August Advocacy Update

Hi All!!

How can anybody be working on bike advocacy while the weather is so fine and cycling is so good?  You'll be surprised.

The Forest and Bay Project in Port Gamble is nearing its deadline for raising $3.5 million by July 31 in order to buy 1650 acres of forest from Pope Resources.  As of July 30, they had raised $2.7 million and are hoping for last minute donations.  Forest and Bay has already purchased 1890 forest acres.  Plans for the Port Gamble forest  include a mountain bike destination ride park with downhill trails and a pump track.  Many thanks for all of the planning and labor that went into saving this forest for recreation instead of housing parcels.  

If you want to help preserve trails on Green Mountain, please  join the work party on August 6 at 9AM at either the Horse Camp of Wildcat Trailhead.  There is much work to do!

The Silverdale Traffic Implementation Study is ongoing.  There is a heavy emphasis on improving cycling and pedestrian conditions in Silverdale.  Some of the ideas being discussed for final consideration are making Randall Wy (in front of the YMCA) into a safer bike route,  adding additional intersections and possibly a pedestrian bridge.  There will be a public meeting to present ideas some time in August.  Stay tuned.

The Kitsap Citizen's Non Motorized Committee submitted 23 high priority road improvements to Public Works last month.  Final non motorized projects will be selected by Public Works and will move to the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for construction over the next few years.  We will know which projects made the TIP by early Fall.   

Kitsap Public Works is scheduled to begin the first phase of improving Silverdale Way this week.  The improvements will include new, wide sidewalks, more traffic lanes and designated bike lanes. This first phase will take about a year to complete.  It will start at Byron and go north to Anderson Hill Rd.  It should fix a major pinch point for both cars and bikes coming into Silverdale.

CK Schools are doing a major improvement project at the CK campus.  We will see better shoulders and bike lanes along Anderson Hill Rd on school property.  There will also be a bike and pedestrian trail leading from the CK campus, along Dahl road and to the YMCA.  

WSCC held the first Dyes Inlet ride in late June.  It attracted 100 riders who rode the scenic route from Silverdale, around Tracyton to Bremerton and back along Shorewood Drive to Chico.  The ride was organized to help folks realize the potential for attracting recreational tourists to Central Kitsap roads, following Dyes Inlet's perimeter.  There is plenty of scenery for sure.  The next step is to improve road shoulders to make the route safer.  

WSCC is also working with Kitsap Transit to improve the design of the bike carriers on the new fast ferry.  WSCC advocacy news is available HERE.

May Advocacy Update

On the mountain side:

 

Lots going on in North Kitsap this month!  We're entering the final push for savepg.org fundraising!  There's only a couple months left to save the land.  Make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the link above, or stop by the shop and contribute!  Of our goal of raising $2500 on behalf of our customers and fellow trail users, we have only $550 to go to save another acre!

Work on the Poulsbo Pump Track has kicked in to high gear as we near our May 31st completion goal.  As the weather continues to improve, Evergreen West Sound has been able to make some great strides forward.  Be sure to join the effort - there are several opportunities this month to get out there and work!  Check out the Poulsbo Pump Track Facebook page here.

Green Mountain's final DNR Focus Group Meeting for the summer will occur this Thursday.  Unfortunately, the NOVA grant request we told you about in December didn't score well on the state budget, but non-motorized trail surveys continue moving forward so that once money becomes available, we'll be ready to roll on construction.  This has been a really rough winter for Green, and a lot of work needs to be done to get the trails back up to spec.  Be sure to keep an eye out for work party opportunities on Evergreen West Sound's Facebook page or on KAOS's calendar.

 

On the road side:

Lots of energy going toward more and better biking in Kitsap right now. 

Last week,  Kitsap Public Works hosted an open house to get ideas about how to improve transportation in Silverdale.  They're currently doing a traffic study to determine peak use times, destinations and most heavily used roads.  Not surprisingly, only .7% ( 7/10 of 1 percent) of transportation is by bicycle.  Public transit is about the same, and walking is slightly higher.  The vast majority of traffic is SOV (single occupancy vehicle).  Everybody know that Silverdale is already crowded and lots more growth is coming.  How can we all fit?  Stay tuned for the next open house, scheduled in June, where some solutions will be presented.  One highlight of last weeks open house was that most of the attendees were bike advocates, so Public Works got plenty of input and ideas.

