Monday, May 24, 2010

Kirkland's 1st Annual Health and Wellness Fair

June 19, 2010 Marks the First Annual Kirkland Health and Wellness Fair.

Located at Parkplace, the fair will include vendor booths, screenings of recent movies discussing our countries food supply, a variety of speakers a walking tour of Kirkland as well as a variety of events for the children.

Sponsored by Bastyr, Lake Washington Technical Institute and Evergreen Hospital, the fair will no doubt be a first of many to come. So jump on your bike, walk or ride the bus and spend the day learning about what is happening in your community and ways we can all become healthier. You can find more information at

Thursday, April 8, 2010

City of Bohell starts construction on a more Vibrant, Pedestrian Friendly and Walkable Downtown

On Tuesday, Mayor Mark Lamb climbed into a backhoe and started demolition of an old brick building located in the City of Bothell. This marks the beginnier of a revitalization plan that includes investing $150 million into the downtown core. The plan includes moving the highway, expanding the park at Bothell Landing and adding a new City Hall.
The redevelopment will incorporate the most important features of Bothell: The Sammamish River and Bothell Landing Park into its downtown. Future additions to the downtown park will include canoe-and-kayak launching area, public paths, and bike and boat rentals. Re-routing of 522 will also create three new downtown blocks, adding to the retail core, making downtown Bothell more walkable and restoring its historic charm.

The makeover includes:
• Demolishing 15 buildings.
• Moving Highway 522 one block south and disconnecting it from Main Street, helping traffic move faster through downtown, and also widening it at a corridor known as "Wayne Curve."
• Extending Highway 527 and broadening it into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
• Expanding Main Street with new buildings that have ground-floor stores with office space or residences above.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Google engineer's have developed a bike route feature to accompany the pedestrian, public transit, and yes automobile route maps previously available. The bike mapping not only shows you how to get there, but also recommends preferred routes that are less hilly and or avoids heavily congested streets making your commute, weekend adventure or a simple trip to the store as enjoyable as possible.

To use, simply visit and click on the maps page. In the upper left hand corner of the page, click on the “bicycling directions” link. Input your to and from addresses and voila, a map is created for just for you. Once your map is created you can click and drag the actual route shown on the map screen if you think you know better than Google. Information such as estimated time, distance and alternative routes are also shown. In addition to bicycling maps, the top of the page has a drop down menu in which you can choose “walking”, “by public transit” or “by car” and the map will change accordinfly giving you Google’s recommendations for the best route. With great riding weather upon us, plan a couple bike trips, print them out and hit the road.

Happy Safe Cycling

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Partners for Smart Growth arrive in the Emerald City February 4-6, 2010

Conference is being held next week in Seattle. The conference will tackle the balancing of environmental, economic and livability issues in our cities and towns necessary in order for the Pacific Northwest to continue being a most desirable place to live and work. Seattle was chosen due in part to its being named one of the top 10 green cities in the U.S. by National Geographic’s “The Green Guide”, (2005). In addition, the Seattle area has a variety of healthy, walkable, bicycle and transit friendly, livable towns and cities that will are models for the rest of North America making Seattle a very desirable venue for such a conference.

Last year the conference was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico and was heralded as a huge success bringing together local elected officials, city and county staff, landscape architects, developers and builders, planners, transportation professionals and traffic engineers, public health professionals, architects, bankers, realtors, urban designers, parks and recreation professionals, school superintendents and board members and facilities staff, environmentalists and a host of civic advocates.

The conference will include “a dynamic mix of plenaries, breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and coordinated networking activities”. Most exciting will be the tour of local model projects in Seattle and the greater Puget Sound Region. This tour includes cities and towns such as Kirkland, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Snohomish, Highpoint, Bainbridge and others. Overall there will be information and examples that will interest just about everyone with close to 90 sessions and workshops, tours and a wide variety of speakers. Registration is still open for the conference.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making changes in 2010

Another new year has arrived and with it come resolutions for a healthier, happier more financially stable you. Some of the most popular resolutions are: Get in Shape, Lose Weight, Save Money, Buy a house and help others…

Every year, the resolution part is relatively easy, however it is the follow through that is most difficult. In my opinion, the reason we often do not achieve our resolutions is simple, we demand too much from ourselves. Creating a list of 20 life changing resolutions to accomplish in a year is easy on paper, but difficult if not impossible in our already hectic day to day life and will ultimately result in disappointment. So be real, focus on what is truly important and put together a specific yet simple plan that you can achieve. List out the small interim steps that will help you achieve your goal and will serve as a map to getting results. Make sure to put this plan somewhere you see it often and take necessary time each day to review it and determine where you are at and what is next. Most importantly stay positive and keep moving in the right direction.

