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!