Also last week was the Bremerton Public Works quarterly meeting with WSCC (West Sound Cycling Club).  The club has meticulously  drawn up schemes for making several streets in Bremerton more bike friendly.  The idea is to present inexpensive solutions which use mainly paint instead of major projects involving extensive engineering and construction.  One of the most important projects  is marking safe shoulders and intersections on Kitsap Way.  Anybody who's ridden there knows that it isn't currently safe.   WSCC came up with some practical solutions, which were well  received by Public Works, and some changes on Kitsap Way are due this summer.   

If you have an idea for a road improvement in unincorporated Kitsap, now is the time to submit it HERE.  The idea will go into Kitsap County's TIP program for consideration.  This is an important way for the county to find out what needs to be fixed, so don't be shy!

Save June 25 on your calendar this year.  That's the Dyes Inlet Loop Ride HERE.  Its a chance to ride the scenic route around Dyes Inlet with many of the roads closed to cars.  As you ride, you can imagine the route being a permanent attraction for Kitsap after the addition of wider shoulders.

March Advocacy Update

ON THE ROAD BIKE SIDE:

Lots happening this month.  First, this Thursday, March 9, the Puget Sound Regional Council is holding a bike route charette in Bremerton.  Here's the info:

Kitsap County

Thu, March 9

2:30-4:00 p.m.

60 Washington Ave., Suite 200, Bremerton, 98337

PSRC is updating data related to bicycling in the Puget Sound region. This update includes two major components:

1. Update of the  Regional Bicycle Network, which is a future, aspirational network. 

2. Completed Bike Facilities Data Set, which includes existing bike lanes, protected bike lanes, neighborhood greenways and shared use paths.

The Regional Bicycle Network, which is part of the Active Transportation Plan adopted in 2014, is an aspirational network comprised of existing facilities, locally planned routes and other linkages that highlight important connections to regional destinations. Once built, this network will allow people to access regional destinations safely by bicycle. Read more about the network and update process.

Second,  Kitsap Public Works is currently hosting a traffic study in Silverdale, expected to be complete in August.  Aside from the obvious need for better car traffic solutions, the study will also focus on non-motorized transportation around Silverdale.  With the major hospital expansion under way already,  a lot of traffic problems will need to be solved very quickly.  Luckily, the 2036 Kitsap Comp Plan strongly encourages biking and walking routes, so they will be part of the eventual solution.

Third, the feasibility study for a paved, 10 foot wide path between Kitsap Lake and Jarstad Park is nearly complete.  Assuming that some problems with elevation gain and collaboration with the Navy railroad can be worked out,  the funding phase should be next.  Stay tuned for details.

Fourth, Bike Everywhere Month is coming in May, including the Bike Everywhere Challenge.  Info HERE

Fifth, discussions have started about forming a Kitsap Trails Association, with the intention of local entities and user groups sharing plans and working together to improve active transportation opportunities in Kitsap.  This has worked wonders in North Kitsap, and we hope to borrow some strategies for the rest of Kitsap.

ON THE MOUNTAIN BIKE SIDE:

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance - West Sound has been working with the Evergreen Turtle Rockets trail running group to accomplish over 100 hours of volunteer work aboard Green Mountain since mid-January!  It's been a great partnership!

The first Poulsbo Pump Track work party of the year jumped off on February 20th, with tons of the initial clearing work being completed.  EMBA's completion date is slated for no later than 31 May this year, so get out there the last Saturday of each month and lend a hand so we can get this done!

Kitsap Forest and Bay Project's efforts are going extremely well.  More acreage is being saved everyday - but the deadline is coming up quick!  Make sure you head to the Project's webpage to find out what you can do to save the trails!  There are also plenty of opportunities to give back to the trails in sweat equity, as well - hop on one of the many work parties being hosted monthly in Port Gamble.  Link up with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance - West Sound's Facebook page for all the info!

Also, be sure to mark your calendar for the Evergreen West Sound General Membership meeting to be held at 6:30pm on Wednesday, March 22nd at All Star Lanes in Silverdale!  Meet the members of the board, get up to speed on all the projects, and find out how you can get directly involved!

February Advocacy Update

On the road cycling side of things:

This has been a very busy month for bike and pedestrian advocacy in Kitsap, despite the frigid weather and torrential rainfall.

