Category

Governance

Mobility 2.0 For Puget Sound

With the recent meltdown of the New York City cordon pricing plan, Puget Sound is moving to the forefront of innovative transportation planning — if our region can get its act together. The success of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, adoption by the Legislature with support from the Governor of a tolling policy for the State Route 520 floating bridge, and the pending State Route 167 HOT lane pilot project combine to fuel possibilities for a strategic pairing of HOT lanes and bus rapid transit in the 405 corridor; in reconfigured I-5 express lanes; and in other critical corridors. But to implement these and other roads and transit measures will take real money and a single point of accountability, namely a Read More ›


Who’ll Be The Deciders…..On Puget Sound Transportation?

Look for a vigorous public debate soon – involving state lawmakers, Gov. Chris Gregoire and a multitude of opinionators – about regional transportation governance for the central Puget Sound region of Snohomish, King, Pierce and Kitsap counties. The aim behind the concept is to consolidate prioritizing, planning and funding of needed roads and transit improvements to combat gridlock; though some skeptics see darker anti-transit motives, and others are concerned their counties will give more in future taxes than they get back in project funding. Tacoma News-Tribune editorial page editor David Seago reports today at the paper’s “Inside The Editorial Page” blog there’s one more sign the dialog is gaining momentum as the legislature heads toward beginning its 2008, 60-day “short Read More ›


Sonntag: Regional Decision-Making Needed On Transportation

State Auditor Brian Sonntag – whose office recently issued a performance audit of state and regional transportation management – is now urging the legislature to take stock after defeat of the big roads and transit ballot measure, Proposition 1. In a Tacoma News Tribune op-ed, Sonntag urges lawmakers to ensure the state re-establish congestion relief as a top transportation priority; and implement coordinated regional decision-making on transportation in Puget Sound. Sonntag writes: Clearly, Proposition 1 was not what the public wanted. The first step in moving forward should be to ask citizens about their needs and what they are willing to support……the recent performance audit on traffic congestion in the region should serve as a good starting point for any Read More ›


State Auditor’s Report Details Congestion-Busting Agenda

A report issued yesterday by Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s office urges the state to more aggressively attack highway congestion, beginning with a formal declaration that congestion is a top transportation policy priority. The Seattle Times reported on the findings today. The transportation performance audit, prepared for Sonntag’s office by Talbot, Korvola & Warwick of Portland, goes on to make more than 20 specific policy recommendations. These include urging that the state legislature should: “empower a single body – either the Department of Transportation or a regional transportation entity for the Puget Sound Region – to allow for a more integrated approach to planning for congestion reduction:” “choose/identify transportation projects based on congestion reduction rather than other agendas;” “implement new Read More ›


Catastrophic Bridge Collapse In Minneapolis Highlights Puget Sound Risks; And Finance Challenges

The catastrophic collapse yesterday of a worn down, 40-year-old, 1,900-foot-long bridge with a single steel arch at its center, spanning Interstate 35W across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis had as of this morning resulted in four deaths, up to 30 people unaccounted for, and at least 79 more injured – some quite severely. The fatality toll is likely to grow. Very recent maintenance work on the bridge had focused on joints, lights and guardrails, and resurfacing work was being done on it when it failed. The cause of the collapse is unknown and will remain so until an investigation is completed. However, it can come as little comfort that, as the Associated Press notes in a report today from Minneapolis, Read More ›


Research Compendium

Last updated August 25, 2008 The research, it just keeps coming. On this page, we’ll compile links to key studies and reports on innovation in transportation. MANAGING, PLANNING & FUNDING TRANSPORTATION Cascadia Center Reports “Lessons In Public-Private Partnerships & Climate Change: What British Columbia Taught California, And What Washington Can Still Learn,” 10/07. “A Tale Of Three Cities: How San Diego, Denver and Vancouver, B.C. Raised Major Regional Funds For Transportation,” Doug Hurley, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 9/06. “Travel Value Pricing: Better Traffic Operations Management & New Revenue For The Puget Sound Region,” John S. Niles, for Cascadia Center, 4/06. “Transportation Working Group Recommendations,” Transportation Working Group, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, 2/15/05. Transportation Working Group background, members, and Read More ›


Everett Herald: “Don’t Bury Streamlined Transportation Planning”

In an editorial yesterday titled, “Don’t Bury Streamlined Transportation Planning,” the Everett Herald states it plainly: If November’s joint (roads and transit) vote in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties is to succeed, voters will have to be convinced that they’ll get their money’s worth. Merging the planning and funding of regional transit and highways – functions currently under the separate wings of Sound Transit, the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Regional Transportation Invesment District and the state Department of Transportion (whew!) – under a single, accountable commission would be a step toward winning voter trust. One version of such a commission is contained in ESSB 5803, which passed the Senate earlier this month. The House Transportation Committee is considering its Read More ›