City’s BTW Plan wins planning award

Plan recommends $435,000 per year for multimodal transportation improvements
By Nicholas Johnson | Oct 04, 2017

The city’s plan for improving and diversifying the way people get around town is getting recognition from state-level planning groups.

The Planning Association of Washington (PAW) and the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) presented the city with the 2017 Transportation Planning Award on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The award honors the city’s By The Way (BTW) Plan for its application of planning principles, community values, suitability and innovation, social equity, and project financing.

“Our award-winning BTW Plan is critical to developing a strategic approach that prioritizes connections to schools and regional networks first, so that our limited funds are being spent as wisely as possible,” Mayor Jennifer Gregerson said.

The long-term implementation of the BTW Plan would provide residents the choice and opportunity to move around the community using multiple modes ¬– walking, biking, riding the bus or driving a car.

“Statistics are clear that one-third of our residents can’t drive, and with congestion worsening, I believe the city needs to invest more in safe infrastructure for people, bicycles, buses and cars,” Gregerson said. “We need an ‘all of the above’ approach that builds a connected system.”

Community Development Director Patricia Love managed the creation and drafting of the plan with assistance from the Public Works Department. This is the second award-winning plan that the Community Development Department has crafted in the last two years, with the last award honoring the Mukilteo Comprehensive Plan in 2015.

“I want to thank our great city staff for creating a practical, cost-effective and prioritized financing plan for bicycle and pedestrian investments,” City Council President Bob Champion said. “This data-driven approach will assure our taxpayers that the city is making the best use of its limited transportation dollars.”

In addition to staff and public input, the Wise Investments in Transportation Taskforce also served as an early advisory committee to assist with the development of the plan. The Taskforce was composed of residents and business owners and analyzed the city’s transportation plans and policies from 2015-2016. The Taskforce delivered a report to the City Council in June 2016 that recommended $435,000 per year in funding for the plan.

“I was proud to work with my City Council colleagues to rigorously analyze the plan and its assumptions before approving it this spring,” Champion said. “I commend and congratulate the staff for receiving this award for their work.”

In July, the Taskforce also recommended the city dedicate a minimum of $900,000 per year to pavement preservation, and the council agreed. City voters will decide in November whether to approve a 0.1 percent sales tax measure to raise a portion of those funds, some $294,118 per year over the next 10 years.

To read the full BTW Plan, visit: https://go.usa.gov/xRhFb.

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