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Transportation Voucher Program in Full Swing

San Juan County’s Transportation Voucher Program is in full swing after taking a break over last summer and kicking off again last fall. Currently operating at full capacity with over 170 San Juan County citizens participating, San Juan County expects to fully fund a second cycle of participants by this summer.

The Transportation Voucher Program represents a unique public-private partnership of transportation providers, and local social services, to provide community access for Transportation Voucher Program participants. The Transportation Voucher Program boasts taxi service and ferry fare access on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands, and auto repair and parts services on Orcas and San Juan. Ferry fares are acquired through partnership with the Family Resource Centers.

By providing vehicle repair assistance to Transportation Voucher Program clients, San Juan County also increases our community transportation capacity, as all clients receiving vehicle repair assistance are asked to consider sharing rides with friends, neighbors and their fellow islanders.

You can download and fill out an application for the Transportation Voucher Program at: http://www.sanjuanco.com/PublicTransport/CTPrograms.aspx, visit your local senior or family resource center, or contact Christopher Aiken. If you have any questions regarding the Transportation Voucher Program or public transportation in San Juan County, please contact Christopher Aiken at 360-370-7512, or christophera@sanjuanco.com.

The Shoulder Is A Travel Lane

In the last few months I've tried to focus my attention (while biking/walking/travelling) on our transportation infrastructure and how the design ultimately influences its use. Sometimes I take pictures to remind myself where I was and/or what I was thinking about.

One thing that comes up again and again is the issue of and treatment of "the shoulder". In San Juan County there could not be more of a crucial piece of infrastructure when it comes to auto-free travel. The shoulder makes all the difference. If a shoulder is wide (4 feet is our ideal), bicycle and pedestrian travelers have a place to travel in, on the other hand, if the shoulder is narrow (most in SJC are less than ideal), non-motorized travelers have no predictably safe place to travel and rely on motorist awareness for space. 
  
The key: the shoulder IS a travel lane and should be treated as one.  We need to shift our perspective to include this important element of auto-free infratsructure in our investment priorities and ensure shoulder maintenance and additions where needed.



This photo speaks for itself. The placement of this mailbox forces shoulder-travelers to enter into the vehicle travel lane in order to avoid the obstacle. Bicyclists coming from the uphill side of this photo are particularly vulnerable.


Conflicting uses are a common problem in our "urban" areas, see this example from Eastound where no dedicated sidewalk leads to pedestrian/parking conflict and poeple just simply walking in the road for lack of a better/safer option.

All is not lost! This photo of Fisherman's Bay Road on Lopez illustrates the most complete street we have in the county. Notice the 4 foot wide shoulders (on both sides) and the seperated sidewalk with permeable pavement. This is progress, and Community Transportation applauds Public Works for building it. More like this please!

Transportation Voucher Program Winds down First Round, Prepares for Round Two
 
San Juan County has been awarded state funding to continue administering the Transportation Voucher Program through 2015. While the current phase of the Transportation Voucher Program closes this June, the popular program will begin accepting applications for phase two at the end of summer.

Kicking off last August, the Transportation Voucher Program has seen significant use by its participants over the last nine months; providing 160 taxi rides, 35-45 ferry fares, and repairing and making safer 6-8 vehicles per month. The Transportation Voucher Program serves 180 of our most transportation -vulnerable community members, equal to about 1.5% of our total county population.

The Transportation Voucher Program represents a unique public-private partnership of transportation providers, and local social services, to provide community access for Transportation Voucher Program participants. The Transportation Voucher Program boasts taxi service and ferry fare access on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands, and auto repair and parts services on Orcas and San Juan. Ferry fares are acquired through partnership with the Family Resource Centers.

If you are currently a Transportation Voucher Program participant, please make plans to spend your remaining funds prior to June 15th. If you have any questions regarding the Transportation Voucher Program or public transportation in San Juan County, please contact Christopher Aiken at 360-370-7512, or
christophera@sanjuanco.com.
 


This photo is from Lopez right near the popular library. Note that the shoulder was shored up as a quick-fix preservation measure, yet how much more trouble would it be to make the shoulder at least 2 feet wide and provide non-motorized improvement?
Welcome. . .  

This site is dedicated to the collective development and organization of community-based transportation in the islands of San Juan County. San Juan County stands at a transportation crossroads: we have a high proportion of aging citizens, a vast income disparity gap between low and high income earners, and a large number of us do not or will not have access to personal vehicles. We cannot use the same auto-centric logic of the past to solve our multi-modal problems of the future, but we can work together to chart a course towards a more resilient one. That path starts here with your Community Transportation Program. We need your input, your voice, your ideas; as we say in the biz, it's a two-way street!

Contact: Christopher Aiken, christophera@sanjuanco.com, or 360-370-7512.