Starting a Petition for a Bridge from Bremerton to Bainbridge

Ferry docked in Bremerton (Larry Steagall | Kitsap Sun)
Ferry docked in Bremerton (Larry Steagall | Kitsap Sun)

With all this talk of Bremerton runs possibly on the chopping block, maybe it’s time to re-ignite debate about other options:

Ferries were only supposed to be a temporary fix when they were introduced in 1951, as officials started pushing for a bridge from Kitsap to the East side. In 1959, a plan that would have added a couple of bridges from South Kitsap at Fragaria over Vashon to someplace by Burien failed by one vote. It kept coming up year after year, especially when the state proposed a new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Well, maybe that plan is out now.

How about this one:

Through the years, letter-writers and even a former county commissioner have advocated a bridge from East Bremerton to South Bainbridge Island. Stan Stageberg of Poulsbo was a huge promoter of such a thing (to get traffic off of 305).

The time may be finally be ripe for some enterprising, Seattle-loving group to start a petition for it. Throw in a commuter rail, and the overall commute would be reduced by 10 minutes.

Ferry-lovers shouldn’t fret. This plan never had any political will, and never will. But here’s my semi-devious contention: if Islanders thought there was any true chance that Bremertonians could swarm Bainbridge via a 15-minute drive, just imagine the strings all those lawyers and rich property owners could pull to restore Bremerton ferry service (and thereby keep we Bremertonians off their Island).

10 thoughts on “Starting a Petition for a Bridge from Bremerton to Bainbridge

  1. Won’t ever happen, It’s way to logical and pro-Bremerton. Rich Bainbrige waterfront property owners would keep trying to sue it into oblivian like Bremerton’s fast foot ferries.

  2. “The time may be finally be ripe for some enterprising, Seattle-loving group to start a petition for it. Throw in a commuter rail, and the overall commute would be reduced by 10 minutes.”

    Am I missing something here? All the studies, planning, budgeting, additional budgeting for additional studies, construction, additional budgeting for cost overruns: all this to save 10 minutes of commute time?

    I have used the word asinine in the past, but never again. Nothing else could ever be worthy of the term in comparison.

  3. I am against any such waste of time and effort. No island should be subjected to a mass influx of cars to end up…where exactly?

    A bridge to Seattle sounds as likely as building a house without a foundation. Not going to happen.

    What is wrong with fast passenger ferries? Let’s get more cars off our roads and use our natural waterways for transportation… and connect our towns to each other and the cities, including Tacoma and Gig Harbor.
    Sharon O’Hara

  4. I’ve mentioned before a possible first step with a Cable Ferry only large enough for a 8-10 cars and 30-40 people between Illahee and Bainbridge Island. It has a very minimal impact on traffic but with a couple of bus routes dropping off on each side, it would make a large impact on congestion on SR 305.

    Let me know if you want any more information on it.

  5. Why not fix the local transit system? Kitsap County has a commuter transit system. If you live in rural or even urban areas of Kitsap County the possibility of catching a bus or van to go shopping are minimal. Create a County wide public transportation system with vans, buses & park & rides. Why spend millions for foot ferries (POF) and large amounts of dollars subsidizing a system that the State and private companies could not keep going? It makes no sense. Even if you did the connection of local towns, the poor bus/van service would again limit who could use the POF. The Empire of Kitsap Transit is wrong on concentrating so much money and effort on POF and ignoring the rest of the public to cater to a few hundred regular POF users. It would rather cut its limited service than cut the concept of a passenger only ferry system run by the Empire of Kitsap Transit. Do not bring back the Mosquito Fleet on the backs of Kitsap taxpayers. As for a cable ferry, what is the per passenger cost? Will it be self supporting or even close? I will pay taxes for public transit for everyone, but not to subsidize $20, $30 or more tickets for POF or cable ferries. My pocket is only so big and the State, County, and Empire of Kitsap Transit are not exactly known for their ability to manage money, planning, and vision for the taxpayers.
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

  6. If people want bus service, don’t move to a rural area.

    “Create a County wide public transportation system with vans, buses & park & rides”

    …is a great idea if the county can afford to serve rural, sparsely populated areas.
    We certainly…any area …needs good public transportation. I’ve wondered why we couldn’t use the rr…the track is already here.

    The fast passenger ferries between our towns and cities seem a practical way for easy transporation and to save our environment. But in order to make it work we’d have to have great transit service and the park n rides.

    Why not a combination public and private funding for them or waste time wishing for bridges…but none to BI. They’ve got their hands full as it is, why dump more on them?

    We need to open our area to businesses and new people. and the FPF would do it.
    We can grow responsibly and sensibly, keeping our environment in mind…in my opinion.
    Sharon O’Hara

  7. “Cable Ferry only large enough for a 8-10 cars and 30-40 people between Illahee and Bainbridge Island. It has a very minimal impact on traffic but with a couple of bus routes dropping off on each side, it would make a large impact on congestion on SR 305.”

    I like the cable ferry idea but adding traffic to Illahee and BI doesn’t seem a good idea…how would it work without a detrimental affect on either… but especially fragile Illahee?
    Sharon O’Hara

  8. By only have a few car slots but many passenger slots, it in fact becomes more of a transit connection. Busses drop off on one side and pick up on the other. You’ll need a waiting lane on the shoulder, but if done correctly the impact to Illahee would be limited.

    The Cable ferry near Ticonderoga, NY winds up with a general store on each side (with a list of answers to FAQs on the counter) and a toll both. We’d want a bus pick-up and drop-off and permitting would be “interesting”, but since it would run on land electricity and not affect Navy Navigation, I think it could work.

    Also, the money for ferry wake testing and the boat is coming from Federal Grants. The reason why Kitsap Transit needs to make service cuts is because of lower collection of Sales taxes due to Lower Sales in Kitsap County, which will continuously lead to the same problem every recession. Just when we need more transit, it gets less money.

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