Oct 24, 2018
This episode we talk to JOHN GRINTER
The B.I.STANDER PODCAST is a conversational podcast unique to Bainbridge Island and Seattle that covers culture, current events, humor, sports, technology, politics, island activities, environment, quality of life issues, wellness and just about everything else.
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Music performed by Band of Steves of The Island Music Guild.
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ABOUT: John Grinter
Grew up in Jamaica and Miami Florida
Graduate University South Florida 1985
Helped initiate and organize the successful grassroots campaign Against offshore oil drilling on Florida’s Gulf Coast.1984-1987.
Moved to the PNW 1989
Photographer, Outdoor guide, Yacht Captain
Moved to Bainbridge 2000
Begin working with the park districts trails advisory committee 2002
Organized the petition drive that led to the creation of the Metropolitan Park district and stable funding in 2004
Joined the City’s Non Motorized Advisory Committee 2005
Member NMTAC for 7 years, Chaired it twice.
NMTAC Developed the Core 40 shoulder plan and enter Island Trail’s plan 2005 through 2006. NMTAC at this time was greatly assisted by having a dedicated long-term planner, a representative from public works engineering, and staff support for note taking and minute preparation. There was finding dedicated towards both the core 40, trails, other built into structure such as sidewalks, and there was a small budget for education and out reach. When the Recession began to impact city finances we saw major reductions in the cities budget and complete elimination of the trail budget ($500k was read directed by the public works director from trails to building a short section of guard rail, now gone, on Highway 305).
As the recession continued we saw the city budget for roadways reduced to zero. Not just roadway improvements but basic roadway preservation like Chip seal and pothole repair was completely eliminated for three straight years. We are still digging our selves out of this hole. As the economy has rebuilt and budgets have increased there have been modest increases in funding for roadways and transportation but by and large The roadway improvements we’ve seen over the past 10 years have been funded by federal and state grants. These grants, which require at least a partial match by the city, come with stringent design standards which may or may not be appropriate for the setting on Bainbridge. It’s really important for Islanders to understand the dilemmas of relying on grants as the primary source of funding for transportation improvements. For instance a project that may fit the grant requirements may get funded first even though it’s not the highest safety priority as recommended by the city and volunteer committee. If people wonder why the STO was funded rather than badly needed Core 40 projects it’s because there has not been dedicated local funding for Core 40, interconnecting pathways and other pretty basic and obvious needs.
What’s important for us to keep in mind is that we live in a geographically huge city with a very undiversified funding source – property taxes. It’s hard to deliver passing grades and basic infrastructure needs on the island/city this big. The city has been successful in requiring roadway infrastructure improvements as a condition of large developments. Our greatest needs for safety improvements lie on the narrow roads bordered by single family homes that are not required to build roadway improvements as a condition of development. The major point of emphasis for the safe mobility ballot measure Is to provide the local funds to make these long overdue shoulder improvements.
Core 40 plan- The plan to connect the patchwork of shoulders on the island arterial roads so that there is a continuous, safe shoulder. 40 refers to the 40 miles of roadway Under this classification.
Intra-Island Trails Plan- designed to Make it possible to travel large parts of the island without ever needing to be on a busy road in the first place, the trails plan utilizes existing low traffic roads, dead ends, unopened city right of ways, wooded trails, and separated pathways. The plan was developed in close coordination with the Bainbridge Park district to integrate with their trail systems so that islanders can reach destinations safely by foot or bike.
The Core 40 plan, sidewalk improvements, traffic calming and other roadway improvements are relatively straightforward and often obvious to islanders as we travel the roadways. Less obvious are the Opportunities presented by the trails plan. Perhaps the best way to visualize these opportunities Is to take a map of the island and highlight all of the publicly owned land. Then highlight all of the quiet or Dead end road’s. This exercise reveals that Using assets that are already publicly owned we are only a few short segments away from long connections that will blow peoples minds and literally transform our options for travel on the island.