Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Months following a strong public backlash to Sound Transit’s new motor vehicle excise (MVET) tax for ST3, state lawmakers this week commenced formal investigations...

A moratorium is not the answer to our housing affordability crisis

Over the past 18 months, five King County cities have adopted a building moratorium, temporarily putting the brakes on new home construction. While a moratorium...

Seattle mayoral and city council candidates discuss Seattle housing

Two Seattle mayoral candidates and one city council candidate shared their perspectives this week on hot housing topics in the expanding city, including affordable...

Proposed road user charge program faces uphill battle

The Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) pilot program is scheduled to begin next year. WSTC officials hope to get 2,000...

Increase housing density near transit centers to ease traffic, industry leaders say

Seattle metro’s traffic congestion isn’t a problem that will be rectified soon or with a single fix. However, building and real estate industry members...

Builders: Land-use policy reform would improve traffic congestion

It’s no secret that Seattle traffic is bad. According to the Kirkland-based INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, the city ranks 10th nationally and 20th worldwide...

Transportation Issues Complicate Wenatchee’s Economic Development Goals

Wenatchee metro is the only region in the state without direct access to an interstate highway, adding a layer of complexity to its economic...

Bi-State Bridge Talks To Resume

Taking effect next month is SB 5806, which creates a bi-state legislative action committee to revive discussions on replacing the centenarian I-5 bridge spanning...
Is High-Speed Rail The Region’s “Silver Bullet”?

Is High-Speed Rail The Region’s “Silver Bullet”?

The concept of a high-speed rail line from Vancouver, B.C. through Seattle to Portland, Oregon has acquired an unlikely coalition of supporters among state...
Lawmakers Announce Investigation Into Sound Transit

Lawmakers Announce Investigation Into Sound Transit

With legislation aiming to reform Sound Transit and its taxing formula for ST3 unable to clear the state legislature, lawmakers have now turned to...
Charging By Gallon Or Mile: Debating The Road User Charge

Charging By Gallon Or Mile: Debating The Road User Charge

Washington drivers may have to decide if they prefer a road user charge (RUC) fee or higher prices at the gas pump every year...
The Fight For Sound Transit Tax Relief

The Fight For Sound Transit Tax Relief

House Democrats have introduced new legislation attempting to address the growing public outcry over new Sound Transit 3 taxes. HB 2148 would allow the...
Growing Demand For Sound Transit 3 Tax Reform

Growing Demand For Sound Transit 3 Tax Reform

Intensifying angst among central Puget Sound region drivers over a new motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) to pay for Sound Transit 3 continues to...
Placing Guard Rails On Sound Transit's Budget

Placing Guard Rails On Sound Transit’s Budget

Sound Transit recently found that building the light rail extension from downtown Seattle across on the Interstate 90 Bridge to Bellevue will cost $712...

Bi-State Bridge Proposal Spans Political Ravines

Legislation aiming to renew inter-state talks for replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge appears on the cusp of bicameral approval. This week SB 5806 was...
Lawmakers Weigh Proposals To Nullify New Sound Transit Taxes

Lawmakers Weigh Proposals To Nullify New Sound Transit Taxes

Pushback is mounting as Puget Sound drivers renew their license plate tabs against the added tax burden to pay for the Sound Transit 3...
Managing Traffic In The Puget Sound Region

Managing Traffic In The Puget Sound Region

As the central Puget Sound regional population grows in the coming decades, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) envisions a 40-mile long corridor...
Renewing Talks On Bi-State Bridge Replacement

Renewing Talks On Bi-State Bridge Replacement

State lawmakers want to restart discussions for replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge connecting Washington and Oregon, after the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) succumbed to...
Public-Private Partnership Eyed For Regional High Speed Rail

Public-Private Partnership Eyed For Regional High Speed Rail

Governor Jay Inslee in his 2017-19 biennial budget has proposed $1 million to fund a feasibility study on an ultra-high speed rail line between...
State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State lawmakers January 26 kicked off the first of three planned work sessions to help decide if legislation would help bring the Seattle Sonics...

Mixed Views On Transit Elections Bill

Transportation stakeholders including policy experts, a former state auditor, state lawmakers and local and regional officials, at a January 25 Washington State Senate Transportation...
Transportation Funding Questions Persist

Transportation Funding Questions Persist

Adequately maintaining and growing Washington's transportation infrastructure isn't cheap, and in Central Puget Sound alone, a million more residents are due by 2040. A...
Washington State Lawmakers Mull A New Layer Of Oversight For Asphalt Facilities

Washington State Lawmakers Mull A New Layer Of Oversight For Asphalt Facilities

You can't get anywhere without asphalt. It's a crucial component of many of the roads our cars and buses use every day. To deliver...
Keeping Traffic, Freight And The Economy Moving In Washington: It Won't Be Cheap

Keeping Traffic, Freight And The Economy Moving In Washington: It Won’t Be Cheap

President-elect Donald Trump has proposed a $1 trillion national infrastructure investment plan over the next decade. While that might sound “yuge,” it is less...

Housing Affordability And Traffic Collide

Despite often fierce reactions to express toll lanes installed in 2015 on I-405's northern portion, recent state data show most toll lane and general-purpose lane drivers on the...
Freight Infrastructure Fixes Needed Sooner, Say Washington State Stakeholders

Freight Infrastructure Fixes Needed Sooner, Say Washington State Stakeholders

A planned fix to one of metro Puget Sound's most glaring truck freight bottlenecks is taking too long to unfold and needs implementation sooner,...
Fresh Start Eyed On Bi-State Bridge Fix

Fresh Start Eyed On Bi-State Bridge Fix

The proposal for a new bi-state bridge connecting Washington and Oregon went down in flames of acrimony two years ago. The Columbia River Crossing...

