Bremerton is finishing up a plan to upgrade the pedestrian, bike, and transit facilities along the State Route 303 corridor, which connects Central Bremerton with its northern reaches.
Today, SR 303 is a “commute corridor”, in the words of Mayor Greg Wheeler, but he wants to “give our city priority” by giving “walkers, bicycles, and public transit equal access.”
This process has produced a “preliminary preferred alternative” that has several features:
- Transit signal priority at seven intersections, including two downtown
- Roundabouts replacing a few intersections
- 10 foot sidewalks north of the bridge
- Bike improvements
- A business access and transit (BAT) lane northbound from Callahan to Hollis St. This lane replaces a left-turn lane in the center roadway.
There are four Kitsap Transit routes in this corridor now. The 215, 217, and 301 start at the ferry, and run to roughly the city limit, Silverdale, and Poulsbo respectively. The 219 runs from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to the city line.
PSRC’s Vision 2050 document suggests BRT operating between Silverdale and Bremerton, and the preferred alternative is largely driven by advice from Kitsap Transit on what would make BRT in Bremerton successful.
Steffani Lillie of Kitsap Transit says that rolling out BRT “requires population increases in our area to truly support it.” In the preliminary, unfunded concept, a single route would serve SR303 between Silverdale and Bremerton, with other legs including Silverdale-Poulsbo and Tremont St. in Port Orchard. Given sufficient density, KT would target 20 minute headways. Span of service and branding are not yet determined. KT recently completed two transit centers (North Viking and Wheaton Way) that support level boarding and have the conduits in place for off board payment. The Silverdale Transit Center may begin construction as early as next year.
When the city finalizes the plan in October, it will start to look for funding to make it a reality. Project Manager Katie Ketterer says the city will “pull out all the stops” to pursue grants and partnerships with Kitsap Transit, and probably execute in phases. You can comment this project here.