Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bill LaBorde V. Senator Ken Jacobsen: Progressive Battle Royale?

Our very own Bill LaBorde will be debating Senator Ken Jacobsen about the initiative process tomorrow at noon in the Vance building. Should be an informative and entertaining way to spend lunch. See you there?

Lunchbox* Debates The Budget & Policy Center is hosting a series of lunch-time debates that will provide an opportunity to learn more about current progressive issues and engage in a lively discussion with other community leaders.

Debate Topic: What to do with the Initiative Process? Featuring debaters State Senator Ken Jacobsen and Bill LaBorde of the Transportation Choices Coalition. Would it be better to use the initiative process to advance a progressive agenda or to get rid of it all together? That is the question that State Senator Ken Jacobsen (D-46th) and Bill LaBorde, State Policy Director of the Transportation Choices Coalition will tackle in what should be a very timely Lunchbox Debate.

Take a break from your busy day to be part of this important discussion:

When: Wednesday, October 28th, Noon - 1 pm

Where: The Vance Building, 1402 Third Ave, Room 530

Please RSVP to Ben Secord at bens@budgetandpolicy.org

It will be a casual, friendly and internal event. The opinions and perspectives expressed do not necessarily represent the organization or individuals, as we may ask people to take a more extreme position to help us better understand a particular perspective.

* Sorry no lunchboxes provided, we just thought this title sounded good. It's BYOL!

Hope to see you tomorrow!

Blueprint for Transit-Oriented Communities Launch is TONIGHT!

Please join Futurewise and TCC for the official launch of the Transit Oriented Communities Blueprint.

We will be at Pike Place Brewing from 4-6pm tonight for the official launch of this exciting document followed by a gallery of photos transit oriented communities that is being hosted at GGLO.

Please join us!

For more information see Futurewise's website.

Some more coverage from Huge Ass City.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cascade Bike Club and Tacoma Wheelman host a Tacoma Bike In Tomorrow!

What can you do to improve bicycling in Tacoma, Pierce County and throughout Washington? Join Cascade Bicycle Club, the Tacoma Wheelmen and Tacoma stakeholders this Saturday, Oct. 17 for a workshop on bike advocacy and a bike ride, with drinks to follow.
10am - 1pm: Workshop and lunch at the Tacoma Downtown Library, 1102 Tacoma Avenue South

1pm - 3pm: Bike tour of Tacoma with bicycle planners and special guests, including City Councilmember Lauren Walker

3pm - eve.: Meet at the Harmon HUB for drinks with Councilmember Jake Fey

Email Chris.Rule@cascadebicycleclub.org to RSVP!

We'd like to make sure there are enough snacks and coffee for everyone. It's a busy weekend, so feel free to stop in for only part of the day! Please let us know if you will be joining us for the workshop, ride, and/or at the HUB.

We'll discuss how we can use our clout to demand better facilities and just laws for bicyclists.

Also, the outcome of the bicycle and pedestrian count, and how the data we collect on bicycling is crucial to our safety as bicyclists.
Together, we'll strategize on making a difference in Tacoma and working together for better state laws and funding sources for lanes and trails.

Blueprint for Transit-Oriented Communities

Join Futurewise, GGLO, Transportation Choices Coalition and AIA Seattle for the launch of "Transit-Oriented Communities: A Blueprint for Washington State" - a report, exhibit, and outreach effort to encourage more planning and funding for vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods near transit throughout Washington State.

Happy Hour at Pike Brewing Company at Pike Place Market
4:00 - 6:00 PM
Come hear a brief program about the report and discuss future policy initiatives!


Gallery Opening Reception at the Design Gallery at AIA Seattle
1911 First Avenue
6:00 - 8:00 PM
View the Blueprint for Transit-Oriented Communities exhibit, on display through January 8th.

Events are free. Donations are welcome.

Time: October 27, 2009 from 4pm to 8pm
Location: Pike Brewing Company at Pike Place Market, then AIA Seattle at 1911 First Avenue
Organized By: Sara Nikolic

Please RSVP here or email lori@futurewise.org.

WTA Goes Online!

