City government in action: Wow | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

While it was refreshing to see that a member of the Bainbridge Island City Council admitted that the results of their approval of the bike trail adjacent to Route 305 were a “sucker punch” to him, I wonder how it could be.

The council had supposedly walked the route and done all kinds of advance evaluation. And this is the result of their efforts? Wow.

I know it is supposed to allow the spending of millions of dollars of federal grant money (in the same area where everyone complains about paying taxes for anything), but did anyone ever consider having people ride bikes along Winslow Way a short distance, turn on Erickson/Hildebrand to High School Road and then return to Highway 305? It would have required a few minutes of additional time, negligible added distance and no expenditure of anyone’s money. And of course there is already a wide enough shoulder to accommodate riding a bike along Highway 305 — which is done by many already.

There is a bridge near the Vineyard Land development that does not allow bikes. Will another bridge for the new trail now be built there? The way the grading is being done it appears that might be the case. And that is the same place where even more federal grant money is going to be spend on a bridge to nowhere over Highway 305 for pedestrians to supposedly encourage shopping in the East Winslow Way area.

I sure haven’t figured that one out, other than that it will make it convenient for the residents of Vineyard Lane to cross over Highway 305 to reach Wyatt Way. Insert another “wow” here.

Keep in mind that this is the same city council that has approved expenditure of $100,000 to “study” the establishment of a city-owned and operated electric utility. Considering the track record of the consultant they hired, I think that the final recommendation they can be expected to submit is somewhat predictable. Fortunately I have seen substantial communication that is not in favor of this folly.

I only hope that all those people vote when the city council forges ahead with having a vote on the matter vs. just deciding to drop the whole thing. Can you imagine the city council running the electric service on this island when they can’t even figure out how many trees will be cut down for a bike trail? Very scary prospect. Please insert a final “wow” here.

By the way, keep in mind that construction of the bike trail is planned to continue all the way to the Agate Pass Bridge. That should prove to be interesting to watch.

NORMAN MARTEN

Bainbridge Island

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