City Eying One-Way Streets to Solve Vexing Traffic Flow Problems

Solving Bainbridge’s traffic flow challenges has become a bit of a thorny issue over the past decade, as the island’s population has crept up and commuters and locals find themselves competing for use of the city’s main arterials to drive to the ferry, and work and shop in Downtown Winslow.Grow Avenue

Most residents would agree that Madison Avenue (north and south) and Winslow Way take the brunt of the island’s daytime traffic. But as south and west sides of the island have grown, more cars, buses and bikes are being siphoned onto Wyatt Way and Grow Avenue. Because of its location across from Bainbridge High School – and busy High School Road (our main east-west arterial) – Grow has become an alternative north-south route into downtown.

Upper Grow, between Wyatt and High School, has no sidewalks, and if you are a pedestrian on this stretch of road you practically take your life in your hands walking on the curbside – with no sidewalks or shoulders to speak of – as cars and trucks peel up the avenue, typically well above the listed speed limit. It’s especially dangerous during our classic dark ages (November through March).

The city is now angling for a solution that would perhaps make Grow safer for walkers and bikers and possibly ease the traffic strain.

At 5 p.m. tomorrow afternoon (May 4, 2022), the Public Works Department will host a virtual open house to receive the public’s feedback on traffic calming improvements for Grow and Lovell Avenues.

As outlined in the City’s Sustainable Transportation Plan, the corridor is to be evaluated for a possible one-way couplet (northbound on Grow, southbound on Lovell) that would free up one 10’-wide lane for dedicated pedestrian and bicycle access. The proposal also calls for traffic calming measures such as speed humps and signage. A link to join the virtual meeting can be found on the City’s website:

According to a city press release, the project team will present data and preliminary designs, and will listen carefully to the public’s reaction to the proposal, and other alternatives. There will be an option for the public to provide direct feedback on proposals to the project team via a series of Zoom polls. The public feedback, as well as potential project alternatives, is scheduled for a discussion with the City Council at their Regular Business Meeting on May 24, 2022.

The May 24th City Council presentation will also include a discussion of implementing two other top priority traffic calming locations: median islands and crosswalk safety improvements on Miller Road at the Grand Forest, and traffic and crosswalk safety improvements on Point White Drive between Lynwood Center Road and Schel Chelb Park.

If you’d like to learn more about the City’s Sustainable Transportation Plan check out:

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