These were my comments to PublicInfo@KitsapRegionalCouncil.org regarding the Kitsap County Growth Management Act. The public comment period ends 25 June.
Would you please accept the following comments regarding the Kitsap County Growth Management Act:
Kitsap County Needs Barrier-Separated Bike/Pedestrian Paths
We need bike/pedestrian paths that are barrier-separated from auto traffic.
Bicycle symbols painted on streets are feel-good actions only. They don’t physically separate bicyclists/pedestrians from automobiles. Such so-called bike paths are dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians; consequently, they are not used.
Specific suggestions for some places (among the many) that need barrier-separated bike/walk paths:
– the stretch of Highway 303 from Fred Meyers north to at least Walmart; the many pedestrians that use that stretch are (out of necessity) close to the whoosh-whoosh of cars on that busy road.
– much of downtown Bremerton.
– though it’s too narrow for its own dedicated bike/walk path, the Erland’s Point Road from Chico Way to Austin Drive needs at least a sidewalk. Many people walk on the narrow shoulders of that hazardous road (out of necessity) as a multitude of cars flow by.
Some people in Medford, Oregon are striving to develop a bike system that is safe for biking by All Ages and Abilities. That effort can be learned about at http://www.siskiyouvelo.org/aaa/, which lists guidance from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
Development in Kitsap Needs Regulation and Restriction:
A development explosion is occurring in Kitsap. For the perils of such a course, please read these recent writings by people who’ve fought uncontrolled development in Kitsap—and why they did it. In particular, I refer you to “West Sound Conservation Council’s History.”
– Michael Maddox, Letter, “Get involved to ensure we have a liveable Kitsap County,” Kitsap Sun, 11 June 2021, Print; 10 June 2021 Web Get involved to ensure we have a liveable Kitsap County
– Gene Bullock, “Housing growth and policy isn’t helping wildlife,” Kitsap Sun, 14 June 2021 Web Housing growth and policy isn’t helping wildlife (kitsapsun.com)
– West Sound Conservation Council’s History https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/04/05/west-sound-conservation-councils-history/
Please Institute the Ban on Single-Use Plastic in Kitsap
We have become culturally accustomed to using plastic bags and water bottles, which are significant contributors to animal death and to pollution. Such items didn’t exist fifty years ago, but until just a few years ago, you almost couldn’t avoid getting a plastic bag at a store since the clerk at the checkout counter automatically gave you one—even when you were purchasing only a candy bar or a magazine. Fortunately, many clerks now ask if you want a bag, and that asking is a result of education and re-culturation. But we’ve much to do as a visit to the grocery store reveals, for there you see people putting plastic bags around bananas and avocados.
Some stores are plastic bag polluters on a huge scale. Walmart, with its checkout system of hooks on a rotating wheel that only allows only for plastic bags—one after another—is an obscene example. Some countries don’t allow single-use plastic bags in stores, and people there have become acculturated to bringing in their reusable bags. We talk about converting in Kitsap, but as we talk another year goes by while Walmart and others churn out the bags which flood into the environment.
COVID did halt reusable bag use, but we now know that reusable bags have no significant role in COVID spread. We need to institute a ban on single-use plastic bags and bottles in Kitsap County.