Tag Archives: Road ends

A path to one of Bainbridge’s great mysteries

I called up city Road Ends Committee chairwoman Bitsy Ostenson last week to chat about the rumor that someone had built a deck and stairwell on the Pleasant Lane road end, a narrow strip of property intended for public beach access.

Turns out the rumor was true. Ostenson isn’t happy about the private use of public land, and is a bit nonplussed about the city’s reticence to do anything about it.

But this is not nearly the only island road end that needs attention, she said.

A big one in her mind is the North Street road end on Agate Point. It’s the only public access point to the beach where a rare rock carving has sat facing Indianola for some 1,500 to 3,000 years.

Known as the Haleelts petroglyph, it confounded Bainbridge’s first white settlers and appears to be a mystery even to local tribes, said Bainbridge historian Jerry Elfendahl.

“Its origins are unknown to the Suquamish or anyone,” Elfendahl wrote in an essay about the petroglyph.

The petroglyph is grown over with barnacles but it’s periodically cleaned up to reveal what looks to be faces and human figures.

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Google map marks Bainbridge water access points

The city Road Ends Committee has developed an interactive online map marking more than 70 public water access points around the island.

Many of the points include a photo, a description and advice on how to find parking and trails.

The committee developed the map using Google Maps. You can find it here.

On a side note, the committee is seeking volunteers to maintain and improve the island’s road ends.

To volunteer as a road end steward, call call Nanci Burkel at (206) 780-0601.

Bainbridge gains a city manager, three new ‘local food’ restaurants and loses one big fish farm

Here’s some reading material to keep you busy as we head into a three day weekend:

-The city has a new manager…at least for now. Here’s my story.

-Did you hear what the Sun said about the city of Bainbridge? I won’t say the Sun called the city “stupid” but it was sure close. Read the Sun’s take on the city’s policy of charging its road ends committee permit fees here.

-Bainbridge’s mywedding.com and Rep. Jay Inslee weighed in on the net neutrality issue.

-The island’s largest farm is leaving. American Gold Seafoods, which operates the salmon net pens near Fort Ward, is packing up and moving across the water to Manchester. Read about the move here.

-Speaking of farms, it looks like local growers are getting a boost from three (yes, three) new Winslow restaurants that specialize in local foods. They are Hitchcock (which we’ve discussed here before), Arbutus (in Mon Elisa’s old spot) and Local Harvest, which is set to open at Penelope’s former location by July. Look for my story in Monday’s paper.

-Also next week, look for my stories about City Hall’s effort to grow food for the grazing masses and the new teen sensation: Parkour.

New poll: What should the city do about stalled road end projects?

The plight of the city Road Ends Committee has stirred up quite a response from readers.

Yesterday’s online story, which describes how a city volunteer group is being asked to pay for permits to clear brush and make basic safety improvements on the city’s public water access points, was our most-read of the day. There were 56 comments at last count, and most were harshly critical of the city.

Head over HERE if you haven’t read the story.

Readers have offered plenty of suggestions about what the city should do, including waiving the permit fees, giving the committee the money it needs to pay the fees and having paid staff do the work.

Some off-island readers even urged the committee’s volunteers to give up on Bainbridge and come down to Bremerton and South Kitsap where their efforts would be more supported and appreciated.

So, what’s your take? Head over to the new poll on the right side of the screen and cast your vote.

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The Road Ends Committee could use your help

Head over HERE to read about the city Road Ends Committee’s headaches with City Hall.

Essentially, the city wants the committee, a city-sanctioned volunteer group, to pay for permission to clear brush, establish foot paths and make basic safety improvements on the city-owned right-of-ways that lead to public beach access points.

Fletcher Landing road end, 2008. Photo: Tristan Baurick

The committee doesn’t have any money (they were de-funded a while back) and can’t seem to get the city to tell them how much the permits might cost. So, many of the committee’s improvement projects are in limbo.

But the committee could use some new members in their road end stewardship program. Basically, road end stewards volunteer to keep tabs on particular road ends, making sure they’re not getting trashed, concealed (by neighbors who aren’t neighborly to road ends) and just generally keep an eye on things.

I wrote a story about the stewardship program back in 2008. Read it HERE.

To volunteer as a road end steward, call Marci Burkel at (206) 780-0601.

Go over HERE for the city’s Road Ends Committee website. They meet every second Monday at 7 p.m. inside the health district office adjacent to the Bainbridge Commons, 402 Brien Drive.

Island road ends in need of volunteer stewards

Bainbridge Island has over 70 public road ends, yet only a few allow residents to enjoy the view or walk to the water’s edge.

“This is an island but we have little access to the water to enjoy the peace, the birds and a quiet walk,” said city Road End Advisory Committee member Marci Burkel.

Most road ends are blocked by ever-thickening brush and blackberry brambles. Some have old stairwells that are crumbling into the beaches below. Others simply have no sign letting people know their neighborhood boasts a public access to Puget Sound.

But if a few islanders roll up their sleeves, Burkel said, road ends can again do what they were intended: link islanders to the water that surrounds them.

The committee has created a new stewardship program aimed at pairing residents with neighborhood road ends. The volunteer program is recruiting people to make regular stops at designated road ends to monitor the condition of the site, noting man-made alterations and natural alterations, such as dumped trash or eroded banks.

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