Winslow Way Street Redesign (Bainbridge Island, WA)

The City of Bainbridge Island redesigned its main downtown street to update aging water infrastructure, improve walkability and multimodal uses, and better manage stormwater using more natural and vegetated solutions. The new design is more walkable and accessible, supports biking, better manages stormwater with green infrastructure practices, and encourages social cohesion through smart design. Over half a mile in length, this innovative redesign protects street trees and incorporates stormwater planters, rain gardens, and other methods to retain stormwater and prevent flooding. As cities increasingly look to solutions for adapting to climate impacts like changing rainfall frequency and intensity, this project provides an example of how the effects of intense precipitation on streets could be reduced while also supporting multimodal transportation and community priorities.

The street was redesigned by SvR Design Company working with the community and with the City of Bainbridge Island. All of the water infrastructure in the street (sanitary and storm sewers and water distribution) was aging and in need of repair or replacement, and the City wanted to also improve water quality downstream.  Additionally, the sidewalks were narrow and broken, and there was no treatment of stormwater, no bike facilities, and very little public gathering space. Pervious concrete was installed in order to reduce runoff, and street trees were planted in the angle parking zone, maximizing tree canopy and managing stormwater runoff. The trees were supported by installing a suspended sidewalk and an underdrain to carry away runoff that infiltrates through the system. The project integrated community values in the design including building wider sidewalks and gathering areas to facilitate social interaction, and bike facilities to support non-motorized forms of transportation.


This Adaptation Clearinghouse entry was prepared with support from the Federal Highway Administration. This entry was last updated on March 31, 2016.


Publication Date: 2011


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  • Best practice
  • Case study

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