Accessibility Tools

Why the Week Without Driving Challenge Matters for Snohomish County

100. Why Week Without Driving Matters to Snohomish County The Arc Amplified

Why the Week Without Driving Challenge Matters for Snohomish County

The 2nd annual Week Without Driving Challenge will be held this year from September 19th through September 25th, 2022.

People First of Snohomish County, a group by and for adult self-advocates with intellectual and developmental disabilities, is co-hosting the 2022 event with Disability Rights Washington (DRW), through their Disability Mobility Initiative.

Together, DRW and People First of Snohomish County, along with community partners across the state, challenge elected officials and government leaders to commit to one week without driving. They challenge participants to go about their lives, for one week, utilizing alternative, non-driving options only. This may mean walking their kids to school, cycling to work, planning to reach their children’s extra-curricular activities or sports practices by bus, or relying on others to drive them to and from important meetings and appointments.

Those who commit to this challenge will, no doubt, find it extremely challenging and, at times, exceedingly frustrating. And, they are only committing to one week!

But, this is a daily reality for many people in our state, including individuals with disabilities.

In discussing the upcoming Week Without Driving, the Snohomish County Transportation Coalition, known locally as SnoTrac, shared some important statistics around transit use in Snohomish County.

“Much of our communities have been engineered to get around by a car…. People in Snohomish County’s areas underserved by transit are 240% more likely to say they will never take transit than people in well-served areas. Yet, people who are transportation-dependent, such as people with disabilities and low incomes, are 3-times more likely to use transit than transportation-independent individuals. As a result, dependent individuals, especially in rural areas, are more isolated and have greater difficulty getting and hold a job.”

In our county, according to SnoTrac metrics, those who can drive, or are “transportation-independent,” are 7.7 times MORE LIKELY to hold jobs than those who are transportation-dependent. They are also more connected and less isolated as they are found to be 2.2 times MORE LIKELY than transportation-dependent individuals to take a trip for “non-commute purposes” (e.g. for enjoyment or to participate in community activities) in the past week than those considered transportation-dependent. (Read more at gosnotrac.org/week-without-driving.)

 

This is why it is important to design our communities in a way that ensures reliable transit access for all. Public transportation and multi-modal connectivity in our communities must be prioritized.

SnoTrac writes: “To make our communities more accessible, we need to: Expand transit and paratransit services, improve walking and bicycling infrastructure, ensure the transportation infrastructure is designed for people with disabilities, and build compact communities where housing, shopping, schools, jobs and services are located within walking and rolling distances.”

**********

Whitney Stohr is the Leadership & Independent Living Program Manager at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is especially interested in caregiving policy and advocacy. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent and family caregivers. She lives with her spouse and their four-year-old son Malachi in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact: whitney@arcsno.org.

logo t

The Arc of Snohomish County is currently working remotely: 

Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm

127 E. Intercity Ave. Suite C
Everett, WA 98208

(425) 258-2459