Road planning for Eastsound is a tale of few successes (Mt. Baker bypass, Main Street/North Beach improvements), many missed opportunities and unforeseen consequences. The recent Haven Road decision is a triumph of “The Island Way,” and Councilman Hughes is the hero, not the villain.
In road planning, local government is responsible for establishing standards for emergency vehicle access and pedestrian (including handicapped) safety. In any well-regulated municipality, the 30-foot Haven Road right-of-way (ROW) standard would be simple: two-way traffic, sidewalks both sides and no parking. No parking at all. Parking in the public ROW is not a responsibility of local government. Convenient, often desirable, but not a responsibility.
To Haven Road planning, Councilman Hughes has brought Colin Huntemer, county engineer, who has shown a genuine interest in the needs of Eastsound, into the discussions with the Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC) and the Madrona Point neighborhood. Rick has discussed at great length various options with all concerned. In most other communities, the local engineer decides and that is the end of discussion.
What will actually happen on Haven Road is largely what most parties seem to want: very little. The current developer will build a sidewalk and the present unregulated parking will continue. Pedestrians will continue to walk in the road. The status quo will continue.