State Senate transportation leaders are holding a series of listening meetings across Washington over the next couple weeks to hear from people about what they would like to see from a transportation package.
The first meeting is 6 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) at Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue. They will then be in Everett 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Robert Drewel Building. The tour won’t be in Seattle until 6 p.m. October 16
at the King County Courthouse. UPDATE: The location has changed to the First Presbyterian Church at 8th and Spring
Obviously, we want strong funding for safe streets projects and other needed investments that help people get around on foot and bike. Biking and walking creates a healthier population, keeps more money in Washington, and bike/walk projects create more jobs per dollar invested than road-only projects. Bike tourism boosts the economies of small Washington towns an cities bypassed by major highways, and neighborhoods where it is safe and comfortable to bike and walk are better prepared to appeal to future generations who are choosing not to drive or own cars.
No matter your political party affiliation, investing in biking and walking is a smart way to make sure you are looking to the future and creating a stronger Washington State.
There is not a specific transportation package on the table at the moment, but the meetings could influence a package to replace the one that failed earlier this year. That package was flawed and included funding for the controversial Columbia River Crossing, which helped to kill the entire package and (likely) doom that highway mega project between Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon. Governor Jay Inslee said he would be open to a transportation package that does not include the CRC.
Now is our time to let them know that Washingtonians want a balanced transportation package that invests in safer streets for our schools, and that investments in walking and biking provide cost-effective and common sense solutions to congestion, improving safety for people who drive, walk, bike, and take transit.
Bicycling is here to stay. We need the Washington state legislature to craft a transportation package that looks forward—not one that keeps us looking in the rearview mirror. Investments in biking and walking infrastructure make streets safer for drivers too, while providing a healthy workforce and children who are ready to concentrate and learn when they get to school. Everyone benefits.
But the state legislature needs to hear from you. They need to hear the message that Washingtonians want the freedom to get around safely and efficiently.
The legislature needs to hear that every community in the state will lose out on the chance to make their streets more inviting, increase their real estate values and thus their local government revenues, make their school zones safer, and support the local businesses that benefit from increased commercial activity when people can walk or bike in a welcoming environment. That’s the real bottom line for the taxpayers.
Join us at one or more of these transportation listening sessions to tell the Washington state legislature you value smart transportation investments in biking, walking and school safety. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and last until 9 p.m. and will include presentations from regional transportation officials, and public comment.
Sept. 17 – Bellevue. Stevenson Elementary School, 14220 NE 8th St., Bellevue, WA 98007
Sept. 18 – Everett. Snohomish County, Robert Drewel Building, 3000 Rockefeller Ave., 1st floor, Everett, WA 98201
Sept. 23 – Wenatchee. Chelan County PUD Auditorium, 327 N Wenatchee Ave, Wenatchee, WA 98801
Sept. 24 – Yakima. Yakima Area Arboretum, Garden View Rm., 1401 Arboretum Dr., Yakima, WA 98901
Sept. 26 – Tri-Cities. Columbia Basin College, 2600 N 20th Ave., Pasco added
Oct. 2 – Spokane. New location! Central Valley High School theater, 821 S Sullivan Rd., Spokane Valley
Oct. 7 – Vancouver. New location! Department of Transportation Southwest Region Office, 11018 Northeast 51st Circle, Vancouver 98682
Oct. 9 – Tacoma. Evergreen Tacoma Campus, Lyceum Hall, 1210 6th Ave., Tacoma, WA 98405
Oct. 14 – Seattle. New location! First Presbyterian Church at 1013 8th Avenue (8th and Spring) added
Oct. 15 – Bellingham. Port of Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Ave. added