The Snoqualmie Valley has unique transportation issues. Our roads endure flooding and snow when other areas don’t. Living in a valley surrounded by the Cascade Foothills means navigating many hills and ridges and driving the roads that take us through those big elevation changes, whether it be by car, SUV with snow tires or bike.
Many residents commute west for work. Snoqualmie Ridge only recently got King County bus service. Traffic on 202 (route to Microsoft and other Redmond employers) can sometimes be brutal. Many valley residents head east for activities like winter skiing at Snoqualmie Pass and summer fun in Eastern Washington.
If you have ideas to share about how to make transportation in our local area better, here is your chance.
Last week, the Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) launched the Voice of Washington State (VOWS) statewide public engagement program. The seven regional online discussion forums are your chance to share your transportation ideas with state leaders. The WSTC is asking state residents to visit www.voiceofwashingtonstate.org and sign up to share input on how to improve the state’s transportation system.
You can join the VOWS Online Discussion Forums and publicly voice your opinions, post ideas and interact with other citizens. You can also join the VOWS Survey Panel to participate in occasional online surveys. The Commission is using the new online forum technology to empower citizens to become thought-leaders on transportation.
“Sparking a robust conversation around transportation issues, and collecting survey data that indicates people’s opinions and thoughts on policy and funding approaches, will help decision makers identify possible solutions and investment priorities,” noted Reema Griffith, executive director of the WSTC. “When people share what matters to them when they drive, ride, bike, walk or fly within their communities, their needs can be more effectively addressed.”
The ultimate goal is to gather public input on Washington state transportation policy and funding, and to inform the statewide discussion and decision-making process. Topics for discussion will focus on all things transportation: highways, mass transit, freight and high-speed rail, ferries, barges and aviation. The governor and Legislature will be briefed on the ideas and data generated through the online discussion forums and surveys.
The combination of the online survey and the regional online discussion forums is a new outreach strategy for the WSTC. While the Commission has conducted successful phone and email surveys for a few years, the primary community input tool has been public meetings. The online tools removes the distance and travel barriers inherent to public meetings; hopefully increasing the opportunity for everyone – no matter where they live – to participate and share their views.
So here’s your chance Snoqualmie Valley. Visit the Voice of Washington State to speak out on transportation, share your ideas and hopefully impact the future transportation options in our area.