Moving in the right direction

David Thielk Local 20/20
Posted 4/17/24

The City of Port Townsend is about to launch a significant Comprehensive Plan update and review.   Jefferson County is not far behind, with a periodic update/review scheduled to begin in 2025. …

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Moving in the right direction


The City of Port Townsend is about to launch a significant Comprehensive Plan update and review.  Jefferson County is not far behind, with a periodic update/review scheduled to begin in 2025. These periodic updates to our comprehensive plans are mandated in the WA State Growth Management Act. So now is the time for citizens to reflect upon the community we want, and to engage in the process. 

Most comprehensive plans are made up of separate chapters, identified with titles such as housing, environment, economy, transportation and others. This reductionist approach puts each topic in its own silo. We at Transportation Lab believe that transportation policy and practice is at the center of all of what we can envision for the future. For us, a healthy transportation system lies at the core of a vibrant economy, personal and environmental health, and an equitable and affordable community. A well-written comprehensive plan recognizes and reflects the interconnections and the role of transportation in a vibrant and equitable community.

To set the stage for community involvement, the Transportation Lab is hosting the second annual Moving in the Right Direction Conference, to be held in Port Townsend at the American Legion on April 19. Participants will deepen their understanding of the role transportation plays in a range of topics, from economic vitality, to climate change. Participants will also learn about high quality community input processes. The day’s agenda includes expert presentations and inclusive workshop sessions. There will be opportunities for all participants to discuss short term and sustained changes that will improve the many community aspects affected by how we get around. Conference outcomes will be based on comprehensive plan themes and tailored to both Port Townsend and Jefferson County.

Our keynote speaker, Mike McGinn, is back again this year. He is executive director of America Walks and a former Seattle mayor. He has been a long-time advocate for sustainable cities and environmental justice. Anna Zivarts of Disability Rights Washington will address how high-quality transportation policy and practice can create equity. Additional local speakers will be included. Participants will have opportunities to ask questions, discuss policies, and contribute their transportation ideas along with presenters.

Moving in the Right Direction is being organized by Local 20/20’s Transportation Lab along with sponsorship from Jefferson Transit, the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, the Port of Port Townsend, The Broken Spoke and The Food Co-op. We welcome community members to participate.  The day’s event is free, but capacity is limited, so interested persons are encouraged to pre-register. For more information, contact Transportation Lab at To register, visit

David Thielk is a member of Local 20/20’s Transportation Lab and a life-long utility cyclist and advocate for safe streets. The Transportation Lab is a Local 20/20 Action Group working to promote a transportation system that minimizes need for personal motor vehicles and emphasizes transit, cycling and walking. Local 20/20’s mission is “working together to foster a regenerative, sustainable, resilient and compassionate community in Jefferson County.”