Through the combined efforts of the Chamber, City staff, Council, and local business owners, a new crosswalk has been added to Winslow Way to make a safer place for pedestrians, a better connection between the north and south sides of the street.
As business hit new post-pandemic highs in the summer of 2022, owners on Winslow Way between the highway and Ericksen Avenue reported a significant upswing in customers crossing the street without paying enough attention to traffic in both directions. They requested that the Chamber look into the possibility of adding a crosswalk or other solution in the area to avert a potential disaster.
After extensive research, the Chamber made a presentation to City Manager Blair King and Public Works Director Chris Wierzbicki detailing our findings, which included that:
- Though there are 14 Winslow Way crosswalks between Winslow Green and Ferncliff Avenue, there was a significant 800ft gap between Ericksen and Highway 305.
- The same area has seen significant growth over the past decade with the addition of the Island Gateway project (BIMA, KiDiMu, Alehouse, Fletcher Bay Winery, Agate), The Ravine (Apothecary & Tea Shop, Taco Barn, Bainbridge Escape, Hot Hot Yoga) and The Winslow (Eagle Harbor Wine, Renew Spa, Wilder Grace, Furnish Bainbridge) to the north side of Winslow Way.
- The 2022 opening of Hyla High School on Ericksen, with some students parking in the ferry district, has added more young pedestrians to the mix on weekdays.
- With the addition of Waypoint Park as a welcoming space for visitors, pedestrian flow has been directed away from the existing crosswalks and towards the space with no crosswalks.
- Many of those visiting the island for the first time are not aware how much traffic comes off 305 from behind them as they walk west on Winslow Way.
- During the course of a single hour on a Summer Saturday, Chamber staff watched no less than 50 people cross dangerously, between parked cars in the vicinity of the Winslow Ravine.
To address the problem, the Chamber gathered formal support from it’s members, and proposed 3 potential locations for a new crosswalks, including site photos and aerial overviews.
Over the course of the next year, Chamber staff worked with the City to finalize a location, develop a plan, and gain Council approval (which granted funding for the project at the October 10, 2023 meeting).
Following that approval, Public Works quickly got moving on the crosswalk project, and it is now complete, and officially open to all.
“The City is glad to be able to accommodate requests like the ravine crosswalk that will help people make safe crossings in Winslow, and also provide more flexibility for residents and visitors getting around town.”
Chris Wierzbicki, COBI Public Works Director
On behalf of its members, the Chamber has been delighted to work with City Manager Blair King and City Staff over the past few months to create this additional way to cross the road in the middle of what was previously the longest stretch of Winslow without a crosswalk.
The project improves pedestrian access to the businesses at the Ravine and Island Gateway, flow on Winslow Way, and calms traffic coming off 305, creating more gaps for vehicles turning left from Ericksen Avenue onto Winslow Way.
That it also provides a great walking connection from the Chamber offices to The Alehouse is obviously coincidental…
Chamber Members: Have an issue that you need support to address, or a community problem you see that needs a solution? Contact the Chamber – we are here to help!