Bellingham wins Governor’s Smart Project Award for Rapid Implementation of Bellingham’s Bicycle Master Plan 

By Chris Comeau, AICP-CTP

Last week, the Washington Governor’s Office announced that the City of Bellingham won one of 13 Governor’s 2019 Smart Communities Awards, which honor the “shared vision, tough decisions and partnerships” that enable a community’s values and priorities to “shine” in long-term planning.

Bellingham won the Smart Projects Award for the Rapid Implementation of Bellingham’s Bicycle Master Plan – a community-developed 2014 Bicycle Master Plan (BMP). Bellingham’s implementation of the BMP has created more citywide bicycle connectivity than in any other city of a similar size in Washington.

Chris Comeau, Bellingham’s Transportation Planner, said that in the five years since the adoption of the BMP, Public Works has completed and funded 111 (or 52%) of the 215 individual prioritized bicycle infrastructure and crossing improvement projects with a substantial investment of over $30 million in transportation funding to date.

Bellingham’s extensive public engagement with its annual Transportation Improvement Program and Transportation Report on Annual Mobility (TRAM) allow for a series of comprehensive actions and opportunistic efforts to partner with other agencies and jurisdictions, as well as private development, to maximize the amount of bicycle connectivity that is funded and constructed each year. The extensive bicycle connectivity created in Bellingham since 2014 can be viewed in a series of Bicycle Connectivity Graphics on Bellingham’s Complete Networks web page.

According to Valerie Smith, of the Washington State Department of Commerce, Bellingham’s project stood out in a crowded field of varied and exceptional projects.

“As a former legislator, I appreciate how competitive this statewide award is,” said Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville. “And I’m not a bit surprised that we won. Our city is well-regarded for being innovative and accomplished in providing bicycle infrastructure.”

The award will be presented to the Mayor and Bellingham City Council later this summer.

For more information about Bellingham’s multimodal transportation planning, please contact:
Chris Comeau, AICP-CTP, Transportation Planner
Bellingham Public Works Engineering
(360) 778-7946 or [email protected]

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