Should Washington Encourage Night Hauling

Should Washington Encourage Night Hauling? The greater Seattle metro area is experiencing a tremendous amount of economic growth, which when coupled with the state’s growth management laws (constraining developable areas) and notorious traffic congestion should lead to the question: “What if communities required new industrial and commercial construction to haul fill and like materials at night?” The PROS: Get truck traffic off the roads at peak hours to reduce congestion and pollution from idling Shorten travel times for deliveries, which reduces construction costs and accelerates completion of site improvements The CONS: Potential for noise impacts on residential areas if noise mitigating measures aren’t employed A greater need for regulators to monitor site construction at night Continue reading

Experiencing Bellaire Michigan

Foreword: this blog post is the result of an excellent customer experience at the Bellaire Smokehouse, which we’re using in this blog as a prelude to highlighting some best practices that small communities (and their businesses) can deploy for economic development success in their downtown. Our Bellaire Experience This week we’ve been in Bellaire, MI on vacation.  How did we pick Bellaire?  Well, it happens to have a resort that accepts exchange points from a time share our family owns and it is conveniently located within a short drive of my wife’s best friend (and her family). Bellaire has a population of roughly 1,000 and is located next to Lake Bellaire, but the village itself is not on the lakefront.  The village’s Bridge Street is their “main street” and it features restaurants, bars and shops. On it’s face, (and without diving into the data on the community) we assume that two season tourism is a primary driver of the local economy (especially given its proximity to several resorts). Not to take away from the great food and service we got anywhere else in Bellaire, but the most memorable customer experience came at the Bellaire Smokehouse as my family (5 of… Continue reading

Knowing & Doing Aren’t the Same

For the last two decades I’ve worked around the country with companies, organizations and communities, seeing all forms of strategic planning in many phases of its development and implementation.  I’ve also seen strategic plans get more and more complex and take longer and longer to create. The length and complexity of these plans stems from a desire to want more information to guide strategic decisions as well as to want to analyze information better and more thoroughly than your competition (a subjective assumption). Yet as more information is available and analyzed, far too many of these strategic plans appear (and are) lifeless, impractical and wasted.  But why? Knowing & Doing Aren’t the Same As a dad of three I’m often reminding my kids to do things, which means I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I know” to which I’ve quipped “Knowing and doing are two different things.” Before I even finish there is a part of me that winces at having said such a ‘dad-like-thing’ but the truth is my response is less a reflection of being a dad and more a reflection of being a consultant in today’s world.  Like my kids, most people fundamentally know… Continue reading