Letters to the Editor

Partnership also means public must be served | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

  - Bainbridge Island Review photo
— image credit: Bainbridge Island Review photo

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to your recent editorial on the city’s efforts to work with downtown business on their usage of Winslow Way.

While a good start, it is too early to call it a success. We need to remember that public right-of-way, whether owned outright by the city or controlled via easements, are for the use of the public. And your own editorial confirmed our collective goals of a thriving and dynamic downtown pedestrian environment.

Congestion in the public area through the extension of businesses could diminish that benefit. I don’t know if five feet is the right clearance distance. Is that our current sidewalk standard? Are we reducing our standard just to accommodate business?

And what of our disabled? While I am abled, my wife requires a wheelchair and I’ve seen the difficulty she has navigating our downtown area with signboards, street furniture and other impediments. Are their accessibility needs being taken into account?

While it is rumored that downtown property owners contributed some funding for the Winslow reconstruction — that does not buy the public right-of-way and island citizens and our local government paid for a much greater share of those costs.

In my professional work I have been involved in many successful public-private partnerships that create creative and dynamic spaces in downtown areas. So, while accommodating the needs of the public with our private interest is a worthy goal we need to make sure the public is served in this partnership and not just the private ones.

CHUCK DEPEW

Bainbridge Island

Support Congress to again allow regulation

To the editor:

Congress needs to begin representing the people rather than business or representatives should resign for they’ve lost sight of their responsibility to the electorate.

You have the wrong goals if it’s just about you and money and you’ve misrepresented your responsibility to the people for your own greed.

PATTI DUSBABEK

Bainbridge Island

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