Opinion

SR-305 plans should include overpasses | In Our Opinion | April 30

If you’re interested in how the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Transportation 2040 plan affects Bainbridge Island, the final draft is now online for your perusal. The voluminous plan is not exactly user friendly, and offers more alternatives, possibilities and maybes than a Starbucks drink menu, but here are a few items relevant to the island.

It appears that State Route 305 won’t change much during the next 30 years on Bainbridge, other than: making it more Kitsap Transit friendly around the Day, Sportsman Club and High School Road intersections; and hopefully placing a shared-use (bikes and pedestrians) non-motorized path on one side of the highway by 2020.

The plan suggests creating a “general purpose freeway capacity” for 305, primarily between Poulsbo and the bridge – likely making it a four-lane highway with two HOV lanes – but not on Bainbridge. The bridge would remain two lanes wide, but could include a new bike lane, of sorts. The plan says the addition would be a “separate non-motorized facility constructed either by a cantilever deck off the existing bridge or a separate construction lane to the bridge.”

All of which means that the peak-hour bottleneck that currently exists on the highway will only get worse since the plan doesn’t offer any perceptible changes in current ferry configurations. The use of more passenger-only ferries is mentioned, but nothing that would alleviate the mad rush to and from the island’s ferry terminal.

It would be appropriate, however, that sometime during the next 20 to 30 years that one or two all-purpose overpasses be erected across the highway for both vehicle and non-motorized purposes. It may be too late for one at the 305-Winslow Way intersection, but placing overpasses at both High School Road and Day Road would help reduce the danger that already exists for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists trying to cross the island’s most hazardous surface street.

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