To the editor:
I wanted to write in response to Kent Scott’s recent piece advocating lower speed limits across the island.
I think Mr. Scott didn’t go far enough with his proposal. I would suggest, in the name of complete safety for all islanders, a total ban on all cars. After all, what are we all looking for but the absolute safety for every person on the island, most importantly our children’s. If that’s the ultimate goal, why just take incremental steps and risk further harm by simply reducing speed limits instead of outlawing all motorized vehicles entirely?
As a 15-year island resident I’ve seen speed limits reduced several times across the island. In fact, some speed limits have had different posted speeds on the same road just going in opposite directions.
Based on Mr. Scott and other suggestions I’ve read over the years, these past reductions have not properly addressed the safety issues of those concerned. I think we should just cut to the chase and eliminate all motorized vehicles.
We could allow municipal buses for those that need to commute to and from the ferry or into town, but anything more than that jeopardizes the safety of someone, something we cannot tolerate on Bainbridge Island.
In addition to public buses, we could have communal bicycles situated throughout the island for those who want them. Looking back, I’m not even sure how my two boys managed to grow up on the island without any vehicular incidents. Thankfully, with the forward thinking of Mr. Scott and others like him, I think that no parent on the island should ever have to worry about drivers on the phone, drivers texting, drivers applying make-up, and unsafe drivers ever again.
A secondary advantage to eliminating all cars would be the health benefits that would be realized as a result of more bicycle riding and walking as modes of transportation. Imagine all the wildlife that will also be spared with the dramatic reduction of roadkill. Every life on the island counts, not just humans. No one likes to come across the flattened carcass of a squirrel or raccoon.
As far as traffic enforcement is concerned, instead of more of it as Mr. Scott has asked for, I believe less enforcement would be needed with no cars on the roads.
Less enforcement would mean less police on the roads which would translate into financial savings for the city and a better use of our police’s time. The police would have more time available to respond to real emergencies (i.e. domestic violence, active shooters in the harbor, etc.).
Remember, it’s really about our safety and the safety of our children that should come first, isn’t it?