Some members of West Sound Cycling Club met with Bremerton Public Works last week to present a series of recommendations for making safer bike routes in Bremerton.  The recommendations involve mainly re-painting  stripes to narrow the car lane and add a bike lanes.  This concept has been tried in many cities, resulting in more bikers and walkers, and fewer car accidents.   The crown jewel of the plan is re-striping Kitsap Way to provide wider bike shoulders.  The Kitsap Way route would continue onto 6th Ave, which would have bike lanes all the way to the Norm Dicks Bldg.    The other routes proposed for re-striping are Sylvan Way, Park Ave, Austin Wy, Sheridan Wy, Auto Center Wy,  Lebo Blvd,  and part of the Mosquito Fleet Trail from Charleston to Naval.  The proposals were well received with the caveat that these things take time and political will.  Thanks WSCC for putting in hundreds of hours!

The last WSCC meeting hosted Dan Burden, a nationally renown urban planner who has recently located in the area.  Dan spent a day in Bremerton, looking at the potential for better biking and walking routes.  He came away impressed by Bremerton's "bones", the city's layout.  He listed a variety of solutions for reducing the impact of cars and improving opportunities for biking and walking.  A link to his TED talk on livable communities  is here.    

Kitsap Public Work hosted a public meeting last week to discuss the possible future paved trail between Kitsap Lake and Jarstad Park in Gorst.  This is a cooperative effort between Kitsap County, City of Bremerton and Ueland Tree Farm.  Its a 3 mile, beautiful wooded corridor on flat (by Kitsap standards) terrain.  A feasibility study is currently under way to determine cost.  There are plenty of hoops to jump,  but everyone at the meeting was enthusiastically in favor of the trail. 

Next week will be the kickoff meeting for the Silverdale Transportation Implementation Strategy.  There are no details yet, so stay tuned.

CK School District has expressed interest and  offered  funding sources to build walking/ biking routes from the CKSD campus, to the YMCA and community center and  to the new library location.  Also from the library to Ridgetop Jr High.  These routes would probably intersect the Clear Creek Trail.  More details as plans firm up.

Last, WSCC is asking for cyclists and walkers to come to the Bremerton School District meeting on Feb 2.  A corridor through School District property is being discussed and public input is really important.  

Date: Thursday, Feb 2

Time: Show up at 4:45pm. You can then leave by 5:45pm.

Address: 134 Marion Ave N, Bremerton. (Kitsap Way, go south on Adele, Right on Marion)

On the mountain bike side of things:

Some really great news regarding the County's purchase of a lot of additional acreage on the Port Gamble lands!  Read all about it in the Seattle Times article here!

We've made some great strides and EMBA, Forterra, and North Kitsap Trails Association are keeping their eyes on the prize - but it's still a ways off.  To that end, a new video has been produced to raise awareness to the project and what exactly is at stake.   Give a watch below:

Beyond that, trail work at Green Mountain has kicked into high gear with Silverdale Cyclery, KAOS, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and the Evergreen Turtle Rockets doing some great work on the Tin Mine Trail to improve drainage and make sections more passable for bikes, pedestrians, and equestrians!  A total of 24 people showed up between two work parties and logged over 130 hours of volunteer time!  

This past Saturday, several EMBA members received their chainsaw certifications and are now authorized to utilize the saws on county property.  This small step makes things a lot easier when it comes to general maintenance and grooming - and allows us stay ahead of the curve with downed trees following wind storms!  

There are plenty of upcoming work parties that you can participate in if you're looking to get your hands dirty!  Just stayed tuned to our Facebook page or check the KAOS Calendar for dates and locations!

January Advocacy Updates - Road and Mountain

Plenty of things bubbling away right now.  Here's a short list of projects in the works.

After an inadequate, localized study of transportation problems in Gorst, the issue has become part up of a comprehensive study of Hwy 3, between Bremerton and Gig Harbor.  WSDOT has to exhaust all possible inexpensive options for fixing Gorst before a major overhaul can be considered.  Anyone who has ridden a bike around Gorst knows that conditions are less than ideal (understatement).   A fix will certainly be a major project and won't be cheap.   Stay tuned for updates of what's being considered.  

On January 17, Kitsap Public Works will host a forum for public input about a 3.5 mile trail concept between Kitsap Lake and Jarstad Park in Gorst.  This would be a wide, paved, multi use trail through the woods, open to all non motorized users.  The meeting will probably take place at the dance hall on W. Belfair Hwy, but check in advance to be sure.  This is a chance to discuss and give support for a great resource in CK.

