This plan was conceived by a Bainbridge Island commuter while sitting in traffic on 305. The goal of this plan is to address the growing traffic issues in North Kitsap County, specifically the fifteen miles of the Highway 305 corridor between the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal and State Route 3.
But while we are dealing with the congestion on 305, we should also be looking for solutions that can scale across the other corridors, before they too fill up with traffic, causing issues for decades before being addressed.
The public meetings for the SR305 Corridor Improvement project reaffirmed much of what has been known for the last decade. Highway 305 is congested, filled with single occupancy vehicles, most of which are not traveling to or from the ferry, and that the citizens of Bainbridge Island do not see a wider highway with four or more lanes of traffic as the solution.
Rather than looking to a solution that brings more cars to the highway, we need a solution that provides a viable, usable public transit system. Given the majority of Highway 305 is not to and from the ferry, we need a solution that serves both commuters traveling within Kitsap County as well as those hopping the ferry to King County and beyond.
Add to this a need for a solution that fits the rural nature of Kitsap County, and one solution stands out above all options, a network of streetcars.The Solution
A network of streetcars can serve the whole SR305 corridor, serving both ferry commuters and intra-Kitsap commuters. This solution need not be built all at once, but instead in four phases, starting with the “Green Line” running down the center of 305 from the Bainbridge Ferry Terminal all the way to College Park.
While we’re talking rail-based transit, why not connect Kitsap County to the growing Sound Transit network of light rail, connecting the whole Seattle Metropolitan Area, from Everett to Tacoma and Bremerton to Redmond.