The Public Works staff is hosting two virtual open houses on traffic safety improvements at four locations around Bainbridge Island as part of an effort to slow down traffic and improve conditions for people walking, biking or rolling in neighborhoods. The open houses will provide the community an opportunity to share experiences, concerns or ideas for addressing speed and non-motorized safety at each location and hear feedback on potential solutions.
The City Council authorized staff to begin preliminary analysis of the four specific areas below for traffic calming and safety improvements. Those areas are:
Open House #1: Wednesday, June 9 at 4 p.m. on Zoom
- Grow Avenue (between Winslow Way and High School Road)
- This area was selected due to a long history of traffic calming and speeding concerns. The staff and Council agreed to continue working toward solutions on Grow Avenue as part of the 2021-2022 budget.
- Schel Chelb pedestrian crossing (Point White Drive)
- This location has a long history of community and City Council concerns regarding safety and increasing pedestrian traffic in the area.
Open House #2: Wednesday, June 16 at 4 p.m. on Zoom
- Grand Forest pedestrian crossing (Miller Road)
- This area was selected by City staff for attention, as it will address pedestrian safety and speeding concerns on the corridor. Staff plans to coordinate with Park District staff on the potential expansion of the adjacent parking lot.
- Finch corridor intersections (between Wyatt Way and High School Road)
- This area was selected due to a high number of concerns and feedback from residents.
The Zoom links for the June 9 and June 16 open houses are available on the City's Engage Bainbridge page.
Share ideas for other safety improvements
In addition to seeking feedback on the four proposed project sites, City staff is seeking ideas that will improve safety in other neighborhoods. These safety enhancements may include physical designs or radar speed signs on existing roads to reduce vehicle speeds. We’re using an interactive web tool (Engage Bainbridge) that allows you to pinpoint the areas where you have safety concerns and submit ideas for projects. Proposals may be submitted through Friday, July 16.
Suggestions will be evaluated and prioritized using data and other metrics related to speed, safety and other factors. Any solutions to traffic calming problems will be developed in accordance with a "handbook" of traffic calming measures that the City is developing. The proposals will be presented to the City Council in the fall.
The City funds road and safety improvements through the Transportation Benefit Fund, which receives revenue from vehicle license (car-tab) fees.
In January 2019, the City Council approved a $10 car-tab fee increase and adopted Resolution No. 2019-06 to specify that the additional revenue would be used to support traffic calming measures, climate change mitigation and marketing of Kitsap Transit’s BI Ride service through January 2023.
For Bainbridge Island, the car-tab fees provide $200,000 per year in funding for traffic calming measures and climate change mitigation projects. In 2021, the City expects to have approximately $300,000 collected and available for neighborhood traffic calming projects. These projects were on hold for most of 2020 due to a legal challenge to the 2019 voter-approved Initiative 976 that would have eliminated the City’s ability to collect car-tab fees. In October 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Initiative 976 unconstitutional, which allows cities to continue collecting car-tab fees.