COB transportation planning honored with award

The Bellingham Business Journal

Bellingham’s progressive multimodal transportation planning program received top honors last week, winning the 2009 American Planning Association/Planning Association of Washington award for Transportation Planning in Washington State, for the city’s Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program, adopted by City Council in December 2008. The award was presented Friday, Nov. 13, at the APA/PAW annual conference in Vancouver, Wash.

Transportation concurrency is a part of Washington’s Growth Management Act (GMA), requiring cities to adopt level of service standards and performance measures to ensure that the transportation system can keep up with growth in the community. If there is too much growth for the transportation system to handle, then development permits cannot be issued. Most cities have adopted standards based on traffic counts that focus only on automobile transportation.  In 2009, Bellingham adopted new level of service standards and performance measures that include sidewalks, bike lanes and transit riders, as well as automobiles.

The Multimodal Transportation Concurrency Program is designed to help Bellingham achieve comprehensive plan goals directing growth to urban villages and to complete sidewalks and bicycle lanes throughout the city. Bellingham’s innovative program has been profiled in several transportation publications and the city has received inquiries from planners all over North America who are interested in adopting similar programs.

“Providing mobility and connectivity options for all users is priority for the city of Bellingham, and we are honored to be recognized as a leader in transportation planning,” Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike said in a statement. “This innovative work is the result of staff expertise and council leadership, and will be a model for communities in Washington and across the nation.”

APA representatives will visit Bellingham to formally present the award at the Dec. 7 Bellingham City Council regular meeting.

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