Chapter 2.44
TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION

Sections:

2.44.010    Authorization and purpose.

2.44.020    Membership – Terms of appointment.

2.44.030    Organization.

2.44.040    Compensation – Conflicts of interest.

2.44.050    Authority and duties.

2.44.060    Parking management.

2.44.010 Authorization and purpose.

A. Pursuant to Bellingham City Charter Section 7.01 there is established a transportation commission (the “commission”) which shall provide citizen advice regarding all aspects of city transportation policy.

B. The commission shall consist of nine members appointed and removed by the mayor, and confirmed by the city council, and shall serve terms as defined in BMC 2.44.020. Each member shall be a citizen of the United States and an elector of the city of Bellingham, a resident of the state of Washington and of the city of Bellingham. The mayor may also appoint otherwise qualified members as defined by BMC 2.44.020(A), who reside in Whatcom County.

C. The purpose of the commission is to provide specific transportation policy recommendations and advice on strategic transportation investment priorities to the city council.

D. The commission may make recommendations to city staff or the city council regarding some or all of the issues that come before the commission. City staff or city council may adopt, modify or reject any such recommendations. Recommendations of the commission shall be transmitted to the city council together with any attendant staff recommendation. [Ord. 2010-09-054; Ord. 2009-08-053].

2.44.020 Membership – Terms of appointment.

A. Membership shall encompass a diversity of perspectives and efforts shall be made to include individuals with interest or expertise in public transit, bicycle facilities and planning, community-wide automobile parking needs, pedestrian facilities and planning, neighborhood interests, student needs, commercial business, and freight transport.

B. Each member shall serve for a period of three years; however, so as to provide for staggered terms, the mayor shall initially assign a one-year term for three members, and a two-year term for three members, with the three remaining members assigned a three-year term. Members may serve for no more than two full three-year consecutive terms. Any vacancy in the membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, with the replacement serving the remainder of the unexpired term. [Ord. 2009-08-053].

2.44.030 Organization.

A. The commission shall annually elect a chair and vice-chair from among its members and shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

B. The commission shall hold at least one regular meeting each month. Additional meetings may be held as the commission deems necessary. All meetings of the commission shall be public meetings.

C. Written records of meetings and actions of the commission shall be kept. Such records shall be public.

D. The city staff shall provide appropriate staff support to the commission.

E. The commission may choose to create, and to dissolve, any task group of its choosing, to more efficiently carry out its duties. Task groups may include additional citizens who are not members of the transportation commission, although at least one member of any task group shall be a member of the commission. [Ord. 2009-08-053].

2.44.040 Compensation – Conflicts of interest.

Commission members shall serve without compensation from the city, or from any trust, donation or legacy to the city for their services. This limitation shall not preclude a member of his/her firm receiving compensation from the city under contract or otherwise for services rendered outside his/her duties as a commission member; provided, that any commission member having an interest or who contemplates acquiring an interest in any particular transaction, contract, or project must disqualify himself/herself from any official action contributing towards an official recommendation to the city on that subject. [Ord. 2009-08-053].

2.44.050 Authority and duties.

A. The transportation commission shall be authorized to do the following:

1. Advise the city council regarding transportation policy and proposed transportation projects, and provide advice concerning transportation policy and its relation to comprehensive plan policies and goals.

2. Provide advice to the city council and the city planning commission on revisions to the comprehensive plan.

3. Provide a list of investment priorities to inform the development of the transportation improvement plan (TIP) and annual revisions thereof, and provide review and advice on this plan to the department of public works and the city council. This list shall be consistent with the transportation element of the comprehensive plan, and shall be transmitted to the department of public works on a schedule consistent with their work plan to revise the TIP.

4. Upon request by the city council, oversee the creation or review of detailed investment plans to advance city transportation goals as stated in the comprehensive plan, including but not limited to bicycle and pedestrian investment plans, and downtown or citywide circulation plans.

5. Provide advice to the council on concurrency planning.

6. Provide information to the city council and to the WTA to ensure that routes and schedules support city plans for infill and mode shift.

7. Develop parking policies for on- and off-street facilities that support both business vitality and mode shift.

8. Advise the city on intercity transportation issues.

9. Facilitate citizen and neighborhood involvement in transportation policy decision-making.

10. The transportation commission is authorized to work with city departments and any public development authorities established by the city, in order to assist in planning and development of mixed-use parking structures, and to ensure that the development of such facilities remains consistent with mode shift goals as stated in the comprehensive plan.

11. The transportation commission is authorized to provide advice to the Bellingham Transportation Benefit District No. 1 regarding transportation policy and proposed transportation benefit district projects. [Ord. 2010-09-054; Ord. 2009-08-053].

2.44.060 Parking management.

A. The following decisions shall be made by the director of the department of public works, or his/her designee, and sent to the city council for approval. In addition, these decisions shall be reported in a timely fashion to the transportation commission, which, at its sole discretion, may choose to also provide a recommendation on the following to the city council.

1. On-street and city-owned off-street parking rates;

2. Contracting decisions for city-owned off-street parking;

3. Penalties for parking violation;

4. Setting collection methods for on-street and city-owned off-street parking, such as whether to use meters, pay stations, or some other means of collecting parking rates, subject to requirements for internal controls over collection as established by the city;

5. Establishing and administering residential parking zones. [Ord. 2009-08-053].