If you’ve been on our Island for a few years or more and make a habit of walking any of our larger roads, you might start to recognize a seasonal pattern that goes something like this: Our annual-ish winter snowfall begets the snowplows, and the snowplows beget pieces of road reflectors littering the side of the road. It’s not a great idea to have these hunks of plastic and adhesive tar littering our roadsides. It’s even worse when they get smashed or run over, creating plastic fragments that are small enough that they can move into our stormwater system and eventually to our streams and to Puget Sound.
This author has spent the past several late winters/early springs collecting these broken reflectors and alternating between throwing them out and writing nasty-grams on See Click Fix ☺. But there is good news, fellow Islanders! We are finally on our way out of this annual cycle! The City’s public works department recognizes this is a problem. They are transitioning to recessed or other types of safety reflectors that aren’t as likely to get sheared off by plows. We applaud the City for finding a solution that keeps both our roads and our waterways safe.
In the meantime- we still have hundreds of pieces of reflectors that are scattered over many of our secondary roads. If you are a dog or self-walker, the City would love your help in picking up and disposing of these reflectors or their fragments. Because they are typically in poor shape once they’ve been scraped off the road, and because the City is no longer using these types of reflectors, they don’t want them back. You can put them in the trash, or perhaps you can think of some creative up-cycling project using them – let us know if you do! And in either case, we thank you for helping keep our Island and its surrounding waters free of debris!
-Deb Rudnick, Chair, Bainbridge Island Watershed Council