Don't just honk your horn - share your traffic stories

Published on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 by Ian Ferguson

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Area residents will have a chance to vent their traffic stories at a presentation on traffic at the Blaine Senior Center Wednesday, March 27.

At the “Traffic: Sharing our stories” mini-forum, traffic professionals will share tips and strategies for active living through all stages of life. Participants will be able to share their own stories and test ride new bicycles designed to be more comfortable, practical and user-friendly.

Ellen Barton, the Whatcom county bicycle and mobility program manager, has been involved in the transportation planning process for years and will dispel some of the mystery behind the county’s transportation plans.

“I’ll be able to give some perspective about how traffic planners arrive at traffic solutions,” she said. “It’s also a chance for us to hear from the people who are affected by those decisions. Is traffic better or worse these days? What problems have you noticed? What are the solutions? It’s a chance for people to be heard.”

The bikes that will be available for test riding at the event are designed with comfort and ease in mind. Barton said these modern designs are similar to bicycles from the first half of the 20th century, before the influence of racing took over bicycle design.

“People of all abilities will be surprised by how comfortable and easy to ride these bikes are,” she said. For example, a three-wheeled, two-seated bicycle will be on hand for testing. Barton said this unique design is a great solution for people who worry about balancing on a two-wheeled bicycle, or for people who want to ride with a friend.

Barton said bicycles can be a great way to get around for people of all ages. Traffic safety is always a concern, and this forum will be an opportunity for learning and sharing.

“Transportation and traffic affect people differently at different stages of their lives,” Barton said. “The concerns and solutions people have can change over the years, and this is an opportunity for those people to both share their perspectives and learn about solutions.”