Page Title: Our Work

Our Work: Making Bellingham Transportation Better for us All!

Section: Our Work

Our mission is to create a safer, healthier, and more livable city by improving and expanding our active transportation system through policy, infrastructure, and awareness. We advocate for inviting walking and rolling infrastructure. Bellingham’s accessible sidewalks, curb ramps, crosswalks, and bikeways are primarily funded through the Bellingham Transportation Fund. Here's what the Fund accomplished over the last 10 years. With a landslide of community support, we worked to renew the 10 year funding in the November 2020 election.


The right policies are needed to ensure that biking and walking continues to improve for everyone in Bellingham. As of 2023, the City of Bellingham is completing updates to the 2012 Pedestrian Master Plan and 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. Walk & Roll is advocating to ensure that the plans support safe and inviting bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Stay up-to-date and look for additional opportunities for public input at Engage Bellingham.


In order to encourage more active transportation, it's clear we need better infrastructure so people feel safe walking and rolling. Our experience shows, and research indicates, that more people will bike and walk when they feel safe from vehicle traffic.  Further, there are people who walk and roll out of necessity – and they may not be able to choose the most comfortable route – especially if it takes them out of their way. We work for the majority of people who would use a bike. See the diagrams below that illustrate the research: The following figure -- cited in the Bellingham Bike Plan -- "illustrates categories of bicyclists and also estimates the percent of the total population who falls into each category. The “interested but concerned” group is estimated to represent 60% of the population and, because they have a desire to bicycle more if certain barriers were removed, they are often viewed as the target audience for bicycle improvements like those recommended in this Plan." (Bellingham Bike Plan, Chapter 3)


Walk & Roll Bellingham is here to help increase awareness and knowledge about infrastructure and systems that make walking and rolling in Bellingham a safe and wonderful experience for everyone. We identify opportunities for:
  • education and advocacy
  • connections with local agencies
  • collaboration with community organizations
  • outreach to policy decision-makers
Join us if you want to explore more:
  • What helps you to get around Bellingham by foot, wheelchair, bike, or connecting with the bus
  • What else needs to happen so you can be safe and included in our public spaces
  • How the updates for Bellingham’s Pedestrian and Bike Plans can best influence our active transportation system
  • When people can walk and roll safely, we can:
    • Improve air quality for all of Bellingham
    • Increase independence for people who can’t drive
    • Make our streets safer for everyone
    • Contribute to local business vitality
Together we can create inviting spaces to get where we need to go.

Intersecting Issues

We recognize that transportation does not exist as a standalone issue. The following areas are major examples of intersection with transportation planning and implementation: CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Transportation accounts for 32% of community emissions in Bellingham.1
  • 24% of transportation trips in Bellingham are under one mile.2
  • The Washington State Transportation Department report for I-5 also notes that over half of the travel on I-5 is less than 3 miles in length.3
  • By shifting to more trips by walking, rolling, and bus, we can reduce emissions.
LAND USE Where we live, work, shop, and play affects and determines our transportation options
  • By encouraging smart land use and diverse housing choices in all neighborhoods, we can make our transportation systems safer and more sustainable.
  • Households in low-income areas typically own fewer vehicles, have longer commutes, and have higher transportation costs.
  • Women continue the majority of home maintenance and care-taking tasks and if transportation options aren’t sufficient, this affects time, income, mobility, and access.
  • In Bellingham: “For people with disabilities, those with lower incomes, and seniors and children, walking accounts for about 30% of all trips.”4
  Footnotes 1 p. 35 from “Climate Protection Action Plan Update” at the City of Bellingham’s website 2 ,3 ,4 p.24 from the WSDOT Analysis I-5 Operations and Transportation Demand Management Analysis Report(September 1, 2020) at the City of Bellingham website