The Bellingham Herald reports that the Whatcom Transportation Authority recently announced that they are in the final stages of designing an online trip-planner that is expected to be ready for use this November! The trip-planner will allow riders to find routes by entering the starting point and destination. Developing an online trip-planner has been one of the WTA’s goals since 2005 so this is very exciting. Hopefully, the online trip-planner will help increase ridership by making route information more accessible to riders.

The WTA also plans to collaborate with Google Transit to add WTA information to the Google Transit database. Google Transit is a free online service that uses route information from transit agencies across the country to allow users to plan trips between different regions.

For more information about the WTA, please go to their website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

East Link Light Rail Community Workshops

Last year you approved light rail extension to the Eastside. Now Sound Transit wants to hear how they can design the system to best serve you. Come participate in series of interactive workshops in Bellevue and Redmond focused on the proposed route and light rail stations as part of the voter-approved extension of light rail to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond.

Find out more about East Link, get your questions answered about the proposed route, and let Sound Transit know how East Link can best serve you and your community!

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 12, 2009, 5 to 7:30 p.m. (presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.)
WHERE: VFW Building (Jerry Foley Memorial Hall), 4330 148th Ave. NE, Redmond

South Bellevue
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009, 5 to 7:30 p.m. (presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.)
WHERE: Bellevue High School (Cafeteria), 10416 Wolverine Way, Bellevue

WHEN:Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, 5 to 7:30 p.m. (presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.)
WHERE: Stevenson Elementary School (Gymnasium), 14220 NE 8th St, Bellevue
For times, locations, and more information go to

For more information, please visit http://www.soundtransit.org/eastlink, or contact Katie Kuciemba, Community Outreach Specialist at 206-398-5459 or katie.kuciemba@soundtransit.org

Pierce Transit Workshops

Pierce Transit invites you to participate in one of their Community Design Workshops! After 30 years of providing outstanding transportation services, Pierce Transit wants rider feedback on how to plan for the organization’s next thirty years. Learn about transit, share your concerns and ideas, and help design the system of tomorrow! If you can’t attend the workshop in your area, you are welcome at any of the eight locations.

For times, locations and other information, please visit http://pttomorrow.org/getInvolved.aspx. Registration is required.

Also, please take the time to complete Pierce Transit’s short survey (if you can’t make it, this is another way to share your opinions and suggestions).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On the Road (and Sidewalk, Bikeway, and Trail) to a Healthier Clark County

Don’t miss this chance to hear pedestrian guru Mark Fenton “walk” the talk in Vancouver this November! TCC is co-sponsoring a forum On the Road (and Sidewalk, Bikeway, and Trail) to a Healthier Clark County with Community Choices featuring Mark Fenton, nationally known transportation, community development, and health expert for a forum on November 17th, 11:00-1:00. In 2007 Mark helped introduce the issue of walkable communities to Clark County. Two years later, it is time to take this idea to the next level.

Did you know there's a movement afoot to...

* Connect decisions about transportation, community design, and development to the health of Clark County and its residents?
* Have a conversation about these decisions that involves you, your family, friends, clients, and colleagues?
* Show how building healthy communities is the key to a sustainable future?

Who should attend? Those who will find this forum valuable include engineers, architects, community planners, transportation planners, public safety officials, educators, community group leaders, employers, developers, public health professionals, and citizens.

Reservations are required:
$35 reservation fee includes lunch
At Clark College, Gaiser Student Hall, Vancouver
Call 360.567.1067 or email us at ccadmin@vancouverusa.com to reserve your seat.

The event will include an opportunity to support the ongoing work of Community Choices.

For more information go to http://www.walkclarkcounty.org/forum_11172009.php

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shake-up on Community Transit Board of Directors

Community Transit recently announced their newly appointed board members. Here is their press release:

Election fills vacancies until January 2010

Snohomish County, Wash. – Four new board members were elected to join the Community Transit Board of Directors Thursday. They were chosen in a special election by representatives of the Public Transportation Benefit Area member cities to fill out terms of board members who had resigned this past year.

Lynnwood City Councilmember Lisa Utter, Mill Creek City Councilmember Mike Todd, Mountlake Terrace Mayor Jerry Smith and Sultan City Councilmember Steve Slawson were chosen by their peers to serve through January 2010.

