Letters to the Editor

Where’s equity?

To the editor:

Our family is disappointed in the BI council’s vote on the nonmotorized project. Alternative D for lanes on both sides of Eagle Harbor Drive ignored experts and data paid by taxpayers, the wishes of locals and now puts a multi-generational family-run business, the Green Light Garage, in jeopardy. And it won’t be used by those who favored it anyway.

As residents along the route, if we were going to cede our land and deal with the hassle of construction, we wanted it to be for something we can all be proud of, and would support the broadest interests of BI. There was broad agreement that the bidirectional Alternative E would have done that: safe, less impact to the environment and greater access for more people, including pedestrians, the disabled, children and beginning cyclists. Transportation experts, the BI chamber, Greenways, Squeaky Wheels and those of us who would be directly affected were in agreement.

The council’s vote favored commuter cyclists above all others and rejected equity entirely. Ironically, commuter cyclists are likely to cycle on the road as they do today, with or without improvements. Alternative D proponents failed to articulate how it was the more equitable, least impactful option.

So if commuter cyclists will just continue using the road, and everyone else has been left out, what then is the purpose of this project?

Rakesh Bharania

Eagle Harbor Drive

Too much spin

To the editor:

Your article on the City Council’s 4-3 decision on the Eagle Harbor/Wyatt/Bucklin Hill Road non-motorized project has more spin than the many bicycle wheels that pass through the project area. The title, “BI votes against experts to feel safer” is not factual. Your own article states that the “experts” said both alternatives were safe. City staff said the same thing. Even though you think it’s headline news, I don’t even know who the “experts” are after reading your article.

I applaud the four City Council members who did their homework and based their vote on facts and good sense about “the right facility in the right place.” Bi-directional facilities may work well within the island’s future non-motorized network, but they do not make any sense at all in the Eagle Harbor/Wyatt/Bucklin Hill Road project area. Setting aside the 10%-plus grades and near 90-degree turn, the bi-directional facility would require users to cross the road — two lanes of traffic — three times in less than a mile. Even if an expert told me that was safe, I would have the good sense to disagree.

This was a divisive issue for our community and a challenging decision for the City Council. I am thankful that four of our councilmembers saw beyond the spin and made a decision that is in the best interest — and safety — of islanders.

Christy Carr

Bainbridge Island