In late January the WSCC Advocacy group will present the results of a study of bike routes to City of Bremerton.  The study picks the most usable bike routes in the city, and proposes inexpensive improvements to make conditions safer.  Most suggested fixes involve paint and signs.  Reception from Bremerton has been enthusiastic so far.

A Kitsap County hosted study continues for a Sound to Olympics paved trail in Port Gamble.  Expect a forum for public input in the next few months.  

Kitsap Bikes Everywhere is planning a big splash for Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day and Bike Everywhere Month in May.  This will be  a great way to create some enthusiasm around leaving the car in the garage for a while.  We will post details as soon as they are available.

On the mountain bike side…there is still a DIRE NEED for support of the Port Gamble trails.  As of 31 December, the donation match campaign has ended - but there’s still a long way to go!

Pulled from Forterra’s Port Gamble campaign page:

“The 3,000 acre Port Gamble Forest, only a nine minute-bike ride from the Kingston ferry, is a community treasure and cultural resource for the entire Puget Sound region. The Port Gamble Forest’s enormous size and proximity to surrounding metropolitan areas makes it an ideal year-round recreation destination.

  • Currently hosting over 60 miles of public use trails, the Forest is a place where over 20,000 hikers, bird watchers, mountain bikers, equestrians, cyclists and runners all recreate.
  • A 200-acre mountain bike park with riding loops and skill obstacles will provide opportunities for families to enjoy healthy outdoor recreation together.
  • The Sound to Olympics Trail, a shared-use trail that crosses Kitsap County and connects to the Olympic Discovery Trail and Cross State Trail, will run through the property, accommodating cyclists, runners, equestrians and people of all ages and abilities.”

If that sounds like a place you’d like to hang out and take a ride - think about making a donation in support of keeping the area open and clear of development!

Also on the mountain bike side - volunteer hours are needed for projects on Green Mountain!  There will be a series of regular work parties to be hosted all throughout the Green Mountain Forest in the next several weeks…grab a shovel and come on out!  Trails are more fun to ride when you’ve worked on improving them!  Check out the KAOS page, our shop Facebook page, and Evergreen West Sound’s page for dates and opportunities to participate!

 

 

 

Green Mountain DNR NOVA Grant Support Needed ASAP!!

Hello fellow cyclists and trail users!!!

Our local DNR has submitted for a handful of grants going forward into the next year.  DNR needs your help, and this is your chance to have your voice be heard and ensure DNR's funding for maintenance and operations on Green Mountain continues without interruption!

Here are the proposals:

16-2433:  Tahuya/Green Mountain Trail and Facility Maintenance and Operations (This project will maintain 185 miles of trail along with maintaining the facilities and campgrounds.  THIS IS OUR LOCAL DNR'S MAIN OPERATING BUDGET!)

16-2472:  Tahuya 4x4 Trail Maintenance and Operations (This project will maintain 15 miles of 4x4 trail along with associated trailheads.  This project will also fund a position for an additional Equipment Operator)

16-2474:  Hood Canal District Non-Highway Road Maintenance and Operations (This project will maintain facilities and campgrounds in the West Block of Tahuya, Green Mountain Vista, and two campgrounds in the Hood Canal State Forest.  This project will fund a position for an additional crew member)

16-2473:  Tahuya/Green Mountain Education and Enforcement (This project will provide Education and Enforcement duties for all the Tahuya and Green Mountain State Forests.  This includes supporting events, trail inventory, and sign implementation.  This project funds on Trail Steward.)

16-2475:  Green Mountain State Forest Non-Motorized Trail Development (This project will add and additional 4 miles of non-motorized trail on Green Mountain and provide much needed improvement on existing trails.)

Obviously, as avid trail users, we are in extreme support of Proposal 16-2475.  That said, the shop sees no reason not to support ALL grants proposed by our local DNR manager, as all the money goes to local operations.  Even the monies used to maintain ORV trails in Tahuya work well for cyclist and hikers, as viable trails help alleviate traffic on heavy usage trails (such as Wildcat) at Green Mountain.

