Squeaky Wheels would like to remind you that we support the concept of:
- A 7-ft minimum (plus buffers) dedicated left turn bicycle lane between the main northbound and southbound lanes to serve the bulk of year-round offloading commuter traffic
- A 5-foot right side bicycle lane to serve the smaller number of riders that continue north on SR305,
- A separated shared use path near the southwest side for the casual, less experienced and very young riders that will serve as a part of the Sound to Olympics trail system (there may be alternative locations for this facility)
- A continued connection to the Waterfront Trail and Bridge to the Waterfront Park for the small number of riders that prefer this route.
- Pedestrian and aesthetic improvements to the corridor.
- Maximum 20 MPH speed limit
As you may have heard, the Seattle ferry terminal at Colman dock is being redesigned and will be rebuilt completely over the next 3-5 years. The proposed design is under review and is at the “30% design” stage. The design proposed by Washington State Ferries remains very “car-oriented” and does not reflect the growing importance of bikes as a transportation mode on this ferry route. In short, we want the design to optimize the experience for cyclists – making it safe, convenient and attractive for cyclists of all ages and abilities – in order to catalyze the continuing growth of cycling on the ferries. There are several ways to register our concerns regarding the proposed design, in person or in writing, as described below.
The Bainbridge-Seattle ferry run already has one of the largest concentrations of bike commuters anywhere in the U.S., and good things are happening on both sides of Elliott Bay to make bike commuting more attractive. New bike infrastructure on Olympic Drive at the Winslow terminal, and a protected bike lane along Seattle's new waterfront are being planned. Thanks to improvements like these, Seattle expects bike ridership to triple in the next twenty years, and we can expect a large increase in bike commuters on the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry as well.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is missing an opportunity to contribute to this trend. The proposed design of the Colman Dock reconstruction does not include elements that effectively connect into Seattle's new waterfront protected bike lane, minimize conflict between bicyclists and pedestrians in front of the terminal building, or make bicycling a better experience for the hundreds of new bicyclists who will be taking the ferry every day over the next twenty years. The design remains “car-oriented” in spite of the fact that there could be more bikes than cars on peak season Bainbridge commuter runs in the future.
Here’s what you can do to make sure the new Colman Dock works for bike commuters and visitors:
Attend the public hearing Attend an Open House
Monday, April 28 Monday, May 5
4:00 - 6:30 p.m. 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Puget Sound Regional Council Board Room Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal
1011 Western Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle
At the public meetings, be sure to provide your comments on the proposed design. There won't be any "speeches," just informal comments in a 1-on-1 setting. In your comments, ask that the design for the Colman Dock reconstruction include at least the following elements:
- Two separate, automated bike entrances -- north and south entrances – with separated bike lanes and holding areas to minimize conflict with motorized vehicles and pedestrians, and to maintain adequate levels of service in the future.
- Connect the bike entrances seamlessly with the new waterfront protected bike lanes.
- Build translucent overhead canopies for bicyclist holding areas at the edges of Colman Dock.
- Utilize the most current design best practices for urban bike infrastructure.
You can also submit comments online to WSDOT at the following link: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Ferries/ColmanMultimodalTerminal/Feedback.htm
Thanks for making your voice heard and for helping improve conditions for cyclists in the Puget Sound region.
(More details on the project can be found here: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/ferries/colmanmultimodalterminal/)
Olympic Drive - the short section of roadway from the Winslow ferry dock to Winslow Way - is ... well, let's just say it has lots of room for improvement. It doesn't serve the wide range of users well and it creates a poor first impression of Bainbridge.
Olympic Drive is our front porch and it is long and unwelcoming. Cyclist and cars joust. Visiting pedestrians search for a cute town nestled among tall trees. Commuters rush past this asphalt and concrete jumble.
The City of Bainbridge Island has applied for a WA State DOT grant to make improvements to enhance non-motorized safety and improve the experience for all arriving and departing the Island.
Committee Tackles Ferry/Bike Issues
Knowing and following the rules of the road are the best way to stay safe while pedaling. Whether you are a new rider or a seasoned commuter, double check that you follow these simple steps:
Ride on the correct side of the road, the right, with traffic
Stop at stop signs
Be visible day and night-wear something bright in daytime, add lights, front and rear, at night
Last November, just before the election, Squeaky Wheels launched a campaign to have five road safety projects given top priority. The five roads are: Eagle Harbor Drive between Bucklin Hill and Wyatt; Lynnwood Center Road between Fletcher Bay and Blakely Avenue; Fletcher Bay Road between New Brooklyn Avenue and High School Road; and Miller Road between Tolo Road and Koura Road. These roads all lack shoulders - some such as Miller have heavy traffic, including frequent truck trips. Eagle Harbor Drive is a critical route simply because all traffic from Winslow to the south end, uses it.
For the moment, bicyclists need not worry about any changes to the present system of loading and unloading bikes on state ferries. WSF chief David Moseley has stated that the ferry system will not be seeking to adopt a marine industry panel recommendation to load and unload bicyclists after all motorized vehicles.