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Bainbridge Island bike path makes for slow go at ferry terminal

(City of Bainbridge Island)

A KIRO Radio listener was curious about why a lane of Highway 305, the main drag out of the ferry terminal that leads to the Agate Pass Bridge and to points on the Olympic Peninsula, remains blocked for construction.

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Kellie Stickney with the City of Bainbridge Island says construction on the Sound to Olympics Trail has finally begun.

“The vision for the trail is that, eventually, it will connect people from Bainbridge Island all the way to the Hood Canal Bridge with connections in Kingston,” Stickney said. “It’s really a grand vision, filling a gap in the regional trail system.”

She said many cyclists use Highway 305 and they aren’t comfortable sharing the busy highway with vehicles. This will give riders a safer alternative.

“It’s going to be, visually, a much more enjoyable experience for people and it will also provide access to people who just don’t feel comfortable riding their bicycles on SR 305,” Stickney said.

But to create the first mile of the trail, from Winslow Way to High School Road, the city has had to close a lane of traffic, which has not made drivers happy over the last month.

“We are installing some of the pilings that are part of the boardwalk system,” she said. “In order to do that, we have to have a crane in one of the lanes.”

That crane should be gone by the end of the week and drivers should get their lane back.

This project is being funded by federal grant money and city taxes. Other cities are starting their own paths with the plan to have them all meet up to create a connected network.

“We’re all kind of building to eventually be able to meet up and connect in the future,” Stickney said.

That would provide a much safer bicycle network on the west side of the water, but drivers and businesses along Highway 305 are going to have to deal with the construction for years.

Right now, the project on Bainbridge Island is only funded for the first mile.

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