Why would we want to build a trail next to the highway?

There are very good reasons to build the trail in the highway right-of way. The main ones are grade (steepness) and availability of land. The Highway 305 right-of-way follows the longest contiguous “hill-free” stretch of land on Bainbridge Island; while it’s not entirely flat, it is relatively flat compared to any other seven-mile stretch on the island. More important is the fact that the public already owns the space, and we don’t have to seek easements through private property. There is no other place on the island where building a trail of this length is possible without acquiring rights from private landowners, some of whom might not be willing to voluntarily provide a trail easement. These are the same reasons trails of this kind are often built in abandoned railway rights-of-way, but we don’t have that option on Bainbridge. Other highly-successful shared-use paths have been built along highways in other places.

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1. Frequently Asked Questions
2. What is the Sound to Olympics Trail? Where will it go on Bainbridge?
3. Who is the trail intended for? Won’t it mainly serve people who live off the island?
4. Why does the trail have to be so wide? I’ve seen bike trails in other places that aren’t so wide, and they work just fine.
5. I’ve heard that the trail is so wide because it’s funded with grant money from the federal government. Is that correct?
6. Why would we want to build a trail next to the highway?
7. I saw what happened with the first section of the trail, and I’m worried about impacts to the trees along the highway. Won’t building the trail change the character of the highway corridor?
8. Why would the City spend money on the STO Trail when we have other more pressing needs to address safety for walking and biking on the island?
9. How can we justify spending so much money on the trail when so few people are using it?
10. Why do we need a separated trail along the highway when we already have decent shoulders along most of the highway where people can ride?