THURSTON HERE TO THERE:
Already making a difference in our community!
The Thurston Regional Planning Council developed Thurston Here to There as a coordinated set of activities with one goal – to improve access to travel options for the people who live, work, play, or go to school in Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino, Tumwater and Yelm. These options help our community to:
- Lower transportation costs
- Reduce congestion – including around schools – improving safety at the same time
- Enhance the sense of community
- Plan for future needs
- Respond to challenges such as environmental concerns, sustainability, rising fuel costs, and the increase in childhood obesity
- Reduce greenhouse gases, our carbon footprint, and vehicle miles traveled
ThurstonHeretoThere.org Launched in March 2012
Linking Travel Choices for Thurston Region Residents, Employees, and Visitors
Looking for the best route for your daily travels - or an alternative to driving in your car? In March 2012, TRPC launched a new user-friendly website that offers a variety of traveler resources and tools to help people get from here to there, regardless of age, physical ability, or income level.
A visit to ThurstonHereToThere.org will connect travelers to a range of local and regional travel options and services:
|• School Transportation
||• Vanpool and Carpool|
||• Commute Trip Reduction|
|• Special Needs
||• Veteran Transportation|
|• Rail and Air Travel
||• Rental Vehicles|
Join the more than 1,000 travelers that have accessed this new local resource. You may just find a better way to get from here to there!
Here to There Travel
Drive Less, Save Cash and
Enter for a Chance to Win!
People who live or work in Tumwater, Tenino, Rainier, Yelm, or Bucoda; and who use an alternative to driving alone; can enter for a chance to win
From July 1st - December 31st people who carpool, vanpool, ride the bus,
bike or walk to replace a drive-alone trip can visit ThurstonHeretoThere.org and enter their trip information weekly for a chance to win a bike helmet, lock, safety lights, bus passes, or other great prizes to support their efficient travel habits.
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Healthy Kids - Safe Streets
Helping Students Identify - and Use - Safe Routes to School
Are your kids Walking & Rolling?
Thurston Here to There supported the addition of three new schools to the Walk & Roll program during the 2011-12 school year. Tumwater's Michael T. Simmons Elementary and Yelm's Mill Pond and Fort Stevens Elementary Schools all kicked off Walk & Roll activities that provide safety information and encourage more walking, biking and bus trips. These healthy travel options beat riding to school in the family car! Each quarter, students compete among grade levels or classes.
The great news doesn't stop there - surveys taken at schools that began Walk & Roll programs prior to 2011 prove that continued participation = increased success. The number of Peter G. Schmidt Eagles who enjoyed the benefits of fresh air and exercise by arriving to school under their own steam more than doubled during the school's second year of participation - from 10% during 2010-11 to 23% in 2011-12!
Keeping Kids Safe...
The Walk & roll program identifies areas where communities can improve safety for students who walk and bike.
Until recently, students living near Mill Pond Elementary School in Yelm had to cross State Highway 507 unassisted or take the school bus a very short distance.
In partnership with Yelm Community Schools, TRPC arranged for crossing guards. The Yelm Police Department and WA State Traffic Safety Commission partners provided equipment and training.
It's a win-win-win-win: Parents can now encourage students to walk and bike to school; students get much needed exercise before school; car trips to and around school are reduced; and school buses have room for other students.
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It’s the Water – Full Steam Ahead:
Olympia Brewery Site Visioning Advances to Action Plan
In 2011, Thurston Here to There asked the community to imagine what they want next for the former Olympia Brewery site. Hundreds of community members took part in the collective visioning process. They said:
Honor the environment, especially
Look for employment opportunities
Honor the history
Enhance the community's connectivity to
Increase public access
Look for recreation opportunities
Create a place - a community heartbeat
To complete the first phase of the project, the city of Tumwater adopted a Brewery Action Plan and hired a Brewery Project Manager to spearhead the redevelopment of the site.
The City and TRPC then focused on obtaining a Community Challenge Grant to expand the visioning and planning process to the adjacent neighborhood or "Brewery District". The Brewery District Planning Project will kick off in summer 2012.
Learn more about the Community Visioning Project »
Capitol Boulevard Planning Project:
Neighborhood Transformation Planning Process Underway
The City of Tumwater, TRPC, and a consultant team led by MAKERS Architecture and Urban Design are partnering on a study to support the transformation of Capitol Boulevard between Southgate and Israel Road. Part of the old state highway system that linked Portland and Seattle, the corridor was once Tumwater’s center for commerce and shopping. However, it has seen little public or private investment over the past 30 years.
In a 2011 survey, residents living near the corridor identified the following desires and needs regarding neighborhood redevelopment:
More businesses, particularly restaurants
Improved access for motorists to businesses
Facilities that promote safe bike travel
Improved aesthetics along the street
More than one hundred forty community members attended two public open houses to learn more and share their ideas. The study will include additional opportunities for the public and the business community to participate.
