Transportation Commission holds virtual meeting to discuss transportation issues in Bellingham area

Transportation Commission Office – PO Box 47308 – Olympia, WA 98504-7308
(360) 705-7070

Date: June 10, 2020

Contact:  Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070

OLYMPIA – Community leaders and local officials from Bellingham and Whatcom County will meet virtually with the Washington State Transportation Commission on June 16 and 17 to share their perspectives on transportation issues, challenges, and successes, as well as impacts from the COVID-19 response.

The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted using GoToWebinar. People interested in attending can find participation instructions and a link to register on the commission website.

On Tuesday, the Whatcom Council of Governments will provide insights into the diversity of Whatcom County, with Bellingham being the tenth largest city in western Washington, existing alongside farms and forests, and significant traffic volumes coming into the region via one of the nation’s busiest border crossings. Then, the Whatcom Transportation Authority and the City of Bellingham will inform the commission of the various programs in place to enable travel around Whatcom County without a car, utilizing innovative ways to promote walking, bicycling, sharing rides, and riding the bus.

In addition, the commission will hear about efforts aimed at providing regional coordination of cross-border transportation planning via the International Mobility and Trade Corridor (IMTC). Led by the Whatcom Council of Governments, the IMTC program has over 50 organizations participating in an effort to improve safety, mobility and security for the Cascade Gateway and the five, border ports-of-entry connecting western Washington state and lower mainland British Columbia.

Wednesday’s agenda begins with the commission taking action on naming two stretches of State Route 20 for two law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty: Skagit County Sheriff Deputy Al Hultgren and Washington State Trooper Thomas Hendrickson. The commission will hear from Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste and Skagit County Undersheriff Chad Clark.

Next, the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County will brief the commission on transportation challenges and successes in the area, including how the pandemic is affecting transportation patterns and funding. The meeting will conclude with a panel briefing from the City of Bellingham, the Port of Bellingham, and All-American Marine on the topic of transportation and economic vitality. The panel will discuss the work the city and port have done and their plans for the future, with a particular emphasis on the redevelopment of the Bellingham waterfront, and the role key companies like All-American Marine play in the region’s economic success.

The Washington State Transportation Commission holds meetings throughout the state each year to gain insight from local government, industry and citizens about transportation issues that affect their communities and region. This information helps the commission to develop transportation policy recommendations to the State Legislature and Governor that reflect the priorities of the people and local governments throughout the state of Washington. This is the first local meeting of 2020. 

Public comment on items on the commission’s agenda will be accepted via email. Comments should be sent to: Comments received by 4 p.m. Monday, June 16, will be provided to commission members electronically before the meeting. Those received after that deadline will be provided to commissioners after the meeting.

All presentations will be available on the commission’s website before the meeting. 


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