By Fran Korten

At the Feb. 22nd City Council meeting, three parents spoke to the Council on the need for safe bikeways so their children—and all our Island’s children—can bike to school and other activities. They noted this is a passionate desire among nearly all the parents they talk with.

Chloe Fredrickson wants safe pathways to ride her bike. Photo credit: Heather Fredrickson.

But the speaker who captured the hearts of the Council (as evidenced from their smiling faces) was 7-year-old Chloe Frederickson, who said simply “I’d like safe bike paths so I can ride my bike to school and to see my friends.”

The Feb. 22 Council meeting did not discuss the Sustainable Transportation Plan. The March 8 meeting will likely discuss the Plan, though that is yet to be confirmed. If you want to keep up on when the Plan will be discussed and other news, sign up for Bainbridge GreenWays News. We’ll let you know. And consider making a comment at the Council meeting.

The comment period for any business meeting is open for any topic. That enabled six Bainbridge GreenWays members to tell the Council on Feb. 22 of their hopes for the Council’s action in the coming weeks. Susan Loftus, Fran Korten, Kate March, Kaylie Treskin, Heather Fredrickson, and Laura Marshall each spoke of the need for high quality, safe pathways so people of all ages can choose to walk and bike for many of their trips. Speakers also stressed the importance of planning off-road pathways, which are not yet part of the City’s plans.

The speakers backed the City’s Scenario #2, “Connected Neighborhoods.” This option focuses on building high quality, safe pathways for people to bike from Lynwood Center, Rolling Bay, and Island Center into town and back. The City presented this option at the Council’s Feb. 14 study session. At that time, five of the seven council members expressed explicit support for Scenario #2. No one opposed it. So, it looks likely that the Council will endorse that option.

The speakers also urged the Council to create a Sustainable Transportation Commission to continue citizen input during the Plan’s implementation phase. And finally, speakers asked the Council to ensure that the Sound to Olympics Trail is included in all relevant City documents, including the Comprehensive Plan. Such documentation is essential for accessing federal and state grant funds, which are critical to completing the STO.