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Actually, new roadway isn’t exactly friendly | Letters | Nov. 4
Meteorologists and historians have something in common. They both embrace the study of changes, be it climate or people. So, in the following comments on new Winslow Way, don’t think because of historical associations that we are averse to change.
Contrary to the letter by Gary Pettersen (“Winslow Way has not lost its pedestrian friendliness,” Oct. 28), I suggest that it has lost its friendliness in one very important way. For our safety, we had all better change.
The old Winslow Way that welcomed friendly jaywalking across the street is gone forever. Today, pedestrians had better cross only at the designated crosswalks.
Winslow Way throbs to the rhythm of central and south Bainbridge vehicles funneling hourly to and from a ferry and drivers who are sometimes in a rush. It also used to accommodate casual jaywalking as shoppers crossed the street to its many wonderful and important businesses.
The former Winslow Way had room enough for parking and for pedestrians to get out into Winslow Way without being in the traffic lane. Pedestrians were able to step behind a parked car to see whether or not the roadway was clear and whether it was safe to cross the street. That seems no longer possible.
Today, pedestrians walk through the parked cars and tall SUV’s to cross and immediately enter traffic. There’s no space to stop and look.
Conversely, as a driver perhaps in a wishful hurry to meet or catch a ferry or to get home, you don’t see friendly pedestrians now until they are right in front of you.
We always enjoyed the courtesies extended between drivers and jaywalkers on Winslow Way; a chance to show courtesy and respect for one another; shout a brief hello or wave to an old friend or neighbor you hadn’t seen in a while. That was a friendlier Winslow Way for pedestrians.
We all should be extra careful – or all become pedestrians. We do not want anyone hurt, or downtown Winslow will have to issue friendly warning tickets for jaywalking. Concrete won’t change. We have to.
Jerry Elfendahl, Bainbridge Island