Other solutions exist for improving parking | Letter to the editor

Other solutions exist for improving parking | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor described all the reasons we need more parking downtown and concluded, “And there you have it.”

Except there you don’t, for there were some significant factual errors in the letter. First, while it is true that the island population has grown significantly since 1971, there are now about 24,000 people living here, not the 28,000 stated in the letter. Second, the reconstruction of Winslow Way did reduce the number of on-street parking spaces, but more on the order of 10 spaces, not the 90 cited in the letter. Third, not all islanders are “wedded” to their car. Dozens or even hundreds bike to the ferry every day, and with better mid-day bus service, we could get more people using public transit, especially youth who want to be more independent in their movements.

It is true that downtown is weaker than it was five years ago, but most of those problems can be traced to too much competition. A number of anchor users that might otherwise be downtown are now at Coppertop; the Visconsi development, which with its new drugstore arguably put Vern’s out of business, will soon take Virginia Mason.

Parking is a problem, but there are good solutions for that short of building a garage that would require ongoing public subsidies. Those parking solutions include merchants pooling the parking behind their buildings; forming a local improvement district to acquire and reopen Madrona Lane, which would provide better access to that additional parking; and leasing employee parking at remote locations.

Merchants complain about losing local business, but the comp plan envisions residents shopping and eating at various commercial centers on the island, and there are now more choices to do this at Lynwood Center, Rolling Bay and Coppertop, the latter near the virtual center of the island.

In the age of Internet banking and Amazon deliveries, downtown needs to redefine what it means to be downtown.

Meanwhile, there are simply too many other demands for public debt (including schools, pools and parks) for the rest of us to subsidize what is essentially a for-profit place.

ROD STEVENS

Bainbridge Island

More in Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Council doesn’t listen To the editor: In 2019-20 the Bainbridge Island Planning… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

Wear masks To the editor: The other day, I was driving down… Continue reading

Letters to the editor

Station too costly To the editor: The ethics complaints against outgoing Councilmember… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

Vote for Root To the editor: After a while every elected official… Continue reading

Letters to the editor

Indoor skate park To the editor: With so much time during the… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

Nature’s gifts To the editor When I was growing up, life was… Continue reading

Letters to the editor

Approve R-90 To the editor: Referendum 90 will be on the Nov.… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

2020 Election Re-elect Rob Gelder To the editor: Kitsap County Commissioner Rob… Continue reading

Letter to the editor

We can reduce fires

Letters to the editor

PSE needs to clean up forests to limit wildfires

Letters to the editor

In response Clean energy An Aug. 21 Bainbridge Review opinion piece makes… Continue reading

Outrage is appropriate
Outrage is appropriate

Sending the military to teargas peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional rights for… Continue reading