So how does this relate to “walkable communities” you ask? As I stated at the beginning the most widely held resolutions are always: get in shape, buy a house, save money and get out of debt. A simple way to achieve a couple of the top ten resolutions is to make some minor changes in your lifestyle that over time will result in these outcomes. For example, instead of going to the gym which will only cost you additional money, resolve to ride your bike or walk to work. Start with just 2 to 3 days a week and build from there. This seemingly simple change will save you money, provide the exercise you need, help the environment, reduce traffic and increase your quality of life.

In Bellevue, City officials have recognized this demand and are working to make commuting via bike and feet safer, easier and faster. In the fall of 2009 City Planners conducted a survey of walkers and riders and found that a majority of them were commuting to work, (66 and 77 percent respectively). The study found the median length of commute approximately one mile for pedestrians and nine miles for cyclists. As a result, the City plans to make changes to infrastructure to further increase the safety and capacity of streets to handle the expected increase of pedestrian and cyclists commuters.

Oh, and one of my resolutions is to update this blog at least once a week so look for upcoming posts!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The True Cost of Commuting

We are all looking for ways to save money in these tough economic times. Even better, how about earning extra cash amidst all the negative news?
One simple and guaranteed way is to put away the car (or better yet sell it) and begin walking and biking.

It is common knowledge that most households spend more than necessary on their vehicles. The American Automobile Association estimates that operating a typical SUV exceeds $8000 per year. Increase your commute distance and this can easily reach $10,000 - $12,000 based on the True Cost of Driving Calculator.

Now let’s say you buy a used but reliable car or sell an extra car and minimize your driving by utilizing transit, biking or walking you can easily cut your expenses in half. This results in an annual saving of $4000 - $8000 dollars.

This saving invested with a rate of return of 7% would yield $60,000 to $130,000 over ten years and $190,000 to $380,000 over twenty years. Do this for forty years and you would earn over a million dollars just by reducing your automobile use by half!!!!

This may seem far fetched, but combine this with rising fuel cost, climate change and ever increasing infrastructure cost paid for by the taxpayer and this represents real savings.

In fact, the Urban Land Institute recently reported in “Creating A Framework for a Green Economy”, Spring 2009 that families are searching for “foreclosure resistant neighborhoods where transit costs are low (about 9% of household expenditures)” as opposed to the “foreclosure-risky neighborhoods in the exurbs where transportation costs are high (25% of household expenditures)”. In this scenario, say the family expenditure is $4000 per month. If transportation costs are 25% of that number or $1000 versus 9% or $360 this represents and annual savings of $7680.

Put another way, by using the True Cost of Driving Calculator a home buyer can determine the real cost of choosing a “walkable” neighborhood versus a home requiring commuting and additional vehicle trips for all of life’s necessities. Using the cost savings of $8000 per year discussed above, a family could afford an additional $650 dollars per month. This monthly savings represents an additional $100,000 in home purchasing power. By utilizing this buying power a family could choose a home in a walkable neighborhood which reduces transportation costs and thereby reduces impact to the environment, is healthier for the entire family while improving the sense of community and for all these reasons is a significantly better financial investment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

UW Bothell Sets Fall Enrollment Record

Founded in 1990, the University of Washington Bothell was created to bring the world-renowned University of Washington traditions of academic excellence to residents on the Eastside, North King and Snohomish counties, as well as from around the state, the nation and the world.

The campus, which is shared with Cascadia Community College is situated on a 128-acre site and is home to one of the States most successful wetland restoration projects. Bordering this important area are trails connecting the UW to the Sammamish River and Burke Gilman Trails. Originally, this property was home to the Boone-Truly Ranch.

The UW Bothell’s architecture truly stands out by combining modern architecture with an emphasis on blending into the surrounding environment. Construction materials and techniques used were environmentally friendly and the buildings utilizes advanced technology for both faculty and student use. As a result, the campus received the American Institute of Architects 2002 Honor Award for Washington Architecture.

The UW Bothell is an accredited unit of the University of Washington and home to more than 2600 students. Both graduate and undergraduate programs are offered at the UW Bothell campus.

By participating in and hosting locals events, attracting the brightest students and educators and being located less than a mile from Downtown Bothell the University of Washington brings economic stability, diversity and vitality to the entire region, and specifically to the Bothell area.

Whether simply using the grounds to take a scenic run, visiting the library, attending special events or actually attending classes at the UW Bothell, this important amenity guarantees the continued growth and vitality of the Bothell area. In fact, this year’s fall enrollment set an all time record with 2,374 full time equivalent (FTE) students, or a headcount of 2,801 walking through the doors. This represents an overenrolled at 116% and in comparison, 2008 enrollment included 1,899 full time equivalent students and a headcount of 2,288.

Both Village Walk and Ross Road Communities were designed to take advantage of all that Downtown Bothell has to offer. Restaurants, Civic Buildings, Recreational Opportunities, Shopping, Libraries and of Course the UW of Washington Bothell Campus are all located in safe and walkable distance from these two new and exciting communities within Downtown Bothell.

Village Walk is located just under 1 mile from UW Bothell

Ross Road Townhomes is located just half mile from UW Bothell