March 31, 2009

GAIT in the Reporter

The editor of the Issaquah Reporter, our area’s free newspaper, was at the kick off meeting for Sustainable Issaquah and wrote an editorial about the experience which includes a nice little shout out to GAIT. You can read it here.

March 25, 2009

March trash walk

Can you believe it’s the last Saturday in March already?

This month we’re going to work on the boardwalk along SR900. Actually more _under_ the boardwalk.

We’ll start soon after 9am on Saturday (3/28). Meet at the service station at the corner of Gilman Blvd and SR900. We’ll work our way away from the freeway (South) from there. This will be another soggy one, so bring your mucky boots and gloves. I’ll be out there rain or shine. Cancel for sticking snow :-)

If you come to help and we’re nowhere in sight, give me a call and I’ll let you know what’s going on. My cell number is 425-503-6815.

Hope to see you!

March 20, 2009

March meeting right here

We’re having a virtual meeting for March right here on the blog, so please come to order.

I’d like to review the plans for the year as set out in the earlier post about our January meeting.

Jeff Youngstrom will do and/or coordinate the following:

  • Inventory of facilities
  • Monthly (or more frequent) trash walks
  • Web page improvements
  • Attend Council Transportation Committee Meetings
  • Table at appropriate community events

On the inventory front, I’ve been working on a form for people to use to note different features as we review the streets of Issaquah. I’ll test that out myself then I’ll be looking for a couple of beta testers to survey a street and see if the process makes sense to them. I’ll also be working on a way to present our findings, perhaps using Google Earth.

We’ve had two trash walks so far, both quite successful. The third is coming up on the 28th. This time we’re going to take a crack at the area around the boardwalk on the east side of SR-900 working our way south from Gilman Blvd. This will be another squishy one, so bring those waterproof boots. I’ll send a reminder next week.

Web page improvements have not progressed yet.

We’ve had a presence at each Council Transportation Committee meeting so far this year. I’ll try to be better about getting the agenda out ahead of time and posting a summary afterwards.

We haven’t done any tabling yet this year, but we’re lined up for three events so far. On Saturday, April 18 we’ll have a table for the city’s Earth Day celebration. On Saturday, April 25 we’ll be at the annual Hobby & Volunteer Expo. Both of those events will be at Pickering Barn. The other one we have lined up is the National Night Out in August.

Barb Shelton will coordinate moving us toward 501(c)(3) status.

I don’t know if Barb has had a chance to think about this. Barb?

Bob Miller will do the following:

  • Wednesday evening guided bike rides
  • “Fix a flat” class or classes (details on the first coming soon!)
  • possibly other classes

Bob’s first “Fix a Flat” class is coming up next Tuesday (the 24th). Check with Bob to see if there’s still space. The evening rides are waiting for the evening light which is coming along.

There was a lot of interest in working on Safe Routes to Schools, especially in connection to the planned redevelopment at Issaquah High School. We’d especially like to get parents of school-aged children involved in an effort to push this issue with the school district and the city. I can’t remember if one person was going to take responsibility for this, but Tina Anderson, Barb Shelton, Karen Behm, and Erik Schneider all expressed interest.

This kind of fizzled when we discovered that the specific sidewalk we were concerned about at the high school was being added into the plans. The paper announced this week that a contractor has been chosen for the redevelopment project so we’ll see how that shapes up as construction begins.

Safe Routes to School is a really big issue that can have a huge impact. However, with our current slate of active members it feels like the time isn’t right for GAIT to make a major push for it.

Karen Shively volunteered to become our parade coordinator for the year, so if you want to be in the 4th of July or Salmon Days parades, or have an idea for an entertaining entry in either focused on transportation, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with her.

Karen and I have some ideas. If you’re interested in walking or biking in the parade(s), check in with one of us so we can keep you in the loop and so we know how many people we can expect to have participate if we do get this idea off the ground.

Finally, Karen Behm had the idea that we should meet with our new Police Chief and discuss issues of common interest. If you have something transportation-related that you’d like to discuss with the police, give a yell and we’ll add you to the meeting or add your issue to our list.

I never posted a recap of our February meeting, did I? Chief Ayers generously came to our February meeting and was very helpful in giving us a better understanding of how the police see their role as it relates to walk/bike/bus transportation. Perhaps the biggest message we got was that the Chief encouraged us to report any issues we see around town whether it’s grafitti or people parking on sidewalks or specific drivers not observing crosswalks. Your report may not always result in a citation to the offending party, but it will be recorded and contribute to evaluation of specific issues as time goes on. The non-emergency number for the Issaquah police is 425-837-3200. It’s a good one to have programmed in your cell phone so you’ll have it when you need it.

Does anyone have anything else we need to talk about this month? Leave a comment here if so.

March 3, 2009

March CTC

This week’s Council Transportation Committee meeting has some walk/bike/bus stuff on the agenda. I plan to be there, but more citizen presence is always welcome at these things. There isn’t always a chance to provide direct input, but hearing the discussion can be instructive.

The meeting is at 5pm on Thursday 3/5 (yes, extremely inconvenient) at City Hall NW which is by the Holiday Inn up north of the freeway.

Here are the agenda items with approximate times (these pretty much always stretch) and notes from me about what the walk/bike/bus relevance is:

5:00 Newport way trail oakcrest to lakemont
(more discussion of the mixed-use trail to be constructed along Newport Way west of SR900)

5:05 Black Nugget Road Re-Opening

5:30 AB 5954 Operations and Maintenance Agreement

(forwarded from Council, study of options for a bus on Squak)

5:45 AB 5956 SE bypass project record of decision– PWE WORK PLAN

5:55 I-90 Seismic Retrofit Project – WSDOT
(no direct impact to walk/bike/bus, but will affect the undercrossing of the East Lake Sammamish Trail (you may have noticed all the orange fences that just went up))

6:00 April CTC Meeting Schedule

Trash walk #2

The weather cooperated again on Saturday for six stalwart GAIT members who spent an hour and a half of their weekend pulling an unlikely number of bottles and candy wrappers and other detritus out of the little creek that runs past the community center along the trail. There was some stuff we couldn’t get to through all the brambles, but otherwise there’s a lot less garbage in the stretch from the start of the trail out past the skate park.

Here are some pictures (click for bigger versions):

Trash walkersEx-bike