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Curb the Congestion Gets Vision 2040 Award

August 3, 2012

(LtoR) Board Chair Joe Marine, BobAnn Fogard, Doug McCormick, Debbie Anderson, Jay Larson, Jennifer Hass, Jason Becker, Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright and PSRC Director Bob Drewel

Curb the Congestion Gets Vision 2040 Award

Snohomish County, Wash. – Community Transit and Snohomish County’s novel Curb the Congestion transportation demand management program has received a 2012 Vision 2040 Award from the Puget Sound Regional Council. The awards recognize innovative projects and programs that help ensure a sustainable future as the region grows.

“The Curb the Congestion program is an excellent example of how partnerships are making a difference in the region,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright, who is also chair of the PSRC Vision 2040 Awards Selection Committee. “This program has been producing results since 2008 and is one that can be built on and expanded to keep reducing congestion in key Snohomish County corridors.”

Curb the Congestion started in 2008 after Snohomish County declared 164th Street SW at “ultimate capacity,” meaning there was no opportunity to continue building out the road to increase traffic capacity. A development moratorium was imposed and a plan created to invest in transportation demand management and safety improvements.

The county turned to Community Transit, which developed the Curb the Congestion program. The county funds the program through development mitigation fees and federal grants, and Community Transit does the legwork, like holding community fairs, promoting the program to businesses and residents along the corridor, and administering the program’s incentives.

The county’s goal in its first year was to take 100 vehicle trips off the road each day. That was easily surpassed, and the next year the county added two more congested roads – 128th Street south of Everett and 20th Street SE near Lake Stevens – to the program.

“Our partnership with Community Transit continues to pay off as we look to reduce the number of drivers on this road while further promoting transit options such as carpooling and local bus service,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

As much as 25 percent of unincorporated Snohomish County’s population lives within the “traffic-shed” of these three roads, living in almost 70,000 homes and apartments. Curb the Congestion has evolved over the years, and now offers each resident personal assistance in finding carpools, planning bus trips and considering other alternatives to driving alone.

There is also a $50 monthly incentive to help participants pay for alternative transportation for the first three months they get out of their single-occupant vehicles. After three months, those who stay with the program are eligible to win a $150 monthly random drawing. Curb the Congestion “club members” log their participation online and are entered for the incentive drawings based on their participation.

Through 2011, 1,406 people were signed up and participating in the program, removing an estimated 92,500 drive-alone car trips from these three crowded corridors. A follow-up survey reported that 90 percent of those who signed up for the initial three-month incentive vowed to continue to use an alternate commute method.

Curb the Congestion has received other local and national awards, including a 2011 Association for Commuter Transportation Marketing and Outreach: Partnership Award and a 2010 Governor’s Commute Smart Award.

Community Transit’s Curb the Congestion team consists of Debbie Anderson, Jason Becker and Jennifer Hass. Snohomish County’s team is BobAnn Fogard, Jay Larson and Doug McCormick. For more information about Curb the Congestion and how to sign up, visit www.communitytransit.org/CurbIt, call (425) 438-6136 or send an email to curbit@commtrans.org.

PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, transportation and economic development planning within King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties. The Council is composed of more than 80 entities, including all four counties, cities and towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies and tribal governments within the region. In 2012, PSRC will select projects for the roughly $400 million in federal funds the region can expect to receive over the next few years. PSRC is also the lead regional economic development planning resource and home to the Prosperity Partnership.

PSRC’s Vision 2040 is the region’s growth management, economic and transportation strategy, designed to meet the needs of the 5 million people expected to be living in the region in 2040 (compared to the 3.7 million people living here today). It is an integrated, long-range vision for the future that lays out a strategy for maintaining a healthy region - promoting the well-being of people and communities, economic vitality and a healthy environment.

Community Transit is responsible for providing transportation options for Snohomish County residents, including bus and paratransit service, vanpool and ridesharing options. Call Community Transit at (425) 353-7433 or (800) 562-1375 for bus information, or (888) 814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org. You can also read our blog at www.communitytransit.blogspot.com, visit our Facebook page or see us on YouTube. Support local businesses and Community Transit when you Buy Local for Transit; read more at www.communitytransit.org/buylocal.

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