Get your letter writing gear together and write a letter of support for these grants!!!  You can submit them to us here at the shop at info@silverdalecyclery.bike (where we'll compile them all and submit directly to our local DNR reps), or skip the middle man and send them to the DNR Recreation and Conservation Office at info@rco.wa.gov.  Please CC Jesse Sims (our local DNR manager) at jesse.sims@dnr.wa.gov.  If snail mail is more your style, forward correspondence to Recreation and Conservation Office, P.O. Box 40917, Olympia, WA  98504-0917.   

December Advocacy Update

Winter is advocacy season.  We can't ride as much in dark, wet, cold weather, but this is an ideal time to do our homework for safer cycling in Kitsap.  There are several really interesting projects going on right now.  

First, the advocacy wing of WSCC is meeting with City of Bremerton Public Works in January.  They will present a plan for low cost, safer biking conditions within city limits.  Twenty roads have been identified as the safest routes, and WSCC will ask the city to provide painted bike shoulders and painted sharrows ( shared lane markings) on these roads.  So far, Bremerton has been very receptive and it looks like we may see fresh paint on the road soon.

Second, the gate between Shorewood Drive and the Puget Sound Naval Complex, which has been locked most of this year, is about to be unlocked!  This is a beautiful, low traffic alternative for biking between Bremerton and Silverdale, avoiding much of Kitsap Way.  There were reasons for the closure, involving change of command, construction, etc.  Congrats to Mayor Lent for negotiating its reopening.

Third, Kitsap County is currently selecting a firm to conduct a traffic circulation study of Silverdale.  Aside from giving the county data about where to focus road improvement, the study will also be the first step in providing a safe cycling route through Silverdale.  Stay tuned for details.

Fourth, the County just announced that the first phase of Silverdale Way road improvement will start construction in June of 2017.   This project is the first of a three phase plan to provide bike lanes and sidewalks along Silverdale Way, from Bucklin Hill Road to the roundabout at Newberry.  

Fifth, WSCC will partner with the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce to run a 25-30 mile ride around Dyes Inlet on June 25, as part of the Water Trails Festival.   This will be a family-oriented ride to build support for a safe route around the inlet.  Dyes Inlet has amazing scenery and low elevation.  If the idea is adopted by Bremerton and Kitsap County, this route would be a huge attraction for cyclists from all around.  

Last, a proposed multi use trail between Kitsap Lake and Gorst is in the final phases of a feasibility study.  Imagine riding, walking or running to the old Belfair Hwy without having to run the gauntlet of heavy traffic through Bremerton and Gorst.  This would be a 10-12 foot wide paved trail, about 2 1/2  miles long,   Many details need to be worked out, and funding is not secured, so it is still theoretical at this point.  Be on the lookout for a public meeting scheduled in early 2017, where you can add your voice in support to make this a reality.

November Advocacy Update

There are lots of positive changes coming for biking in Kitsap.  There is a nation-wide trend toward making cities better for non motorized transportation.  Biking/walking trails improve safety, health and even property value.  Its hard to argue against them.  Kitsap is late in the game, but we're getting there.  Kitsap’s non motorized plan can be found here.

West Sound Cycling Club has established an Active Transportation committee.  They are working with City of Bremerton to do a wide range of improvements over the next year.   Stay tuned for details, or contact WSCC.

Kitsap County is looking at how to create a new community campus in the heart of Silverdale.  There is serious discussion about building multi modal trails connecting the high school to the YMCA/ campus then to the new library.  Safe riding and walking in Silverdale!

The county is also planning to start the first phase of improving the south part Silverdale Way with sidewalks and a bike lane some time next year.  Look for work to start in 2017.

Kingston, like Silverdale is also in unincorporated Kitsap.  Kingston has a Complete Streets Plan with a new car route to the ferry, bike lanes and wide sidewalks.   There are also bike shoulder improvements coming on Miller Bay road.

Highway 305 between Poulsbo and Bainbridge has a $38 million budget for improvements.  Take the survey and let them know your opinion about safer bike conditions.

Washington DOT is looking at how to improve traffic in Gorst!  They are conducting a study now.  A safer non motorized route is high on their agenda.  Stay tuned for more details.

Kitsap Forest and Bay Project is trying to buy 3000 acres in Port Gamble to preserve it for biking and walking. 

This is a partnership between Forterra, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance , North Kitsap Trails Assn, Kitsap Audubon and Great Peninsula Conservancy.  They’re soooo close to raising the $3.5 million that Pope Resources is asking.