Ericksen-Hildebrand’s unofficial connection is re-opening

After over a year of closure, the link many motorists formerly used to travel from Hildebrand Lane to Ericksen Avenue will reopen later this month.

Eric Fredricks, one of the new owners of the parking lot that doubles as an unofficial through-way between the two streets, confirmed today that he plans to cut the chain on Oct. 22.

“I want to bring that chain down because everyone I talked to in the neighborhood said it isn’t fair that you can’t drive through there,” he said.

Fredricks consulted with Ericksen resident Debbi Lester, who’s led the Ericksen Neighbors group’s efforts to preserve a green space in a right-of-way that could one day become a direct link between Ericksen and Hildebrand. He credits Lester with helping him come up with some additions aimed at slowing through-traffic.

Large speed ramps, stop signs and crosswalks are in the works for the parking lot, Fredricks said.

He’ll cut the chain during an Oct. 22 Oktoberfest celebration planned at the Ericksen-Hildebrand green space.

I’ll have the full story to you soon.

11 thoughts on “Ericksen-Hildebrand’s unofficial connection is re-opening

  1. Here’s an idea… Open the connection between Hildebrand and Ericksen to form a safe and legal street and move the park to the parking lot.

  2. Hildebrand and Erickson should have been joined years ago, and the police needs to enforce the speed limit in this area, right now there is no posted speed on Hildebrand, and people drive through this little corridor likes it’s a highway.

  3. I will sleep better in knowing that Mr. Fredricks felt the need to have anything he does “blessed” by Debbie Lester. Did he also seek the blessing of her mother-in-law- Debbie Vancil? Guess what? Stop signs and any other traffic control device installed on private property cannot be enforced by the cops. If Mr. Fredricks is looking at the police to hold people accountable for disobeying private signage on private property, he will be sorely disappointed. I agree with Ed.

  4. Curt,
    The police cannot enforce any speed limit on private property, such as Hildebrand Lane. Probably why there are no speed limit signs there.

  5. This issue is a perfect example of self-interested duplicity that pervades Island politics. Debbie Lester has long been an outspoken critic of connecting Ericksen and Hildebrand, to the point of inventing a “park” in the intervening space and moving (without any permits) a tumble-down gazebo in the way of a future connection.

    By way of “compromise” she endorses the parking lot connection, which is completely unworkable, unsafe, and will never serve the true traffic needs of the area. This is a false solution.

    Lester supports policies that will increase traffic in other neighborhoods (such as increasing zoning density in the Ferncliff). But she sings a different tune for her own backyard. What makes her neighborhood more deserving of protection from increased traffic than other neighborhoods?

  6. My husband and I frequent Kitsap Physical Therapy weekly for rehab and exercise services. Parking in the lot this past year has been total BLISS. Previously, it was ridiculously unsafe and stressful. Nobody should have to take their lives into their hands just to park the car for a medical appointment. Many of the drivers who cut through this lot just didn’t think about the people using it — seniors, handicapped adults and children and others who are injured in some way. I would think that the surrounding neighbors have also enjoyed the decrease in traffic, aggressive driving and noise level.

  7. Hunter- The chances of Ms. Lester being votyed onto the Council are shrinking as people understand her double talk. What is good for her is not what is good for others as you illustrated. The next Council should again be challenged by the opening in a proper and City way and be policed as the road should be for safety. We as citizens should and will ask the Council to do what is right and forget about the Lester happening.

    I do take issue with your throwing rocks at Ms. Vancil as part of your comment re: Lester. Why drag a person into the discussion that has zero to do with the issue you stated other than you don’t like her also. Try to be rational and logical and we might all have a desire to read and understand your thoughts. Is that possible?

  8. “He credits Lester with helping him come up with some additions aimed at slowing through-traffic.”

    Can I barf now!

  9. Claude,
    I mentioned the mother-in-law for a couple of reasons. 1) Look at her past comments and votes reference the Hildebrand/Ericksen issue. 2) The potential of having two family members being on the council is troubling to me. Not only for the obvious conflicts and neopotism but for the potential of two family members forming a voting alliance that may or may not be in tune with what the voters want.

    For me it is not a matter of liking someone on a personal level or not. I have met and spoken to both Lester and Vancil and they both appear to me to be nice folks. I do take issue with Vancil’s voting record and public comments when it comes to non-essential spending, especially during this low economic times. Her daughter-in-law, Lester, also seems to be a nice person. Besides my fears noted above, I believe that Lester will forge ahead with the non-essential spending that we cannot now afford.

    You make good points about the traffic situation involved, I believe that the city would have to have the private way adopted over to them. In other words, to have the police enforce non-criminal traffic laws on Hildeband, the street has to be made a publically owned & maintained street. I am not sure the city would welcome an additional street to maintain in these economic times. If it is something the citizens and current private property owners want, perhaps it can be done.

  10. original development agreements? with the property guaranteed open access. thanks to Debbie Lester for sticking with this to get islanders’ short cut back. wasting gas to ‘go around’ from KCU bank to the vet office helps no one.

  11. So Alice, should we connect Ericksen & Hildebrand? Isn’t it well within the city’s legal authority to make the street connection? Do you think turning a parking lot back into a freeway is a good idea? Are you going to assist Lester in taking donations for the eventual injuries & following law suits that the freeway parking lot will cause? Can you tell me the name of anyone of the involved parties that is or has threatened to file a civil law suit for violating a “development agreement”? When people get hurt and the law suit bills start adding up, then I will finally be with you in saying, “thanks to Debbie Lester”.

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