Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bellingham's New Transportation Commission

A recent Herald article reports Bellingham is seeking applicants for new Transportation Commission

The City's website provides information on its new Transportation Commission:

This sub-website explains the rationale behind establishing this new Commission:

Basically, the new Commission expands its previous role(s) into longer range planning, while also continuing the prior functions of advising the City on Bicycle/Pedestrian and Parking issues.
Because the Growth Management Act requires Transportation CONCURRENCY in planning for Growth, the new Commission's role is intended to help fill some gaps this effort.

For example, I can see some clear possibilities of jointly meeting with the Planning Commission, the Whatcom Council of Governments [Regional Transportation Planning Agency], the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, and Public Works regarding the City's annual Transportation Improvement Plan [TIP].

Because of the increased depth of scope envisioned, care must be taken in selecting members willing to undertake these important assignments.
Additionally, use may be made of task forces and sub work groups as may be necessary and prudent.

Transportation projects often share at least two main characteristics; they address multiple long term needs and they tend to be relatively expensive.
Both of these are reasons that strongly justify an expanded Transportation Commission.

I hope citizens will seriously consider volunteering to be a part of this new idea.
Although the deadline for initial applications is September 18, there will be new appointments made at least yearly for the first three years.
A normal term of appointment, thereafter, is 3 years.

The following Questionnaire provides some food for thought for potential Applicants:

City of Bellingham
Transportation Commission Inventory

A broad cross-section of our community is expected to declare interest in the nine (9) seats that are available on Bellingham’s new Transportation Commission. Please help us assess the attributes you could bring to the Commission by highlighting your vision, knowledge, philosophy and experience related to transportation issues while answering the following questions. Please keep your responses to a total of no more than three one-sided pages, using a font of at least 11 points. Submit your responses to the Mayor’s Office, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225. Thank you.

1. As part of a 9-person body, what unique perspective or experience do you feel you would bring to the Commission?

2. What are the challenges, as you see it, to meeting the transportation needs of Bellingham and even Whatcom County?

3. What are some specific ways the city can address these issues or challenges?

4. If you had a symbolic $100 in public money to spend on any transportation system improvements you saw fit, how would you allocate the sum (use whole dollars only)?

5. What transportation modes do you personally use as...

Your primary means?

Periodic alternative transportation (e.g. once a month or more)?


6. If not selected for one of the Commission’s nine seats, would you be willing to serve on a select limited-term work group or a standing subcommittee? Check one: 0 YES 0 NO

Name: Phone: