We are asking you to reconsider the recent decision to lock the pedestrian gate that separates the Jackson Park housing area and Bremerton's NAD park. This gate has been open for decades except for a brief period after 9-11-01.
From a security and access standpoint there are concrete blocks and steel posts on the city park (south side of the gate), nothing on the Navy (north side of the gate) that would impede vehicular access. If the goal of locking the gate is protection of Navy property and personnel, should the barricades be on property the Navy controls? If restricting pedestrian access to Navy property is the goal you need only go a few yards to the east of the gate to be on miles of open beach.
There have been many cyclists and runners in the past and present who travel from the housing area to PSNS, saving fuel and staying healthy. Residents of Shorewood Drive have seen hundreds of Navy families that take a walk through NAD park and go to the Dairy Queen for a classic weekend outing. The ability to use the city park helps the residents of the housing area connect to their new city, stay fit and meet their neighbors.
In recent years the Bremerton Police Department have used a great tool for community policing; bicycle patrols that can get places a squad car cannot, respond more quickly and efficiently as they use teams of two officers and be a calming influence to people in distress. With the gate locked they lost the route they used and the patrols they made in the park and the housing area.
Good fences make good neighbors-locked gates do not. There are many civilians on the Bremerton side of your gate that have enjoyed the ability to walk their dogs, get that extra mile in their run, ride their bikes from Bremerton to Silverdale while avoiding the highway, retirees that can walk to the hospital, moms and kids who walk to and from school, the list goes on.
We are asking you to open your gate, unless there are elevated threat conditions, and to position any barricades that prevent vehicular access so that cyclists and pedestrians can still get through and let us be good neighbors again.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
1813 Shorewood Drive