Nice view at end of road
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:00 PM
"We strolled down to our neighborhood road end last evening to take in the view. Hope the neighbors didn't find us too obtrusive.Truth is, we just sat there on a bench for 10 minutes and watched the sun set over Rich Passage. The vista was brilliant, the sound of the lapping waves sublime, and the scattering of boot and paw prints on the sand below us suggested we weren't alone in thinking so.It's no secret that Bainbridge is woefully short on public shoreline access. The few spots that come to mind include Fay Bainbridge and Fort Ward state parks; Waterfront Park in Winslow, and the new Blakely Harbor Park at the south end; and the often-overlooked Port Madison Nature Preserve and Fairy Dell Trail. And now, as reported elsewhere in this issue, several score public road ends, marked with signs and sometimes improved with benches, trails and other minor amenities.We've liked this project ever since then-councilman Andy Maron codified it for the all-island city back in 1992, with the resolution that created the Road Ends Committee. Although it was sometimes contentious, with neighbors wary of descending hordes, most road ends draw a pretty passive set. Like us.With the visual enjoyment of Puget Sound largely the province of those blessed with waterfront holdings, the road end group has worked for the interests of the average citizen. Enjoy their work - of Bainbridge Island's 45 miles of shoreline, still only about two miles are open to the public, including parks.Thanks, Road End Committee. It's taken most a decade to get here, but we sure like the view.Goose stepsA month or so back, we reported on a complaint to the park board about the preponderance of waterfowl leavings at Battle Point Park. We can report that having reviewed the situation, the board is counting on you - yes, you - to get the drop on droppings.With the board stopping short of outlawing the feeding of waterfowl around the Battle Point pond, park district Director Dave Lewis says his staff will begin a public information campaign, with signs and literature, to make feeders aware of the consequences of doling out goodies to geese and ducks.Clearly, this is not the most pressing issue facing the island, but we're not sure it's been adequately resolved. In Lewis' survey of 15 other park districts in the Puget Sound area, 13 reported waterfowl management to be a problem. The Renton Parks and Recreation District is now spending $80,000 per year on goose control - contracting with a dog patrol service that chases the birds away - and owns a $10,000 turf vacuum to sweep park lawns free of leavings. Beaches in that area have been shut down by health officials because of high contamination.In 1995, the Olympia area had 800 Canada geese, with the current population now estimated at 2,600 (our own population seems to vary). Some jurisdictions are spraying goose eggs to keep them from hatching, and trying other lethal means of control. We're not ready to be that Draconian, but we can't help but feel the park board will be revisiting this issue again sometime soon. As the Canada goose gives up its migratory ways, the problem isn't likely to abate on its own. Asking park-goers to consider their actions is a do-nothing approach. We expect more complaints later on, when the rubber meets the road - or rather, when the shoe meets the poo."