Land Use CommitteeJuly 14, 20107:00 – 7:50 a.m
Chair, Cynthia Pratt, Tom Nelson, Virgil Clarkson
Greg Cuoio, Rick Walk, Scott Egger, Troy Woo, Carol Litten, Ryan Andrews,
Kathy McCormick, TRPC Senior PlannerHealthy Kids – Safe Streets Action Plan
Kathy McCormick, Thurston Regional Planning Council Senior Planner, presented the Healthy Kids – Safe Streets Action Plan, which was funded by grant money from the Department of Health and Washington State Department of Transportation. In an effort to encourage students, who live within a half mile of school, to walk and bike to school, Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) and Intercity Transit (IT) partnered to create this program.
There are two elements of the program:
- Walk and Roll, a school based incentive program with the goal of demonstrating the most effective way to build and sustain a partnerships that will result in more students walking, cycling or taking the bus to school.
- Healthy Kids—Safe Streets Action Plan, the result of regional policy makers and stakeholder discussions to identify how to sustain and expand programs to additional schools and how to overcome identified barriers to more walking and cycling to school.
Kathy noted that City staff (Ryan Andrews, Rick Walk) and Deputy Mayor Clarkson participated in drafting the Healthy Kids—Safe Streets Action Plan by attending a forum in the fall of 2009, a series of meetings to draft the plan, and a presentation of the plan this past spring.
For local jurisdictions, the plan will provide guidance to comprehensive plans including land use and transportation plans. The land use element will be guided by the Safe Streets plan by providing guidance for school siting activities, neighborhood connectivity recommendations, and community outreach policies. The Safe Streets plan provides recommendations that may affect the transportation element include those relating to infrastructure improvements (sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting, etc.), separation of arrival points at schools (i.e. separation of walk and bike as well as bus entries from vehicular entries), and tracking of vehicles around schools.
Kathy stated in order to move the plan forward, three elements are needed:
- Liaisons to assist with drafting policies and plans to be incorporated into school and city planning processes.
- Additional grant funding.
- Developing business partnerships to provide incentives to encourage youth participation in the program.
Issues that were discussed included parent concerns about traffic safety and stranger danger, siting of new schools in areas with density to encourage busing, pedestrian safety at entrances/exits to schools, redesigning parking lots to improve pedestrian safety, upgrading infrastructure design standards to include sidewalks, bike lanes and median crossings; creating pedestrian links to trails, creating walking corridors with less traffic volume, public education to promote pedestrian and biking safety, creating partnerships with service organizations to adopt-a-school, and program costs estimated at $8,000 per school.
Greg Cuoio, City Manager, asked if a baseline study will be conducted to determine how far children travel to school to measure the success of the program and to identify improvements. Kathy stated that each school will conduct a baseline study. She noted that surveys will be administered in the winter and spring to compile data. Councilmember Pratt moved to forward the Healthy Kids—Safe Streets Action Plan and recommendations to the Planning Commission for further consideration. Deputy Mayor Clarkson seconded. Motion carried.
Committee members approved Deputy Mayor Clarkson and Ryan Andrews, Assistant Planner, to serve as the City’s representatives during the implementation phase of the Healthy Kids—Safe Streets Action Plan.