The Real Problem With Reduced Bremerton Ferry Service: Disturbing the Islanders

Photo by Renee McMahon.

From our friends at Bremerton's Kitsap Sun Newspaper:

"Bainbridge Island doesn't have a cut in service, but the people understand if you are cutting service so dramatically elsewhere that all those people are coming to Bainbridge," Martha Burke of the Bainbridge Ferry Advisory Committee said of Tuesday's public hearing at the Commons.

Isn't it ironic? When those pesky passenger-only ferries were eroding Bainbridge Islanders' shores, they sued the pants off the state and got the boats marginalized. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost. With no passenger-only boats, and WSF threatening to pull an auto ferry from service to curb their deficit, we could see a huge number of riders making their way to Bainbridge, particularly those who want to do anything in the city after the proposed final run at 9 p.m. to Bremerton. So, what's the larger environmental atrocity (and I'm actually serious, does anyone know?): a few diminished beaches along Rich Passage, or miles of a widened Highway 305 to make room for the increased number of people getting to Seattle via Bainbridge?

And now, a moment from the Bainbridge Island archives. Here's a Bainbridge ferry rider interviewed by KUOW last spring:

"And the price that goes up is difficult, but that also keeps it special, I suppose. Not to sound exclusive, but it makes it kind of a gated community. You don't go to Bainbridge Island to steal car stereos and whatnot. You don't wait in line and go do that stuff. So, it keeps it a very safe laid back community. I don't mind the price. It keeps it nice. It keeps it a nice tree house to climb into."

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