State economy holds steady amid recession talk

State economy holds steady amid recession talk

The latest forecast from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) shows that Washington’s economy is holding steady despite increased talk of a...
Bellingham climate action proposal could cost homeowners big

Bellingham climate action proposal could cost homeowners big

The state legislature this year passed a law requiring that Washington utility providers convert to 100 percent carbon-neutral energy by 2035. Now, the city...
Puget Sound LCFS could add $.57 to gas prices

Puget Sound LCFS could add $.57 to gas prices

After its failed efforts to impose a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) across the state  during the last two legislative sessions,  the Puget Sound...
Sound Transit car tab fee injunction denied

Sound Transit car tab fee injunction denied

A Pierce County Superior Court judge has denied an injunction request preventing Sound Transit from collecting any more of its motor vehicle excise tax...
Crossroads ahead for road usage charge

Crossroads ahead for road usage charge

The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) in December will deliver a report to the legislature outlining recommendations on a road user charge (RUC) fee....
Local road funds off track

Local road funds off track

Washington State Department of Transportation officials have recently described their $700 million annual funding gap as a “glidepath toward failure.” Now, a Joint Transportation...
Growth may not signal prosperity, planner cautions

Growth may not signal prosperity, planner cautions

With an economy that continues to outperform the rest of the country, Washington appears to be prospering. According to the latest report by the...
Rent control could prompt housing shortage

Rent control could prompt housing shortage

The average monthly rent for an apartment in Seattle is $2,130, a three percent increase from 2018, according to Rent Café. In July 2016,...
house with tools

SEPA reform needed

Members of the Seattle City Council have been accused of trying to “...gut bedrock environmental protection rules...” because they state what has been obvious...
WSDOT: State transportation system on “glidepath to failure”

WSDOT: State transportation system on “glidepath to failure”

Beginning in the 2021-23 biennium, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will no longer pave highway ramps or sections of the freeway where...
Planners should rethink growth strategies, says Strong Towns advocate

Planners should rethink growth strategies, says Strong Towns advocate

By 2040, Washington state is estimated to have a population of almost 9 million residents; that’s an increase of 1.4 million from its current...
Reforming the housing development process

Reforming the housing development process

Following a recent  housing summit in Bellevue, the House Local Government Committee held a work session in Federal Way examining the various public policies...
The big fix on fish barrier removal

The big fix on fish barrier removal

Washington state lawmakers will have to come up with $3 billion in additional funding for more than 900 fish barrier removal projects if they’re...
Lake Washington ferry service planned

Lake Washington ferry service planned

A pilot program is in the works by a private developer to offer ferry service routes from South Lake Union to the 17-acre Southport...
How drivers feel about an RUC

How drivers feel about an RUC

This coming December the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) steering committee plans to submit recommendations to the legislature for the...
Ultra-high-speed rail: Silver bullet or pipe dream?

Ultra-high-speed rail: Silver bullet or pipe dream?

The Washington State Department of Transportation has released its business case analysis regarding the concept of an ultra-high-speed rail line from Portland through Seattle...
Addressing Washington’s housing affordability crisis

Addressing Washington’s housing affordability crisis

A housing summit in Bellevue involving various stakeholders from the private and public sectors could represent a turning point in a statewide housing crisis...
Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Navigating Washington’s housing crisis

Housing unaffordability similar to conditions in California was forecasted for Washington state during a July 8 housing summit in Bellevue. Whether or not Washington...
Is California Washington’s housing future?

Is California Washington’s housing future?

Washington is experiencing a statewide housing shortage problem that is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER)...
Addressing yesterday’s congestion today

Addressing yesterday’s congestion today

As a new interstate work group continues to look at replacing the century-old I-5 bridge spanning the Columbia River from Vancouver to Portland, some...
Longer curfew for Washington’s young drivers?

Longer curfew for Washington’s young drivers?

A draft proposal of the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan Target Zero 2019 includes a list of recommendations to reduce traffic accidents that...
New taxes for transit?

New taxes for transit?

Investments at the local and state levels on transit throughout Washington state isn’t keeping pace with economic growth, and new revenue sources such as...
The world of tomorrow with 5G

The world of tomorrow with 5G

For enthusiasts of 5th generation (5G) mobile networks technology in the private sector, it’s hard to understate the positive impacts. The expansion alone is...
Sound Transit lawsuit sent to high court

Sound Transit lawsuit sent to high court

The Commissioner of the Washington Supreme Court has granted a motion by Sound Transit to have a class action lawsuit filed against the ST3...
Sound Transit asks for high court review

Sound Transit asks for high court review

A year ago, a group of private citizens filed a class action lawsuit against Sound Transit, arguing that its motor vehicle excise tax (MVET)...
Inrix announces new “smart” traffic technology

Inrix announces new “smart” traffic technology

Kirkland-based Inrix has released new artificial intelligence technology, INRIX AI Traffic,  which the company says can provide hyper-accurate, live traffic data to a variety...

