Sound to Olympics Trail should be a priority as it will reduce traffic. “It should be a fundraising magnet,” he added.

But Loftus said Eagle Harbor could also be of benefit. Zimmer said a route that goes past dangerous spots to Lynwood Center should also be a priority.

Schneider accepted. She said it’s important to have a long inter-island cycling route. She said there were good roads east and west, but not south. “There are a lot of amenities” at Lynwood Center. “It’s an important destination,” she said, adding that it could also help push through a much-needed tax in the future.

Willott said he could reduce his personal carbon footprint if there was such a bike path. He said he was going to Port Townsend and Sequim for long bike rides.

Loftus said it’s crucial to have off-road bike paths so people feel safe using them. She said projects should be “weighted using a different lens”. She added that whenever a cycle path can be built away from the road, it should be for safety. She was told it was much more expensive, but she asked, “Where do you want to put more money? ”

During public comments, Ross Hathaway agreed that more public comment was needed. The “core group” on the list was “not representative of the whole island, especially avid cyclists”. He mentioned that Madison already had a sidewalk, but Grow didn’t. “Do you want perfect or basic? ” He asked. He said it was a long-standing problem on BI. “We have a taste of champagne and a draft beer.”

Wierzbicki said another public comment period would be scheduled, possibly on the Engage Bainbridge website. He said the city would like to present a final draft to city council in November or December.

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