This month, the City of Bellingham will receive its fourth award in ten years for its progressive transportation planning work from the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association (APAWA) and the Planning Association of Washington (PAW).
The APAWA and PAW jointly honored Bellingham's Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) with an Implementation Category Award, in recognition of “outstanding success in translating plans to reality." Previous APAWA/PAW awards were for Bellingham's Multimodal Transportation Concurrency program (2009), Urban Village Transportation Impact Fee Reduction program (2012) and Alabama Street Multimodal Safety Improvements (2016).
According to the APAWA/PAW awards co-chair, the awards jury “felt the Bicycle Master Plan was comprehensive and was impressed by how much had been accomplished in a short time." In June, Bellingham was awarded a Governor's Smart Choice Award for “Rapid Implementation" of the Bicycle Master Plan, with more than half of 215 prioritized bicycle improvement projects completed since the Plan was approved by City Council in 2014.
The goal of APAWA/PAW awards program is to recognize great planning efforts in Washington, to promote excellent planning in government, and to increase public awareness of the organizations' role in supporting outstanding planning.
Bellingham's Transportation Planner Chris Comeau noted that the City is a leader in multimodal transportation planning and in accommodating and encouraging travel by bicycle.
“Washington has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as the nation's most bike-friendly state over the past nine years," Comeau said. “And, based on our bike plan progress over the past five years, Bellingham is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the state.
“Our public engagement, monitoring of land use and transportation changes, and publication of the Transportation Report on Annual Mobility (TRAM) allow us to take comprehensive action, partnering with others to maximize the amount of bicycle connectivity that is funded and built each year," said Comeau.
The City recently completed bike facilities along the waterfront on Roeder Avenue and connecting downtown to Ellis Street via Chestnut Street and is currently completing new bike facilities along Cordata Parkway from Kellogg Road to Kline Road.
The APA/PAW award will be presented to City staff on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the 2019 APA Washington Statewide Planning Conference in Tacoma.