Shipping hub feels squeeze of regional growth

Santa’s workshop may be in the North Pole, but he has an outpost tucked away nearby in a place you might not expect: Tukwila,...
Is gridlock here to stay?

Is gridlock here to stay?

During this legislative session state lawmakers approved SB 5825 which makes the tolls on Interstate 405 and State Route 167 permanent. However, the legislation...
Urban density bill signed by Inslee

Urban density bill signed by Inslee

Governor Jay Inslee has signed E2SHB 1923 sponsored by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34) into law – a bill that supporters hope will increase housing...
Transportation budget clears legislature

Transportation budget clears legislature

The Washington legislature voted overwhelming in favor of a $10 billion 2019-21 transportation budget that funds major projects in central Puget Sound as well...
Congestion-financed transportation projects

Congestion-financed transportation projects

The Washington legislature this weekend voted in favor of ESSB 5825 sponsored by Transportation Committee Chair Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44) to make the tolls...
Senate approves House timber bill

Senate approves House timber bill

The Washington Senate on April 16 voted 47-1 in favor of a bill intended to boost the timber industry in rural counties with higher...
Senate approves urban housing bill

Senate approves urban housing bill

The Washington Senate on April 13 voted 33-12 in favor of a House bill intended to boost the housing supply within urban areas in...
Making I-405 tolls permanent

Making I-405 tolls permanent

The dynamic tolling system on a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 405 between Bellevue and Lynwood was opened in 2015 to improve mobility and offer...
The long and short of subdivisions

The long and short of subdivisions

A Senate proposal intended to increase the maximum number of units within a short subdivision continues to advance through the legislature. On April 2,...
House passes transportation budget

House passes transportation budget

The state House overwhelming approve its 2019-21 transportation budget on Mar. 29 that spends $10 billion on fish culvert repairs, the Interstate 5 Bridge...
How prepared is Washington for a recession?

How prepared is Washington for a recession?

As the legislature begins negotiations over the Senate and House budget proposals, some state officials are gauging Washington’s readiness for a potential recession similar...
In search of balanced approach to housing affordability

In search of balanced approach to housing affordability

A recurring debate during this year’s legislative session concerns the state’s appropriate role regarding local housing supply and density, which can be largely determined...
New proposal to fund local infrastructure

New proposal to fund local infrastructure

While the House’s proposed 2019-21 operating budget would continue raids into the Public Works Trust account mean to fund local infrastructure projects, two identical...
Senate unveils transportation budget

Senate unveils transportation budget

The Senate Transportation Committee voted on Mar. 28 in favor of a proposed 2019-21 transportation budget that spends a similar amount as its counterpart...
No taxes proposed in House transportation budget

No taxes proposed in House transportation budget

The House Transportation Committee voted 28-3 on Mar. 27 in favor of a proposed 2019-21 transportation budget that increases funding for fish barrier removal...
Emergency loan proposal garners unanimous Senate support

Emergency loan proposal garners unanimous Senate support

Five years after the Oso landslide killed 43 people in Snohomish County, state lawmakers are considering an emergency revolving loan program to help repair...
Will low carbon fuel standard move forward?

Will low carbon fuel standard move forward?

Now that a state House bill creating a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has cleared that chamber, it remains to be seen whether its...
Brokering statewide broadband

Brokering statewide broadband

Both state legislative chambers have approved bills intended to get high speed broadband internet to the approximately 450,000 Washington residents who still lack access. Now,...
Lawmakers embrace urban density proposal

Lawmakers embrace urban density proposal

A Democrat proposal to boost housing within urban areas received bipartisan support in a 66-30 house vote on Mar. 13. SSHB 1923 sponsored by...
LCFS proposal advances from House

LCFS proposal advances from House

After a lengthy debate on Mar. 12 that included over half a dozen amendments added to the bill, state House lawmakers voted 53-43 in...
Housing proposals ignite debate over local control

Housing proposal ignites debate over local control

The Washington Senate voted 38-10 on Mar. 11 in favor of SB 5812 requiring that cities and counties adopt ordinances and regulations allowing accessory...
New research finds LCFS bad for environment

New research finds LCFS bad for environment

Opponents of a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) such as that proposed in Washington state say the program would be costly to implement, impossible...
State Senate approves tiny home bill

State Senate approves tiny home bill

The Washington Senate voted overwhelming 44-2 in favor of a bill allowing cities and towns to create ordinances regulating tiny house communities, while prohibiting...
Transportation package advances

Transportation package advances

A proposed 10-year transportation package to fund new infrastructure and court-ordered fish culvert projects cleared the Senate Transportation Committee after several amendments were incorporated....
Kneecapping housing affordability efforts

Kneecapping housing affordability efforts

Washingtonians living in the central Puget Sound region aren’t the only ones affected by the housing shortage. The problem has also extended to the...

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