BREMERTON — The city is looking for the public’s input on the future of the State Route 303 corridor.
A survey being undertaken by city staff is the first step in shaping the goals that are intended to improve infrastructure and transit options in order to attract investment and economic development, with a particular focus on the stretch of 303 within the city limits.
The feedback given by residents, commuters and stakeholders will help guide the city in identifying problems and needs. The survey is open until the end of August.
“We’ll take some of the feedback we get from this first study, whittle it down and make sure that we’re really engaging with the community to make sure we are getting the message,” said Katie Ketterer, the project manager.
SR-303 is nine miles long and serves as both a commuter road and a commercial corridor that links Silverdale to downtown Bremerton. It runs from Burwell Street near the downtown core all the way up to The Trails at Silverdale commercial complex and takes on different identities along the way.
There is a residential area, a pedestrian-heavy section near Olympic College and large commercial areas farther up on the Manette Peninsula as it continues past the city limits and turns toward Silverdale where it becomes more of a highway without traffic lights or development.
Also part of the corridor is the Warren Avenue Bridge. During a 2002 study of Route 303, it was noted that the bridge had recorded some of the highest traffic volumes in the area and had the highest number of rear-end accidents anywhere along the corridor.
“Downtown between Burwell and 11th is a whole lot different than the area from Sylvan to Riddel, and the area around the college has its own unique challenges,” Ketterer said. “There are more pedestrians there, folks going across the street to the college. There’s a lot going on in the corridor.”
Because the corridor sees plenty of activity from both locals and people around Kitsap County, the city is asking for residents and commuters alike to respond.
“It’s geared towards both in that we’re very focused on making the corridor a place that has some identity and community link to it rather than just being a car corridor,” Ketterer said. “But at the same time we want to make sure we’re moving those commuters … we need to get them where they need to go in a reasonable amount of time.”
The city is asking residents and commuters for specifics about how they feel about the Warren/Wheaton corridor’s transit needs and recreational needs; its opportunities to work, shop, learn and live; and how they would like to see the corridor change in the future.
Ketterer said the entire study would take approximately 18 months. After the initial survey is complete, a consulting firm will come on board to do a proper study of the area. In that time, there will be more opportunities for the public to weigh in, including additional surveys and public meetings.
To take the survey online, simply click here. Ketterer said about 100 people had already responded as of Aug. 7.
Those who cannot access the survey on the internet can contact Ketterer directly at 360-473-5334.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.