Bainbridge Island receives $1.7M to Further Plan the Ambitious Sound to Olympics Trail

PS2P ImageThe City of Bainbridge Island will receive $1.7million in federal funding to plan the Sound to Olympics Trail from Winslow to the Agate Passage Bridge.

The award is part of a larger, $16.13 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The grant will plan and design 100 miles of new multi-use trails in the Puget Sound to Pacific (PS2P) corridor, from Bainbridge Island to LaPush on the Pacific Ocean.

The RAISE grant was awarded to the City of Port Angeles. Co-applicants included the City of Bainbridge Island; the Washington State Department of Transportation; the Quileute and Suquamish tribes; Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties; the cities of Forks, Port Townsend, Poulsbo, and Sequim; and the Port of Port Townsend.

The grant application was coordinated by the Puget Sound to Pacific Collaborative, an initiative
of the
Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation, the North Kitsap Trails Association and the
Peninsula Trails Coalition

“This is a landmark moment for trails planning on Bainbridge Island,” said Mary Meier, Parks & Trails Foundation executive director. “The STO will bring so much to our community – a trail greenway from Winslow to the bridge, a safe alternative to highway travel, a spine for new trails out to island neighborhoods. We couldn’t be more thrilled by this grant award.”

“This grant will help us design the Sound to Olympics trail segment on Bainbridge Island, a significant piece of transportation infrastructure,” added Blair King, Bainbridge Island City Manager. “This is an example of multi-agency cooperation that we are proud to be a part of. This is a meaningful step towards sustainable transportation for islanders and visitors alike.”

Sound to Olympics Trail source BI Parks FoundationThe grant was announced by the office of U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer. “This is a big deal,” Rep. Kilmer said. “This investment in the Puget Sound to Pacific trail will help connect workers to jobs, local residents to essential services, and folks looking for recreation to some of our region’s natural treasures. Having the federal government provide this grant funding means we will see improved trail connectivity and better safety without the cost being borne entirely by taxpayers in our neck of the woods. That’s a huge win for our region.”

Meanwhile, the RAISE grant funds planning for 34 distinct projects region wide, filling gaps between existing trails, building new community connections and making safety improvements within the 200- mile Puget Sound to Pacific trail route.

Projects on Bainbridge Island include crossing improvements at High School Road, and trail segments from Sakai Park to Madison Avenue; Madison Avenue to Sportsman Club Road; Sportsman to Koura Road; and from Koura Road to the Agate Pass Bridge. Approximately 2 miles of the route are funded to 100 percent design under the RAISE grant, and 4.5 miles funded to 30 percent design.Sakai Park sign - Kevin Dwyer

The RAISE grant does not fund trail construction. New multi-use trails and improvements will be planned by local governments, and construction funding will be sought through future grants or other sources.

An STO route study is already underway by the City of Bainbridge Island, and is being supported by funding from the Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation.

The PS2P is composed of planned and existing sections of the Olympic Discovery Trail and the Sound to Olympic Trail, plus network connectivity to residential areas and transit. PS2P will be the spine of an “active transportation” corridor and greenway that shifts short commutes away from automobiles to human-scaled and people-powered travel modes like walking and bicycling, said Meier. It aligns with transportation and climate goals and policies at every level of state and local government.

PS2P Puget Sound to Pacific partner logosAdded Andy Maron, president of the Parks & Trails Foundation Board: “First, t
his grant application effort was funded (to the tune of approximately $150,000) and propelled by three non profits — Bainbridge Island Parks & Trails Foundation, North Kitsap Trails Association, and Peninsula Trails Coalition.  Without those organizations, this would not have happened.  That is not because the local governments aren’t in favor of the trail, because they are.  But, they are pressed with their usual obligations and funding constraints.

Second, the effort brought together, for the first time in anyone’s recollection, all the counties, cities, and tribes between Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean.  It is great to see everyone working together. When completed, the trail will be a huge attribute for the Olympic Peninsula — local citizens and visitors alike. I think it will have a significant economic impact.”

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