Friday, March 13, 2009

HoodCanalBridge.com is a wealth of information, but are you finding it?

Is www.HoodCanalBridge.com providing you the information you need?

One of the things the SR 104 Hood Canal Bridge Project Team strives to do is to help people prepare for the six-weeks bridge closure starting May 1.

One of the ways we do this is by making our Web site more readable and accessible. Each week, we update the site, adding new information and trying to make it more user-friendly.

Success is tough to gauge because we receive dozens of e-mail inquiries each week about the project. Many times, the answers to these questions are already posted at www.HoodCanalBridge.com in the FAQs or in the specific section that relates to the question -- like the medical transportation page for instance.

What this tells us is that either people aren't using the Web site as a resource to answer their questions, or they simply can't find what they need on the Web site.

What has your experience been at www.HoodCanalBridge.com? What question were you trying to answer, and were you able to answer it?

We'll take the information you provide and do our best to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for.

17 comments:

Jon said...

How come there are no posts in your blog ? This would be a good place to pass idea's about ride sharing and such.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Sharing ideas and information is the idea behind the Hood Canal Bridge Blog. We post the comments people submit, generating the conversation as we go.

Via said...

quick comment: Spend an hour and add comments to local blogs from the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas. Ask local papers from Forks to Poulsbo to write you up / interview you. Ask for publicity :)

Another thought occurs: a couple of banners deftly placed in the visual corridor of drivers on the Hood Canal bridge. Perhaps the electronic status board west of the 104 turnoff on 101 would be useful.

Jon said...

I work at Bangor Subase, I really don't know what my options are to get to work. There is limited public transportation to get on to the Military Base. Most of which is not suported at the times I have to be at work.

Jon

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

That's a great suggestion Via. We'll see what we can do to spread the word because there's a lot of information to share.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Jon, if we knew what your schedule is we can better assist.

My understanding is that the Navy will be running some vans between the Port Gamble Park and Ride and Subase Bangor. It'd be a good idea to check with officials there on this because a number of employers are working with their employees who are directly affected by the bridge closure.

The water shuttle runs from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. between Lofall in Kitsap County and South Point in Jefferson County. There will be connecting transit runs throughout both peninsulas.

We should have an online interactive map, new transit schedules and a video on how to get around during the closure posted at www.HoodCanalBridge.com in the next week to assist you further.

Jon said...

It's my understanding these vans are for sailors only, Arranged for the crew members that make the commute. None of the officials I talked to seem to know anything about any other options for non-military (civilan) employees of the Kitsap Region.

Jon

Anonymous said...

When will we be able to start parking cars at the park and ride in Port Gamble. We will need two cars there and need a little time to get both there and get back to Port Ludlow?

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

The park and ride lots in Port Gamble and at Shine Pit are scheduled to open and Wednesday, April 29. Security will also start that day and will continue 24/7 until the bridge reopens. During the closure, the lots will be open to the public from 3 a.m. until midnight each day.

Jefferson Transit will provide free bus service from the Port Gamble park and ride for those leaving a vehicle there during the closure.

Jefferson Transit will provide pick-ups at 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 30, returning on the No. 7 Poulsbo Route through Paradise Bay, Port Ludlow, Mats Mats Bay, Port Hadlock/Irondale, Four Corners, and the Haines Place Park and Ride in Port Townsend.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 1-360-385-6747.

Debbie said...

For the last year the closure date has been May 15th. All of a sudden you change the date to May 1st? I thought it must be a typo. I've scheduled my business trips to finish by May 15th. This is going to be a huge impact on my business. Hwy 101 & 3 will be complete disasters. You should stick to the schedule that you have advertised for the last year. I can't believe how you can just change the date like that. Can we believe anything you say? This is just awful.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

I'm not sure where May 15 came from.

I've been here since December 2007 and May 1, 2009 has always been the posted start of the six-week closure. I do recall a brief internal discussion whether to start on Monday, May 4 but it was decided that people could use the weekend of May 2 and 3 to familiarize themselves with their travel options.

I did a little checking around, and confirmed that the May 1 start date has been published and scheduled for more than three years.

I am sorry for any confusion, but am not sure where the May 15 date originated.

Anonymous said...

This work is neccessary I understand, but its really going to be impactful to an already shaky tourism business on the Peninsula. I usually take 20+ trips out to that area during the summer months, but I won't be this year. I guess I'll get a better feel for the Bremerton and lower Hood Canal this year....Its a real shame.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

WSDOT worked extensively with members of the Olympic Peninsula's business community to help determine the May 1 start date. Weather and environmental regulatiolns also played a role but many businesses there that are affected by tourism chimed in and said the earlier in the season, the better.

While there will be challenges getting to the Olympic Peninsula, it is still open for business and there are a number of groups offering special discounts and deals to visitors during the closure.

Visit No Bridge, No Problem or the Discover Survivor Guide to get everything from Chamber of Commerce contact information to coupons for items at participating Olympic Peninsula businesses.

On WSDOT's end we are doing everything we can to get the bridge open as soon as possible, and are even offering the contractor big incentives for finishing early and penalties for finishing after the six-week period.

irwinj@wsdot.wa.gov said...

Links to both can be found on the righthand side of this blog page.

Anonymous said...

Where exactly is the park and ride in Port Gamble? How much time should we allow for parking and riding the shuttle to the ferry?

RK from Jefferson Transit said...

Joe, regarding Jefferson Transit free service for people who want to leave their second vehicle at the Port Gamble park and ride and get a ride back on April 29, the phone number you have published is incorrect. People who want to make a reservation should call the Jefferson Transit office at 360-385-4777.

Anonymous said...

I picked up the bus schedule at the Sequim Visitor Center and noticed the latest Clallam Transit bus leaves at 7:25am and the latest departure from South Point is 6:40. I'm not sure who this schedule was intended for but I would have liked a little later departure from Sequim and have the ability to return a little later.

The Clallam Transit web site doesn't have any obvious reference to the closure at all.