Residents along Fletcher Bay Road have petitioned the city of Bainbridge Island to have the speed limit lowered to 25 mph from 35 mph on a stretch of the busy roadway.
Officials in the city’s Public Works Department, however, are opposed to the change.
The Bainbridge city council is expected to talk about the citizen petition at its meeting Tuesday, April 9 at city hall.
Residents along Fletcher Bay Road are asking the speed limit to be lowered between New Brooklyn and High School roads. The petition, addressed to Mayor Kol Medina and Public Works Director Barry Loveless, says: “As a resident of neighborhoods along Fletcher Bay Road between New Brooklyn and High School Road, I am concerned about safe ingress/egress from our driveways with the current speed limit of 35 mph and request the city lower the speed limit to 25 mph.”
Many of the residents who signed petition sheets also added personal notes about safety concerns.
Some of the comments:
“It’s like a highway out there.”
“I agree 100 percent! This 35 mph speed limit makes no sense.”
“We find it hazardous to exit our driveway when traffic is often traveling 40+ mph…It’s a very fast speed limit where our children will be catching a school bus and waiting roadside.”
“I was running in front of my farm, returning from a long run, when a transit bus from either Clearwater Casino or Kitsap Transit came speeding from behind and I had to jump in the ditch to avoid being hit. It was terrifying, to watch the speeding taillights disappear as the driver drove out of sight, completely unaware.”
Fletcher Bay Road is classified as the city as a “secondary arterial road,” and one that is expected to accommodate a “high level of traffic at a moderate speed, sometimes for through trips,” according to city officials.
Officials said the section of roadway where residents want the speed limit dropped had not been the subject of any recent traffic studies. They note that Fletcher Bay Road to the south was studied in 2013, and the recommendation then was to keep the speed limit as-is.
Most of Fletcher Bay and Miller roads, according to the city, were posted as 40 mph until the speed limit was lowered to 35 mph in 2016. At that time, the council also lowered the speed limit to 25 mph on Miller Road through Island Center because it was zoned as Neighborhood Town Center, and had multiple business entrances, some with parking areas with direct access to the road.
According to the city’s Public Works Department, the design of Fletcher Bay Road supports the posted speed limit.
The council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9.