A Freeway Runs Through It

Session 6D | Thursday | 10:30 – 11:45 AM PT

Presentation 1 PDF
Presentation 2 PDF
Presentation 3 PDF
About the Session

As planners, we often find ourselves retrofitting urban environments to better serve our diverse communities. From a transportation perspective, this can mean shifting roadway space and transportation investments away from vehicular capacity to provide more welcoming accommodations for people walking, biking, and accessing transit. These shifts represent a change in the way we "do business" in our communities and necessitate new ways of measuring transportation system performance, articulating project benefits, and considering impacts on communities that haven't historically engaged in the planning process. This session will present projects in multiple Washington cities that have grappled with these questions, including: The 85th Street Station Area Plan in Kirkland, which is striving to create a walkable environment in the vicinity of the I-405/NE 85th Street interchange.

This project is redefining what success means for NE 85th Street, a busy regional arterial, to create a vibrant center where people want to walk, bike, and take transit rather than drive. The South 200th Street Corridor Project in SeaTac, which grappled the multiple identities of South 200th Street, as a regional freight connection and a center of a neighborhood and transit village. The resulting study, which was endorsed by SeaTac City Council, considers an option which represents a dramatic departure from the status quo by limiting limit access to I-5 and returning the corridor to the neighborhood. Over the past several years, the City of Vancouver has been working hard to retrofit its major corridors to create a more inclusive multimodal environment.  Planners from each community will share their experiences and lessons learned and engage in a robust conversation with the audience about the challenges of shifting the way we plan our transportation systems.

About the Moderator

Kendra Breiland AICP
Fehr & Peers

Kendra is a principal with Fehr & Peers' Seattle Office. She has 15 years of experience in long-range planning, multimodal planning, comprehensive planning, and fee program development. Over the past five years, she has worked with more than 20 communities in Washington and Oregon to develop long-range transportation plans, mobility plans, and safe streets studies that consider community values, funding realities, and constructability. Kendra has a strong working knowledge of state and federal requirements and routinely leads multidisciplinary teams. She excels on projects that require flexibility, creativity, and interaction with diverse stakeholders.

About the Speakers

Victoria Kovacs, AICP
City of Kirkland

Victoria Kovacs, AICP, is a Transportation Planner for the City of Kirkland. Since joining the City in December 2021, Victoria has been involved in the update to the Active Transportation Plan, Vision Zero Action Plan, and NE 85th St Station Area Plan. From her background in consulting, she now has over nine years of experience in active transportation planning and design. Victoria is thrilled to be involved in ongoing Neighborhood Traffic Control and Safety Programs, corridor projects, and the update to the Transportation Master Plan to help realize Kirkland’s vision as a livable city with safe, walkable, bikeable, and connected neighborhoods.  

David Tomporowski, AICP
Port of Seattle

David Tomporowski is a transportation planning professional with over 10 years of work experience in planning, policy, project management, research, and GIS. He received his master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington and before that spent five years working for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in GIS data analysis and freight transportation planning. Before starting at the Port of Seattle, David worked as a senior transportation planner for the City of SeaTac, WA, where he coordinated the implementation of the city’s transportation master plan across the Planning and Public Works Departments, project managed an intersection and a corridor study, and acted as the City's main representative to external transportation agency partners.

Emily Benoit
City of Vancouver

Emily Benoit is an experienced urban planner and analyst with a demonstrated history of working with local governments, non-profit organizations, and in the private sector. She is currently the Senior Transportation Planning for the City of Vancouver, Washington, working on projects that increase safety and mobility for all users throughout the City's transportation network. She holds a Master of Community Planning from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a Master of Business Administration - Business Analytics candidate at Oregon State University.

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