Open House discusses traffic calming on Grow in BI
Pedestrian and bicycle safety, as well as traffic calming devices, were key themes at an online open house on some of the busy streets of Bainbridge Island on Wednesday.
A similar open house will be held on June 16 at 4 p.m., also on Zoom, for Miller Road in Grand Forest and Finch between Wyatt Way and High School Road.
Nearly 60 people signed up for the first session as Director of Public Works Chris Wierzbicki explained how city council wanted the community to share what should be done on Grow Avenue between Winslow Way and High School Road . The second hour Schel Chelb crossing of Point White Drive was discussed.
If anyone has another idea for a project, go to the city’s website, he said. The locations will be prioritized in mid-July. The goal is to get feedback on the traffic things residents like and dislike about the premises.
It was explained that the right tool is needed to control speed and volume. Some of the options include speed bumps or tables; roundabouts or mini roundabouts; pinch points; advisory shoulders; and couplets one-way. Everyone can have their own problems, such as speed bumps, they can deter cyclists, limit pedestrians, make noise, cause wear and tear on vehicles, etc.
After the overview, the participants were placed in breakout rooms.
In Room 7, John Grincher said he was delighted the city is improving traffic calming. Sal DeRosilia said traffic calming devices are often crushed. Ross Hathaway said the frustration started when the stop sign was placed on Wyatt. Steve Walker said the cones helped for a day or two, but then people crushed them.
City Engineer Peter Corelis said these cones are only temporary, and resident Rick Gould said they might be more effective if they were made of concrete. Steven Hjerrild said neighbors still had to come out and put the plastics back. “It’s kind of a nuisance,” he said.
Gould was against allowing street parking, which would slow traffic but also hurt walkers and cyclists.
Hjerrild, who has been a resident for 35 years, said “The traffic has always been a bit fast” on Grow and that he would prefer a speed table as it does not deter cyclists. “I am open to any solution to calm him down and make walking more pleasant.
At the end of the breakout session, Grincher said the speed charts were good but inconsistent around town, with some more like speed bumps.
All focus groups then reported back.
Representing Room 1, David and Terri Starkland said the roundabouts take up a lot of space and they don’t want Grow to become an obstacle course.
Brett Shock said his group liked the idea of making Grow one way north.
Helaine Honig asked if Grow should be everything for everyone, adding that there might be better roads for biking.
Representing Room 4, Wierzbicki said they wanted to temporarily try out the one-way street idea to see how it worked. They said more space is needed for pedestrians.
Kim Leatham said having a one-way street would give walkers more space. They also asked for wider sidewalks and speed bumps.
In room 6, they said that experiments had been done in Poulsbo on this same problem, the speed tables versus one-way streets, so it would be good to contact them for information.
At the end of this session, a survey was carried out. The best solution chosen was the improvement of the sidewalks, with speed bumps and a one-way street tied for the second.
“Maybe there is a way to combine these options that would work,” Wierzbicki said.
For more information, visit www.bainbridgewa.gov/216