Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Smart Trips Workshop 1/23/09

From the Sponsors' Event Flyer...

Jefferson Smart Trips -
A Visioning Workshop

Friday, January 23, 12- 2 p.m.
Masonic Hall, Jefferson & Van Buren, Port Townsend

Vicki Steigner for WA State Dept. of Transportation
Dave Turissini for Jefferson Transit
Josh Peters for Jefferson County
Rick Sepler for City of Port Townsend

What could a Smart Trips program look like in Jefferson County?

Whatcom Smart Trips uses an innovative rewards campaign to get people walking, biking, sharing rides, and taking the bus. Although the Whatcom Smart Trips program is designed for the Bellingham metropolitan area, we could be the test case for a program in a rural area. Our goal would be to decrease congestion in the SR 19/20 Corridor. The program would dovetail well with the new commuter-oriented bus routes being planned by Jefferson Transit. We need to figure out better ways to incorporate bicycles with buses, to encourage use of park-and-rides, and promote transit and ride-sharing alternatives for trips between Port Townsend, Port
Hadlock and points further south (particularly ferries). Here are a few more ideas:

Installing complete streets, more trails and better interconnections

Bike commuting classes
Free bike repairs and tune-ups

Share a Ride
Promoting Rideshare Online for commuters
Providing Emergency Ride Home for commuters
Subsidizing the Vanpool program
Developing a Community Car Share program

Ride the Bus
Improving routes on Jefferson Transit, especially for commuters
Relieving congested sections of SR 19/20 corridor
Subsidizing transit passes for employees
Better provisions for bicycles, on-board folding bikes

Exhibits: Come early at 11:30 a.m. to learn more about folding bicycles, ride-sharing programs, walking and biking trails, and proposed transit commuter routes.

Sponsored by the Transportation Lab, Local 20/20 & Jefferson Transit

Contact 360-385-6579 or

For complimentary transportation to meeting, call Jefferson Transit at 360-385-4777


January 14, 2009
Joining forces to reduce congestion

A public workshop on January 23 will offer a look at a program of innovative alternatives for getting around East Jefferson County efficiently. Whether commuting on State Route 19/20 or taking a shopping and entertainment trip, Smart Trips can help. Successful implementation of a Smart Trips program in this area will provide choices beyond reliance on a single-occupancy vehicle (SOV).

The Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the beginning stages of planning to address safety and congestion issues along the SR 19/20 corridor from SR 104 to the Port Townsend ferry. Traffic forecasting for the year 2031 shows that during the "peak hour," which is generally 4:30-5:30 p.m., we could see 50-70% more traffic volume on the State Routes and 60-75 % more traffic at the major intersections along the corridor.

Traditional solutions to this type of volume-to-capacity problem have involved additional travel lanes and traffic signals. Widening the highway may not be what this community desires for the future. If we are to create an alternative solution to our challenge, it must involve transportation demand management (TDM), including innovative programs like Smart Trips, which help reduce the number of SOV’s on the roadways. The sponsors of this workshop, with the support and encouragement of DOT, are undertaking to bring a Smart Trips program to Jefferson County.

Vicki Steigner of DOT will present the Smart Trips program as pioneered in Whatcom County as a strategy for reducing congestion and increasing safety on Highway 19/20. Ms. Steigner will show how the program has significantly increased ride-sharing, transit use, van-pooling, walking and bicycling in four years.

Dave Turissini of Jefferson Transit will present possibilities for commuter routes and Park & Ride locations as part of the effort to reduce congestion.

Josh Peters for Jefferson County and Rick Sepler for the City of Port Townsend will facilitate discussions about the transportation alternatives needed to help commuters, residents and visitors get where they need to go in the next couple of decades without facing gridlock on the highway. The workshop discussion will generate ideas for putting together a Smart Trips program suited to East Jefferson County.

Port Townsend Transportation Lab, Local 20/20 and Jefferson Transit are co-sponsoring the Jefferson Smart Trips Visioning Workshop. If you are concerned about gas prices, want to reduce the congestion on the roads and reduce your carbon footprint, Smart Trips can help.

The workshop will take place on January 23 from Noon to 2 p.m. at the Masonic Hall located at Jefferson and Van Buren Streets. As a lead-in to the workshop, information will be available at 11:30 a.m. about a variety of alternative transportation modes including Jefferson Transit’s proposed commuter routes, folding bikes for convenient use on Transit, walking and bicycling in Jefferson County and how to use rideshare online and van-pooling.

For complimentary transportation to the workshop, call Jefferson Transit at 360-385-4777. For information, contact Marion Huxtable at 379-9527.


1 comment:

Marion said...

Fifty people attended the Jefferson Smart Trips Workshop, including representatives from BOCC, City Council, PTPD, Sheriff’s Department, city and county staff, Jefferson Transit, the Port, Non Motorized Transportation Advisory Board, Port Townsend Bicycle Association, Local 20/20, Climate Action Committee, Port Townsend Transportation Lab, plus local business people and residents.
Josh Peters of Jefferson County gave a thorough summary of the reasons we need Smart trips and the benefits of commuters having choices. Vicki Steigner of WSDOT gave an excellent summary of the Whatcom program, how it works, the revenue sources the expenses, what it takes to be successful and the results. Discussion groups looked at all forms of alternative transportation and how readily they can be used to solve congestion and safety problems, especially for SR 19/20.
I was struck by the enthusiasm shown by state, county and city staff for this type of program for alternative transportation. The participants seemed willing to accept enthusiastically less traditional solutions to congestion without any serious reservations. They also projected a sense that this is possible.
Vicki Steigner of DOT seemed impressed that we already have efforts in place in E. Jefferson County such as the Transportation Lab and Transit's efforts that will help in establishing a Smart Trips program here. She expressed (guarded) optimism about there being federal funding in the stimulus package. She noted that Jefferson County has a different demographic than Whatcom and also the economic times are different than when they started their program. However, she did not let these issues deter her from believing that it can happen here. Lest we think that it is too expensive, she pointed out that it is much cheaper than building traffic lights and turn lanes – very expensive items.
In the discussion groups, there was a lot of recognition of reducing people's carbon footprint, the health benefits of walking and biking, the need for social marketing etc - all of which shows that people are ready to seek changes.
We also had plenty of food for people and a good display of folding bikes, maps and transit materials all of which was well used.