Recent improvements along Highway 20 near March Point have entirely eliminated pedestrians and bicyclists from the transportation picture, something one critic calls “absolutely dangerous” and “ridiculous.”
South Fidalgo Island resident Vince Streano says the state Transportation Department is creating a “great wall” along busy Highway 20. And, he says he’s working with a group that wants to convince the Department of Transportation to include pedestrians and bicyclists in it’s plans for Sharpes Corner, where a traffic roundabout is now planned.
DOT says they’ve been working with community groups to include bicyclists and pedestrians in changes planned for Sharpes Corner.
All four highway intersections between the twin bridges and Sharpes Corner now ban pedestrians from crossing Highway 20 at those intersections. There doesn’t appear to be a ban on running across between the intersections, but Streano says that would be “extremely dangerous.”
And, a bicyclist who wants to cross Highway 20 must wait for a car to trigger a signal change. DOT spokesman Dave Chesson says there is a plan for a bicycle-sensing video camera at Christianson Road and Highway 20.
Streano says the DOT is placing a huge barrier between the northern and southern halves of the island in the March Point area. And, he points out that improvements along Highway 20 between Sharpes Corner and the Deception Pass bridges are doing the same thing by splitting South Fidalgo in half.
Streano says that, with a changing economy, people are changing their driving patterns and looking for alternatives. Many people have moved to buses and bicycles. “I’ve never seen more bicycles on the roads here,” he says.
In the March Point area, there are numerous employees working at businesses on both sides of the highway, as well as a major bus transfer point and park-and-ride stop. Some of these people could walk, rather than drive, to, say, Coyote Coffee on the north side or a restaurant on the south side.