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Posted 14 July 2016
How we travel from one place to another has been a hot topic in Clark County, Washington, for many years. Most of us can agree on some aspects of the question. BergerABAM Landscape Architect Juanita Rogers chairs the Clark Communities Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. She recently briefed the Washington State Transportation Commission about what the committee is doing to educate adults about biking and walking—she has found that kids (including her own three boys) are already pretty well tuned in. The overall goal of the committee is to help create a healthy community that provides a variety of ways to get from one place to another. The committee represents the young, old, and abled/disabled people of the county who drive, walk, bike, or use transit in their daily lives—essentially all of us. Committee members come to this volunteer work group with interests in transportation that include helping make commutes more efficient and increasing opportunities for exercise, outdoor enjoyment, and family togetherness.
With the central aim of encouraging walking and cycling, the committee reviews plans for upgrades to roads and facilities and advises the county about making and prioritizing bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The ideal project benefits the community by closing gaps in bike lanes and sidewalks, expanding community access and mobility, improving safety and comfort, and connecting with multiple transportation modes.
Getting the younger generation involved is the key to engaging their parents and the greater community in walking and cycling. That’s why the committee works with local schools on programs like Walk and Bike to School that explain basic bike maintenance, provide helmets, and teach the rules of the road. The committee also hopes to revive Sunday Streets Alive, a 2013 City of Vancouver program that promoted healthy living by encouraging community members to “ditch the car and ride the streets.”
Seeing an obvious need, the committee used updated data provided by the City of Vancouver, Clark County, and other jurisdictions to design a comprehensive map of bicycle facilities that also includes multi-use trails https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/documents-and-maps.
Juanita says she serves on the committee because her professional experience designing bike facilities, sidewalk connections, and multi-use trails made her aware of the need to engage residents in creating a community that offers everyone multiple transportation options and increased opportunities for healthful living.
The committee is working on the community’s behalf to advise the County and the staffs of participating cities, as well as the state, on all types of bicycle and pedestrian matters. including planning and design, safety, connections, improvements, and promotion.
Are you interested in getting involved? Find out how at https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-planning/clark-communities-bicycle-an....