Learn more about the Capitol Boulevard Corridor Study »
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Maintaining Community Character:
South County Planning Efforts Aim to Offer Sense of Place
As part of the Thurston Here to There project, TRPC and the Cities of Rainier and Tenino have begun work to define a vision for the future of each community. Results of these efforts include development of potential scenarios for the future of commercial areas, as well as the crafting of zoning standards that are tailored to support the character of distinct areas within each community. While the potential zoning changes vary between the two cities, they share similar goals:
Create land use regulations that are clear
Specify standards for elements that are important and dispense
with those that are not
Craft standards that build on the distinct characteristics of existing
development and enhance the identity of the community
These zoning changes, along with additional ongoing placemaking efforts, will promote additional commercial and residential infill development within Rainier and Tenino, and support the revitalization of the communities.
Survey Reveals South County Residents'
Work Travel Patterns
Alternatives to Driving Alone could Boost Household Budgets
Where people live and work influences how they travel. Most south county commuters drive alone to work. However, a recent survey of Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm residents indicated a small population of residents is carpooling, vanpooling, teleworking, or fitting work hours into fewer days per week.
Tools such as ThurstonHeretoThere.org can help individuals and families learn about different ways to travel that reduce
fuel consumption and possibly save money.
If more people share their commute trips or eliminate a work trip entirely by teleworking, the transportation network will perform better. Everyone benefits as a result of less congestion, air and noise pollution, and energy consumed.
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Local Pilots Soar
Here to There intends to expand the use of telework in the region, through identification of barriers, training, pilot programs and sharing of best practices.
Who? Thurston County and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
Why? These efforts began with data and policy goals – and a people push!
Greenhouse gas analysis of County government reported that 25% of
emissions result from employee commuting. Thurston County
Commissioner Cathy Wolfe committed to teleworking and to moving telework forward at the County.
Recent state law requires state agencies to report and develop plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During 2011 National Telework Week, TRPC Executive Director Lon D. Wyrick challenged Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond to increase telework at WSDOT.
Early results: Early reports tell a great story! Participants reduced their vehicle miles traveled and feel positive about the experience; managers reported an increase in productivity and work quality; and technical services noted no significant increase in customer support.
At WSDOT, the pilot exceeded the goal and participants saved money! The agency documented that telework fosters a more efficient and satisfied workforce; increases office morale; improves workload organization and prioritization; and fits within the culture. They also noted that non-teleworkers benefit from a quieter workplace; and that telework can reduce office space needs.
What’s next: The Board of County Commissioners will hear the quantitative results this fall and make policy decisions about next steps. WSDOT already expanded the pilot once and is in the process of expanding to other offices.
Commute Trip Reduction is good for Business
Promoting CTR to Tumwater Business Community
TRPC is expanding the region’s commute trip reduction (CTR) program to small businesses and non-affected public worksites in the City of Tumwater. Staff has visited over 140 businesses such as accountants, hair stylists, law firms, healthcare providers, restaurants, and automotive repair shops along the Capitol Boulevard Corridor, from Southgate Shopping Center to Tumwater Boulevard. The objectives of these efforts are to:
• Increase employers’ and employees’ awareness of commute alternatives (and their benefits) including cycling, teleworking, transit service, carpooling, vanpooling and ride matching programs such as RideshareOnline.com
• Solicit employee participation in a voluntary commute behavior survey
Thirty-two percent of businesses have returned their employees’ surveys. About half of the respondents indicate a willingness to try an alternative commute mode. This survey data provides a baseline for measuring comparisons with future commute behavior data collection efforts along this corridor. Over the next several months, TRPC will conduct similar outreach efforts in the communities of Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino, and Yelm.
To learn more about how CTR is good for business or to review the report, Promoting Commute Trip Reduction: CTR Outreach in Tumwater’s City Center Neighborhood, visit www.ThurstonCommutes.org.
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This project was made possible with a grant from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program, which is helping U.S. cities, counties, states, territories and Indian tribes develop, promote and implement local energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The EECBG Program, funded for the first time by the Recovery Act, is a major investment in energy solutions that will strengthen America’s economy, create jobs locally and immediately deploy the cheapest, cleanest, and most reliable energy technologies we have—energy efficiency and conservation. Learn more about the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program at: www.eere.energy.gov/wip/eecbg.html.
New Resource Launched!
ThurstonHereToThere.org improves access to travel options for people in the Thurston Region.
ThurstonHeretoThere.org News Release -
August 20, 2012
THURSTON HERE TO THERE: Everyone Wins Using Energy-Efficient Travel Choices
Learn More >
Here to There Travel Challenge
Healthy Kids - Safe Streets
Olympia Brewery Site Community Visioning
Capitol Boulevard Planning Project
Maintaining Community Character - South County
Survey Reveals South County Work Travel Patterns
Commute Trip Reduction is good for Business
Summer 2012 Thurston Here to There Newsletter [pdf 628 KB]
Commute Trip Reduction Information for private employers in Tumwater and South Thurston communities.
Learn More >>