Other current board members are Chair and Brier City Councilmember Carlton Gipson, Vice Chair and Snohomish County Councilmember Dave Gossett, Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall, Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine and Snohomish County Councilmember Mike Cooper.

Slawson and Smith are new to the board; Todd and Utter were board alternates prior to being elected regular board members.

The new members will serve until a new Community Transit Board is chosen by the member cities in January 2010. Regular board elections take place in January of even-numbered years, following municipal elections.

Board members represent jurisdictions within the Community Transit service district. There are two representatives from large cities, with a population of more than 30,000; three from medium cities (population 10,000 to 30,000) and two from small cities (population less than 10,000). In addition, two members of the Snohomish County Council serve on the board.

In addition to electing new board members, two new alternates were chosen. Edmonds City Councilmember Steve Bernheim is a large cities alternate and Monroe City Councilmember John Stima is a medium cities alternate. Other board alternates are: for large cities, Lynnwood City Councilmember Ted Hikel; for medium cities, Lake Stevens City Councilmember Heather Coleman; and for small cities, Snohomish City Councilmember Doug Thorndike.

Coverage of Tacoma Candidate Forum

Thank you to all of our co-hosts who helped make the Tacoma Land Use and Candidate forum a success last week. We had over 100 of people there and the discussion was very insightful.

Lewis at the TNT put up a comprehensive blog post covering the debate.


I've also posted a few pictures from the forum on our facebook page.

A big shout of thanks to the Cascade Bike Club which sponsored the production of the video, which will online and on Click TV in a few days. I'll post that link here once its up.

Thanks again to everyone who came and co-hosted!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Seattle Times Sends Praise to Community Transit's BRT Line

The Seattle Times has a in-depth Op-Ed today on Community Transit's soon to be opened SWIFT Bus Rapid Transit line.

For those of you who attended our visioning Town Hall in June you heard from SWIFT project manager, June DeVol, about the project.

I had the chance to tour the vehicles and the corridor with CT's director of government affairs, Todd Morrow, in the spring. I've posted the pictures from that tour on facebook here, check them out to get a sense of how SWIFT will feel and look.

As an organization Transportation Choices Coalition is excited for the opening of the SWIFT BRT project. I think more than anything this is a great example of how transit agencies can leverage local investments (the cities paid for the BAT lanes that will be for bus and right turn access only) and state and federal grants, to produce a high quality transit service.

As I was reading the opinion article I was worried that the light rail skeptic Seattle Times might turn a pro-BRT story into an anti-light rail story.

"Projected savings for BRT over light rail can be dramatic, and they were appealing in the middle 1990s as Puget Sound debated a regional transit solution. They came up again in 2005 as the community pondered phase two of Sound Transit. How to get across the I-90 bridge: light rail or BRT?

Early on, U.S. cities that embraced BRT went for separated guideways. Those plans — and eventual expansion — came with their own expensive right-of-way issues, same as light rail.

Thankfully, the piece alludes to the that long-term operating costs are on rail often justify the high upfront price tag and make more sense in many high density corridors (such as connecting Seattle to Bellevue over the Lake).

High-capacity rail is expensive to build but spreads those capital costs over a long timeline. Moving lots and lots of passengers along dense corridors makes the most sense. I do not see transit agencies hiring armies of bus and van drivers with medical and pension plans to cover.

Community Transit's Swift is truly a model of bus rapid transit, not simply shaving time off express bus runs. I want this effort to thrive and be instructive.

Dickie got it right. Washington State residents need more transportation choices across the board, that is why at TCC we wake up every day to deliver just that. We need fast, efficient, and easy to use BRT and light rail corridors across the state. Local BRT stretching down 99 from Tacoma to Everett would compliment a regional commuter rail and light rail system. People need more high frequency convenient transit, whether its to travel 2 miles down the street to the grocery store or 30 miles to visit family or commute to work. This fall I look forward to taking our first ride on SWIFT, Washington's first bus line with dedicated branding and right of way, hopefully other transit agencies can secure local and state funding in order to replicate Community Transit's Bus Rapid Transit Model.