Category: Washington

An interview with Dongho Chang, Complete Streets engineer

WA Seattle Dongho Chang
Seattle’s chief road engineer Dongho Chang, next to Broadway’s new protected bike lane. Photo via the Green Lane Project on Facebook.

When activists painted a guerrilla bike lane in Seattle, they didn’t expect a traffic engineer to thank them. But that’s what Seattle traffic engineer Dongho Chang did, commending for bringing attention to the safety issue — and then installing a more permanent treatment soon after. Chang spoke with the National Complete Streets Coalition about a few of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s signature projects, the inspiration for his work, and what he’s learned in 25 years of traffic engineering.

Posted in Complete Streets, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Since the workshop: Focus on sustainability and neighborhood development helps fuel economic revitalization in Tacoma, WA

tacoma-breweryThe former Heidelberg brewery in Tacoma’s Brewery District neighborhood. Smart Growth America’s 2012 workshop looked at ways to revitalize the neighborhood. Photo by Corey Knafelz via Flickr.

Tacoma, WA is growing fast. The area is projected to be one of the top 10 U.S. metro areas for job growth through 2020, and City leaders are working to support and sustain that economic growth with a smart growth approach to development.

Tacoma’s leaders were already thinking about these strategies back in April 2012, when Smart Growth America conducted a technical assistance workshop with the City. Staff from Smart Growth America and our partner Criterion Planners worked with Tacoma officials and local residents to understand how a smart growth approach could support revitalization in the Hilltop/ Martin Luther King Jr. neighborhood and Dome/Brewery District. The workshop focused on using the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) tool to help city officials establish a framework to set goals, measurements, and eventually brand these neighborhoods as center for green development.

Posted in Technical assistance, Washington | Leave a comment

Councilmember Amber Waldref on improving corridors and quality of life for residents in Spokane, WA

City of Spokane, WA. Photo via City of Spokane on Facebook.

At the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Spokane, WA, is using smart growth to manage growth and improve quality of life for residents.

Spokane is a scenic city centered on the Spokane River with a population of 210,000. According to Amber Waldref, District One Councilmember and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, the city is an “urban area with a small town feel.” Several smart growth projects—including updating design standards, a new form based code, improved transit, and building incentives downtown—will help Spokane be the vibrant, walkable city that residents desire.

Posted in Local Leaders Council, Washington | Leave a comment

Announcing the recipients of Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance

The City of Franklin, TN is one of 14 communities that will receive a free technical assistance workshop from Smart Growth America in 2015.

Smart Growth America is pleased to announce the 14 communities selected to receive free workshops in 2015 as part of our free technical assistance program.

Posted in Featured Content, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, South Dakota, Technical assistance, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Spotlight on Sustainability: Equitable transit-oriented development in Seattle, WA

Images from the Community Cornerstones Project Brochure.

Southeast Seattle is home to the most diverse and immigrant-populated neighborhoods in Seattle, Washington. Now, as a result of the Community Cornerstones project, it could become the City’s next equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) success story.

Part of the strategy is to attract dense mixed-use development to several of Southeast Seattle’s neighborhoods that are in close proximity to the light-rail system opened in 2009, while also preserving the area’s affordability for existing residents through partnerships with community development and financial institutions. The area is already home to one of the most transit-utilized areas of Seattle, and through the project the area is likely to grow with more people, businesses, and jobs.

Posted in Blog, Partnership, Partnership and Main, Smart growth stories, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Councilman Jon Snyder on how Complete Streets are helping to improve Spokane, WA

Bike lanes in downtown Spokane. Photo by Orin Blomberg, via FlickrBike lanes in downtown Spokane. Photo by Orin Blomberg, via Flickr.

During his first term on the Spokane, WA City Council, Councilman Jon Snyder, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, experienced a lesson that he has carried with him since. “As a leader, you need to understand the difference between a policy that may take several years to develop, and those that represent a flaw in the system that should be called out and remedied quickly.”

Councilman Snyder worked for two years to pass a Complete Streets ordinance (PDF) in Spokane, a process that took time, perseverance and creativity. Snyder credits a broad coalition of support to the ordinance’s eventual passage in 2011: During the meeting where the City Council approved the ordinance, a diverse group of community members, including representatives from schools, older adults, persons with disabilities, the local farmers’ market, and businesses all spoke in favor of policy adoption.

Posted in Complete Streets, Local Leaders Council, Washington | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SeaTac, WA Deputy Mayor Mia Gregerson on placemaking through transit-oriented development

Tukwila Station
SeaTac’s Tukwila International Boulevard Station, located at the center of SeaTac’s South 154th Street station area. Image by Sean Marshall via Flickr.

SeaTac, WA, is a new, exceptionally diverse city adjacent to both Seattle and Tacoma (as its name suggests) and home to the region’s international airport. So what’s it lacking? Transit-oriented development and neighborhoods that will lure new residents to take advantage of what SeaTac has to offer. Deputy Mayor and City Councilmember Mia Gregerson supports using smart growth strategies to achieve both.

Gregerson is a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of municipal officials who share a passion for building great towns, cities, and communities. Gregerson, who has served as a member of SeaTac’s City Council since 2008 and is also the city’s Deputy Mayor, says that that a main challenge for SeaTac is that its convenient location and new road infrastructure have not been enough to create a compelling sense of place in the young city.

Posted in Local Leaders Council, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New legislation makes it easier to clean up brownfield sites in Washington state

Esplanade Park in Tacoma, WA
Esplanade Park in Tacoma, WA, is a former brownfield site that was cleaned up and redeveloped. Newly passed legislation will help more sites achieve this success. Photo by the Washington State Department of Ecology via Flickr.

In June 2013, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill that will make it easier for communities to clean up brownfield sites across the state.

SB 5296 modifies Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act and creates new tools for brownfields cleanup. “There are a large number of toxic waste sites that have been identified in the department of ecology’s priority list,” the bill explained. “Addressing the cleanup of these toxic waste sites will provide needed jobs to citizens of Washington state.”

Posted in Brownfields, Washington | Leave a comment