The in basket: Ed Stern of Poulsbo writes, “For years now the signs off of Highway 3 and onto Highway 305 intersection area read “Seattle Ferries 11 miles/Bainbridge Island 11 miles”.
“The Island incorporated into a city 20 years ago! That means the city of Bainbridge Island (as does the geographic island in any event!) begins on the other side of the Agate Passage Bridge, not what was known as the city of Winslow. That means the sign should read “Bainbridge Island 5 miles (or so) / Seattle Ferries 11 miles”.
“This has bugged me for years,” he said.
The out basket: The distance to any city on those state signs is never to the edge of the city. The distance is to what is considered the city center, and all these years the state has deemed that still to be in Winslow, even though its on the far end of the city in this case, rather than somewhere in the middle as in most cities.
Steve Bennett, traffic engineer for the Olympic Region of state highways, says, “The purpose of highway signing to cities is to inform motorists where they would be able to obtain services. In this case, it would be misleading to inform the unfamiliar motorist the city is only five miles away, only for them to arrive at that point and find no available services.”
While I was researching the question, I asked something I’ve wondered about for some time. Does Winslow exist as a legal entity of any kind now that it is just part of a larger city?
Kate Brown, senior executive secretary for Bainbridge, says it’s sometimes referred to informally, though downtown area or downtown district is as likely to be used. There no longer is any official place called Winslow on the island.