Comp Plan Comment to BOCC: Non-Motorized Transportation

Good evening Commissioners,

I would like to focus your attention on the detailed and thorough submission by Paul Dutky of the West Sound Cycling Club (pages 199 through 311 of the Comprehensive plan comments). These are in regard to the County’s non-motorized transportation plan and how the needs for bike facilities has been inadequate all over North, Central and South Kitsap.   This document includes many photographs of roads showing actual shoulder widths demonstrating most roads in Kitsap County lack the minimum standards for bicyclists to safely travel between communities, commute to work, or to access services.  Often, they have no shoulder on one side and an inadequate shoulder on the other side for riders.  And where there are sidewalks running parallel to the roadway, they are not wide enough to meet the shared path standards of being 10 feet wide.

As we encourage people to live in urban growth areas within close proximity to locations they need to go to on foot, bicycle, wheelchair or with strollers they need the infrastructure to do this safely.

There have been several cycles of widening improvements being part of the past road plans only to have those dropped leaving the needs unmet.

Meanwhile, there has been way too much effort and expense applied towards the feasibility study for the NSTO which would provide only 8 miles of paved path going from Kingston, through and degrading the North Kitsap Heritage Park to get only as far as the Port Gamble area at an estimated cost of 89.4 million dollars.

This study has been a distraction from developing a connected, comprehensive non-motorized transportation system for the County’s residents to use in day-to-day travel and not solely for recreation.

We have limited funds, and if we want to move forward with the goals set forth in the non-motorized plans we need to look clearly and systematically at developing a useable non-motorized transportation system. We need to use re-paving opportunities to build useable shoulders. We need a system that meets County resident needs and is not skewed by the ideas of a corporation and special interest groups.

Please refocus the goals for county employees in Public Works to meet the non-motorized needs of all of Kitsap County.

Doug, Kitsap County