News

Parking is a problem before it is a reality

INDIANOLA — Indianola Beach Improvement Club president Bo Blakey wants to address a potential problem before it becomes a reality — parking in downtown Indianola and establishing a park and ride lot for commuters.

A strip of gravel along Indianola Road, just west of the Indianola Clubhouse, now serves as a “default” park and ride lot, Blakey said, and accommodates anywhere from 12-15 vehicles. It’s owned by the IBIC and is used by a variety of riders, including commuters, residents, guests of the clubhouse and patrons of the Indianola Country Store and the post office.

While there is no current pressing need for additional parking, Blakey wants to determine options for the future, given the quick growth of the area, such as the neighboring development of White Horse.

In December, Blakey met with Kitsap County Commissioner and Kitsap Transit board member Chris Endresen, Kitsap Transit Executive Director Dick Hayes and Kitsap Transit service development director John Clauson to discuss the situation.

Agency officials said they are conducting a variety of ridership surveys this month to determine how many riders park on the IBIC property and also determine the need for a park and ride lot.

Surveying tactics include having an agency staff member onboard the No. 91 bus that goes through Indianola to talk with riders; putting written surveys on vehicles that park at the IBIC lot; and surveying the vehicle license plates at the lot to determine where the drivers reside.

“(We’re) trying to figure out the need and where the demand is coming from,” Clauson said.

The No. 91 bus originates in Indianola and carries about a dozen riders out of town before proceeding to Suquamish and eventually the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal.

In anticipation of growth, Blakey and chair of the Great Peninsula Conservancy’s Indianola Chapter, Jay Zischke, have suggested creating a park and ride lot for about 20 cars at the paved parking lot at the Indianola ballfield. While the Great Peninsula Conservancy leases the property from the Suquamish Tribe, Blakey is talking with Zischke and the GPC about the park and ride possibility.

“It’s a better location. It’s lit. It’s paved,” Blakey said. “It’s more centralized to a group of people using that 91 bus.”

Kitsap Transit’s master plan encourages the development of park and ride lots throughout the area, Blakey said, and he sees this opportunity as a good one for all parties involved, at very little cost.

“We’re optimistic we can get something,” Blakey said.

Also, if there were more people parking at the ballfield lot, he believes there would be less chance for vandalism in the area.

The IBIC lot would continue to exist for customers who visit local businesses as well as attendees of the clubhouse and guests to nearby residences.

Whatever the outcome, the No. 91 will still pick up riders in Indianola.

“We don’t want to jeopardize losing Kitsap Transit coming through here,” Blakey said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.