Press Release

April 10, 2018

Bainbridge Mobility Alliance

Survey: Walking and Biking on Bainbridge Island

“Islanders Want Safer Options for Walking and Biking”

Last month, nearly 1,600 people completed a citizen-initiated survey about a range of issues related to walking and biking on Bainbridge Island. Thanks to all of the people who took time to fill it out. 

The survey was designed and implemented by volunteers associated with the Bainbridge Mobility Alliance (BMA). The goals of the survey were to better understand island residents’ behaviors and attitudes towards walking and bicycling around the island, identify barriers and priorities for infrastructure improvements, and gauge the willingness of island residents to support a funding measure to enable construction of enhanced facilities for walking and biking. Below are the high-level findings from the survey. 

  • Survey respondents reflected a representative subset of the overall island population.
  • Perceptions of the quality of walking infrastructure vary depending on where on the island people live; people living outside Winslow rated the pedestrian infrastructure near their homes significantly lower than those living in Winslow.
  • The vast majority of respondents said the biking environment on the island is unsafe, and this perception is a barrier to people riding their bikes. This was especially true for women.
  • Respondents expressed a clear need for safer infrastructure. The two highest priorities for survey respondents were shoulder improvements on major island roads and safe routes to schools.
  • Support for a described funding measure to accelerate the construction of better infrastructure for walking and biking was very high.

Members of the Bainbridge Mobility Alliance were very gratified by the level of participation in the survey.  “This survey was a way to bring everyone’s voice to the table to work together to make Bainbridge Island a better place,” said Susan Loftus, one of the leaders of BMA. “We’re especially pleased with the participation from people who don’t bike much now, parents of school-aged kids and people of all ages,” added Loftus. “We believe the survey will provide valuable information for a range of interested organizations, and we look forward to sharing the results widely.”

Primary Survey Results

Primary results from the survey include the following:

  • 71% of respondents rated the biking environment on Bainbridge as somewhat or very unsafe
  • 48% of respondents rated the infrastructure for walking in the vicinity of their home as bad or very bad – ratings varied significantly by geographic area
  • 71% of those who do not bike or would like to bike more identified inadequate bike infrastructure as a barrier
  • 64% of parents with school-aged kids (n=540) said their kids would walk or bike to school more often if there were safe infrastructure between home and school
  • 88% of respondents rated shoulder improvements on major island roads as important or very important – this was seen as the most important action to improve conditions for walking and biking 
  • 76% of respondents rated paths/trails to enable kids to walk or bike to school separated from traffic as important or very Important – this was the second most important infrastructure category
  • 91% of respondents cited health improvement as an important motivating factor for walking and biking instead of driving 

Support for Funding Measure

The survey asked respondents how likely they would be to support a funding measure to significantly shorten the time required to construct a connected network of facilities for walking and biking on the island. The funding measure was described as a tax increase having an average cost of about $19 per household per month. Support for such a funding measure among survey respondents was quite high.

  • 74% of respondents said they would be likely or very likely to support the described funding measure
  • 60% of the likely supporters indicated they would support a larger funding measure to further accelerate the construction of facilities for walking and biking
  • Support for the described funding measure was 70% or greater across almost all demographic categories, including men and women, commuters and non-commuters, all geographic areas, and most age groups (support among survey respondents >75 years old was at 68.4%)
  • Of those who said they were unlikely to support the described funding measure (24% of survey respondents), the most frequently cited reason was that they “need more information/justification” - “Can’t afford to pay more taxes” was the second most frequently cited reason 

Respondent Demographics

The participation in the survey was robust, and survey respondents reflect a representative subset of the overall island population.

  • A total of 1,576 people completed the survey – 97% were island residents
  • 62% of respondents were women
  • Less than 50% of respondents were regular commuters
  • About 50% of the commuters were ferry commuters to Seattle
  • About 70% were frequent walkers
  • Less than 25% were frequent bike riders
  • 4% of respondents reported physical mobility limitations or disability
  • The age distribution of survey participants was similar to that of the island as a whole, though older age groups were more heavily represented in the survey
  • The geographic distribution of survey participants was roughly  evenly spread across the four island sections described (Downtown Winslow, Central Island (not downtown), North Island, South Island)

Survey Delivery and Promotion

The survey was conducted online and was promoted broadly to Bainbridge Island residents.

  • The survey was created in Constant Contact and delivered 100% online
  • It was open for completion from March 11-25, 2018
  • Completion >1 time from a specific device was blocked
  • It was promoted using Facebook ads to a general, unfiltered Bainbridge Island audience – main post reached more than 5,400 island residents
  • It was shared through Facebook and/or email by various organizations, including BISD, Parks District, BI Senior Center, non-profits, churches, PTOs, residential developments, etc.
  • Flyers and handouts promoting the survey url were distributed throughout the island, at churches, BI Senior Center and on various ferry runs

About Bainbridge Mobility Alliance

Bainbridge Mobility Alliance is a citizen coalition composed of representatives from organizations such Sustainable Bainbridge, Squeaky Wheels, Climate Action Bainbridge, the City’s Multi-modal Transportation Advisory Committee (MTAC), BI Parks Foundation, and interested individuals. The mission of BMA is to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and biking on Bainbridge Island. The survey was created by a working group of BMA with input from a wide variety of stakeholders and volunteers with expertise in survey development.

For more information, contact Susan Loftus ( or Kristine Cramer (