Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blog going on hiatus

Greetings. Due to staffing transitions at Jefferson County Public Works, this blog is going on hiatus.

The snippets of other transportation-related blogs to the right will continue to be automatically updated.

Check again in the future to see if things are "rolling" again here on the Visionary Transport Blog. Thank you for checking in on us.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Public Hearing August 13 for 2013-2018 Transportation Improvement Program

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Monday, August 13, 2012, at 10:00 AM in the Commissioners Chambers at the County Courthouse in Port Townsend, in consideration of the proposed Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2013 through 2018.

Update: The Board adopted the 2013-2018 TIP unanimously on August 13 through Resolution 49-12.

Oak Bay Road culvert replacement, milepost 8.947, April 2011

The 2013-2018 TIP is a list of capital transportation projects that Jefferson County Public Works anticipates undertaking in the corresponding six-year period. The list includes secured and anticipated funding sources for each project.
For more informationvisit the TIP webpage. 

Example project map. Click here for the TIP wall map.

The text of the August 1 media release follows after the jump...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Say "wow" to VOWS?

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) has launched a new program for soliciting public input. It's called Voice of Washington State (VOWS) and it takes advantage of new web-based techololgy. Read about it here:

The program includes:
  1. seven regional Online Discussion Forums to publicly voice opinions, post ideas, and interact with other citizens
  2. online Survey Panel to participate in occasional online surveys

Jefferson County is in the Western Washington Forum.

Anyone is welcome to participate in the discussion forums and survey panel. One must create an account using an email address and password in order to participate.

According to the WSTC news release dated June 28, 2012:

The ultimate goal is to gather public input on Washington state transportation policy and funding, and to inform the statewide discussion and decision-making process. Topics for discussion will focus on all things transportation: highways, mass transit, freight and high-speed rail, ferries, barges and aviation. The governor and Legislature will be briefed on the ideas and data generated through the online discussion forums and surveys.

The combination of the online survey and the regional online discussion forums is a new outreach strategy for the WSTC. While the Commission has conducted successful phone and email surveys through the Ferry Riders Opinion Group for a few years, the primary community input tool has been public meetings. The online tools remove the distance and travel barriers inherent to public meetings; this increases the opportunity for everyone – no matter where they live – to participate and share their views.

Friday, July 6, 2012

PT Pedalpalooza

Note: The following is copied from the PTpedals webpage.

Inspired by Portland’s Pedalpalooza, and Vancouver, BC’s Velopalooza, PTpedals’ first effort at promoting a continuous stream of bike fun is PT Pedalpalooza 2012, a 5-day series of bicycle activities and celebration of cycling scheduled for July 11-15, 2012.

PT Pedalpalooza’s debut this year includes some steering committee organized activities, but this effort is largely a grassroots-based program of bike fun. ANYONE can plan a ride or activity and put it on the calendar, so others can participate in bike fun! AND the BIKE FUN is not limited to those 5 days in July… those are just the inaugural celebration. The mid-July timing is planned to be a multi-day cycling festival for a “pedalpalooza” celebration of cycling every year. To continue the BIKE FUN and growing our bike community and bike culture, keep planning and posting bike fun rides and things to do all summer and all year long.

PTpedals is a new volunteer-directed, community-based effort focused on promoting bicycling activities, events, culture/community and BIKE FUN for people of all ages and skill levels. Activities for casual bicycle riders (uncertain about riding much distance or pedaling uphill) to experienced road cyclists and mountain bikers are encouraged to plan activities for others and participate in BIKE FUN during PT Pedalpalooza and year-round by checking the PTpedals calendar and joining the e-mail list for ride and bicycling activity announcements at: ptpedals@lists.riseup.net.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

MAP-21 mapped out

After 33 months of wrangling, Congress finally agreed late last week on a transportation package to replace SAFETEA-LU. It's called MAP-21 -- Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act -- and will direct $105 billion worth of federal surface transportation funding for the next 27 months, through October 2014.

MAP-21 addresses multiple issues. Although there is general relief that something has been passed, not everyone is happy with the result. For summaries and perspectives, try the following:

More opinions and perspectives are bound to be issued in the coming days, weeks, and months as the details of the package are poured over and the implications are put into play once signed by President Obama.

What's your take?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Once again, Washington state ranks as the most "bike-friendly"

For the 5th year in a row, the League of American Bicyclists has ranked Washington state as the most bicycle-friendly state in the nation.

For more information:

In particular, the League says that, "Washington is the model for all other states on utilizing federal funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects." Also, the state passed a safe passing / vulnerable user law in 2011 that demonstrates recognition of the importance of sharing the roads.

“People in the Pacific Northwest embrace bicycling as part of a lifestyle that honors the environment, healthier living and transportation choices,” said Washington Governor Christine Gregoire. “This title once again confirms that we’re on the right track, supporting bicycling as a transportation option in our communities.”

  • WSDOT press release re: Washington state's ranking (5/25/12)
  • For 2010, the most recent data available, Washington was ninth highest in the nation for bicycle safety and our bicycle fatality crash rate was 0.89 bicyclists per 1,000,000 – the lowest in the state’s recorded history.
  • The League named Port Townsend a silver-level Bicycle-Friendly Community, up from bronze status last year. 

Overall Bike-Friendly Ranking of States (League of American Bicyclists 2012)

The mission of the League of Amercian Bicyclists is:
To promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.

The League was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as "wheelmen," were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians. In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads.

The League continues its advocacy efforts today.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Study Released on "Transportation and the New Generation"

Fronier Group--a non-profit, non-partisan, multi-issue research and public policy organization formed in 1996--published a transportation-related study in April 2012 with help from the US PIRG Education Fund.

Photo: Regional Transit System (RTS) for the City of Gainesville, Florida

The study is called Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People Are Driving Less and What It Means for Transportation Policy. 

See the Frontier Group's portal page for the study. The Executive Summary is presented, as well as links to the complete study and a webinar slide presentation.

Here are the basic facts:
  • From 2001 to 2009, the average annual number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for young people (16 to 34 yrs) decreased by 23%.
  • The share of this age group without a driver's license increased by 5%.
  • They walked to their designations 6% more often.
  • Their transit miles jumped by 40%.
  • They took 24% more bike trips during this period.

Why? Generational research indicates that young people's transportation priorities and preferences differ from those of older generations.
  • They would prefer to replace driving with alternative transportation.
  • They prefer to live in areas that are walkable.
  • They would prefer to text and use social media than to meet friends via car.

Here's a key graph from the report illustrating VMT per capital since 1970.
Figure ES-1: Vehicle-Miles Traveled Per Capita Peaked in 2004

The central conclusion of the report is the following:
America has long created transportation policy under the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid and steady rate. The changing transportation preferences of young people – and Americans overall – throw that assumption into doubt. Policy-makers and the public need to be aware that America’s current transportation policy – dominated by road building – is fundamentally out-of-step with the transportation patterns and expressed preferences of growing numbers of Americans. It is time for policy-makers to consider the implication of changes in driving habits for the nation’s transportation infrastructure decisions and funding practices, and consider a new vision for transportation policy that reflects the needs of 21st century America.

What do you think are the implications for this trend for transportation planning and policy?