Heavy Traffic At Core Of District 1 State Senate Race Between Palumbo And Wirth

Washington State Legislative District 1 includes Bothell, parts of Kirkland and Mountlake Terrace, plus Brier and the unincorporated areas of Maltby, High Bridge and...

Small Cities Press County, PSRC On Growth

A shot across the bow was fired last week last week as two regional growth planning bodies met in Seattle. They were trying to...
Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

Different Prescriptions To Ease Clark County Growing Pains

As the legislature begins to wade into the contentious task of developing changes to the state’s Growth Management Act (GMA), one of Washington’s fastest-growing...
Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Washington State Lawmakers Get An Earful On Growth Management Act Reform

Representatives of Washington cities, counties, schools and citizens groups packed a committee meeting room in Olympia this week to urge that lawmakers amend the...
Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Regional Housing Crisis Headed To Lawmakers

Already considered by the President of Seattle King County Realtors to be a crisis that is “ugly and getting uglier,” housing affordability in Greater...
Data Viz: Market Demand Strong For Fuel, And Supply Chain Growth Is Warranted

Data Viz: Market Demand Strong For Fuel, And Supply Chain Growth Is Warranted

// According to supporters of the proposed Vancouver Energy oil transfer terminal in Clark County, Washington, growing national demand for vehicle fuel...
I-405 Tolling Performance Strong, But Regional Growth Raises Capacity Concerns

I-405 Tolling Gets High Marks Again; More Lanes Are Eyed To Handle Growth

Drivers on I-405 east of Seattle are getting to their destinations faster nine months after a new express lane tolling system was added. However,...
Washington Should Steer Lightly As Driverless Cars Inch Toward Mainstream

Washington Should Steer Lightly As Driverless Cars Inch Toward Mainstream

Like other states, Washington will be confronted with a big question in coming years: how its surface transportation infrastructure will be transformed by driverless...
Spokane Will Vote On Oil Trains, But Measure One May Just Be Symbolic

Spokane Will Vote On Oil Trains, But Measure One May Just Be Symbolic

The Spokane City Council this week approved a November ballot measure asking voters whether oil and coal trains traveling through the city should be...

Labor Backs Longview Coal Terminal

A proposed coal export terminal in Longview is accenting the divide between fossil fuel opponents and pro-growth forces which include a hefty array of labor...
Freight Rail's Upside Is Big, But At-Grade Crossing Delays Need More Focus, Funds

Freight Rail’s Upside Is Big, But At-Grade Crossing Delays Need More Focus, Funds

Freight traffic by rail in Washington state nearly doubled from 1991 to 2010 and is projected to more than double again by 2035. Estimated...
Sound Transit 3 Changes Spark New Debate

Sound Transit 3 Changes Spark New Debate

The Sound Transit Board has unanimously approved revisions to its proposed ST3 expansion plan, shortening construction timelines for several light rail projects based on...
The Road To Prosperity Isn't Free

The Road To Prosperity Isn’t Free

One of the concerns most embedded in the consciousness of Washington state's environmental elites is the perceived planetary threat of carbon emissions. Without legislative...
Tax Climate At Ports: Changes Needed?

Tax Climate At Ports: Changes Needed?

Competition for container ships and their cargo traffic is growing, and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle know they can't stand still. East Asian...
Roads: The New Utility

Roads: The New Utility

Washington's gas tax was finally raised again last year by lawmakers as part of a 16-year, $16 billion transportation funding package for roads, transit...
Redefining Transit: What Works, What Doesn’t?

Redefining Transit: What Works, What Doesn’t?

Public transit like light rail and bus lines are often promoted as ways to address traffic congestion in major metro regions including greater Seattle....
Sound Transit's Trail Of Broken Promises Casts Pall Over New $50 Billion Proposal

Sound Transit’s Trail Of Broken Promises Casts Pall Over New $50 Billion Proposal

Sound Transit is promoting its third big round of system-building as a regional transportation solution. Among other things, Sound Transit 3 (ST3) will provide...
Washington's Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington’s Maritime Industries Strong; But Canada Could Eat Our Lunch

Washington state's maritime industries are more of an economic powerhouse than you probably imagined. According to a report from the Economic Development Council of...
Sound Transit 3 Blemishes Spotlighted

Sound Transit 3 Benefits Questioned

Sound Transit 3 envisions light rail as the agency's primary transportation mode in the Puget Sound region by 2050. Some policy experts and business...
Sound Transit 3: Lots Of Bucks, But How Much Bang?

Sound Transit 3: Lots Of Bucks, But How Much Bang?

Sound Transit will by current estimates spend almost $24 billion on the first two phases of its regional light rail, commuter rail and express...
Experts: I-405 Tolling Performance Promising

Experts: I-405 Tolling Performance Promising

Aligning with traffic performance and financial data from Washington state, national experts suggest that the new express lanes tolling on I-405 east of Seattle...
Seattle's Traffic Woes Require More Focus, Say Major Employers

Seattle’s Traffic Woes Require More Focus, Say Major Employers

Seattle region transit backers last weekend celebrated the extension of Sound Transit's light rail system from downtown north to the University District, and state...
EV Charing Hubs: Get It Right, Backers Say

EV Charging Hubs: Get It Right, Backers Say

Public-private partners who'll be submitting bids for state grants within months will want to make sure they get the details right on new charging...
BNSF's Matthew Rose: Let's Keep Freight Rail On Track In The Northwest

BNSF’s Matthew Rose: Let’s Keep Freight Rail On Track In The Northwest

In an address that's still timely as Washington state grapples with controversial oil and coal terminal proposals, BNSF Railroad Executive Chairman Matthew Rose discusses...
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