Grow Avenue will be temporarily closed to through traffic to support a “Safe and Healthy Streets” project initiated by Squeaky Wheels and Bainbridge GreenWays, a program of Sustainable Bainbridge. The closure will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, May 8 and end at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 12. During this time, local traffic and deliveries will be allowed, but there will be no through traffic allowed. Any patient of Bainbridge Pediatrics will have continued access. See the signage plan here. Drivers should use Madison Avenue as an alternate route to Grow Avenue.
The City Council formed an Ad Hoc Committee (consisting of Councilmembers Joe Deets, Kol Medina and Michael Pollock) during its April 28 meeting to explore a proposal (read April 22 email here & read April 24 email/memo here) from Squeaky Wheels and Bainbridge GreenWays members to develop specific recommendations to support a "Safe and Healthy Streets" initiative. The program is designed to protect people walking and biking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar measures have been enacted in other cities, including Seattle.
Bainbridge GreenWays representatives want to make sure residents understand that making future streets one way or closed off isn’t part of what is being discussed.
According to Bainbridge GreenWays representative Susan Loftus, Grow Avenue neighbors have been involved from the beginning with planning this project. Grow Avenue residents addressed the City Council to support this project, and Grow Avenue residents are also organizers for “Slow on Grow” initiatives. Grow Avenue residents involved with this project have been coordinating with their neighbors and have provided feedback in the planning, Loftus said.
Ideas for potential future Safe Streets projects and locations will come from the residents themselves, Loftus said. One process to request projects will be via the feedback system collected on the Squeaky Wheels website. Learn more about the project and provide feedback here.
Watch the April 28 (click on "New item: shared streets) & May 5 City Council meetings to learn more about the discussion and project.
In addition, all City parks on Bainbridge Island remain open to the public and, as of May 5, all parking lots are open to vehicle access. For the status of BI Metro Park & Recreation District parks, please visit https://biparks.org/.
The temporary closure of Grow Ave is not related to the City’s Wyatt Way Reconstruction and Safety Improvement project that is scheduled to begin construction next month (more information will be provided soon).