Office of Jani Hitchen, Pierce County Council, District 6 announcement.
On the very warm Sunday afternoon of Aug. 7th close to 100 community members from across Parkland, Spanaway and Tacoma met in the Sprinker parking lot to ride in silence to raise awareness for bicycle safety. It was a very powerful event.
Why were we riding?
The Ride of Silence is a nation-wide event that has been happening for over 20 years. This event is organized in communities that have been touched by the loss of community members while riding a bike. While the event that happened in Parkland was done on a different date, it was inspired by these similar events.
What are we doing about it?
Sadly, Michael is not the only person that has been lost while riding or walking along the roads in Pierce County. Advocates from across the nation have started to look to counties and cities to think about how we share our infrastructure. As we move towards more people walking, riding, and rolling to school, bus stops and other activities, we must think about how we provide for all.
The Council will begin the process of looking at becoming a Vision Zero County. What this means is that our planners, and the projects that come before us must include infrastructure safe for all users. We must intentionally look at upgrades that will help move more people safely along our roads no matter if they are driving, walking, or rolling.
Resolution 2022-118 is being introduced and the goal is to work with our Department of Planning and Public Works staff to determine what is needed to make this a reality. The resolution is currently scheduled to be heard by the Economic and Infrastructure Development Committee on August 23rd. This is our first step towards this effort as a county, but other municipalities and communities are already doing this work.
This process will be much more impactful if commitments are submitted not only from the county, but also from the state and our city and town partners. I was pleased to be joined by Senator T’wina Nobles from the 28th Legislative District and Tacoma City Councilmember Kristina Walker at the Ride in Silence event. I truly believe that it will take these three entities to make State Route 7 (Pacific Avenue) safe for all that use it.