Letter to the Editor

Ferry neglects

To the editor:

I have sojourned on Bainbridge for over a decade and was hopeful when I heard about ferry terminal renovations. Finally, I thought, there would be provisions for elders and disabled.

Before the renovations, the distance from the curb on Bainbridge to the curb in Seattle was almost a half mile. I had bad knees/hip until recent replacements. The walk was difficult and painful. Elders struggle with canes, walkers and suitcases. A young friend with a knee injury tried the ferry and gave up.

No obvious wheelchairs. One bench on the Bainbridge ramp, none in Seattle. But a dandy curbside elevator in Seattle up to the departure level. $25 million in renovations. I daydreamed about moving cable systems like ski lifts to whisk elders/disabled all the way. Or moving sidewalks/escalators. Or golf carts/ jitneys to take people down the gangplank, park for the trip, and take them to the curb. Or wheelchairs with attendants. Or the electric carts available in supermarkets at either end.

The terminals are not complete. Maybe some of this is in the works, though I can’t see why the authorities would neglect advertising great new things for elders. So far, the renovations have made things worse. Distances are longer and the curbside elevator in Seattle is gone. The available elevator is not by the cars/taxis dropoff.

Washington is “green” in many ways. BI has a large population of retirees/elders/disabled. Washington state should do much better.

Peggy Muir

Bainbridge Island