Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do the Math and Curb the Congestion

By Debbie Anderson, Curb the Congestion Specialist

Looking at facts, figures and strategies is what Matthew Cail does every day in his job as an analyst. But he didn’t need any of that expertise to figure out the most cost-effective way to get from his home in Lynnwood to Downtown Seattle – it was easy!

Matthew rides Route 413 or 415 almost every day, taking the bus instead of driving his car on 164th Street. “Transit was a major factor in where I bought a house. I intentionally bought on a bus line,” he says. In the last quarter of 2010, Matthew logged more than 260 bus trips totaling more than 5,700 miles and saving him hundreds of dollars in gas alone.

Matthew’s trips are among the thousands removed from Snohomish County roads last year thanks to Curb the Congestion, a program funded by Snohomish County through grants and development feed and operated by Community Transit. “Curb” targets crowded roads in unincorporated Snohomish County with the goal of convincing people to choose alternatives to driving alone.

Curb the Congestion started in 2008 after Snohomish County declared 164th Street SW at “ultimate capacity,” creating a program to invest in transportation demand management and safety improvements rather than halt development or try to widen already built-out roads. In 2009, the county added 128th Street and 20th Street SE to the Curb the Congestion program.

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

Lake Stevens participant Jennifer Dawson makes smarter trips on both 164th Street and 20th Street. In 2009, Jennifer started carpooling with a coworker who lives near Marysville. During the summer, they meet at the Lake Stevens Transit Center and share a ride to Bayer Healthcare in Lynnwood. During the school year, they meet at Everett Station. Jennifer often rides the bus home to Lake Stevens.

“Bus schedules can be confusing sometimes,” she says. “The Curb the Congestion personal assistant helps.”

There’s also an online calendar where participants commit to change and log their trips. It all adds up to behavior changes that make a difference in individual lives as well as on the roads of Snohomish County.

“Sitting in traffic is stressful. Sitting on the bus or chatting in the car with a friend on the way home is easier,” Jennifer says.

If you travel on one of the targeted roads, contact the Curb the Congestion Specialist about your commute options: (425) 438-6136 or

1 comment:

  1. I am a Senior of Kendall College and am majoring in Industrial Design. I am working on my Thesis Project for my Senior year. If you use public transit, please take this short survey!
    Thanks for your time.