Viaduct work will close SR 99 starting on Friday

While efforts continue to get Bertha the tunnel boring machine digging again, there is other work moving forward to get ready for the new tunnel replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The bridge over Broad Street will be demolished this weekend as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement

The bridge over Broad Street will be demolished this weekend  and a new road built as part of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.

The work is happening at the north portal of the future tunnel and will close SR 99 between Valley Street and the West Seattle Bridge from Friday through Tuesday.

During the four-day closure, crews will demolish the part of SR 99 above Broad Street and create a new road level with the existing SR 99 lanes.

The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement is one of the major regional projects included the region’s long-range plan, Transportation 2040. Learn more on WSDOT’s project page.

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Special Needs Transportation Funding Call for Projects

PSRC’s 2014-2015 Coordinated Grant Program for special needs transportation projects is now underway.

The call for projects for $4.4 million in PSRC Special Needs Transportation Funds is now underway!

The call for projects for $4.4 million in PSRC Special Needs Transportation Funds is now underway!

This program will fund $4.4 million in eligible projects from Federal Transit Administration Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program  funds and ranks projects applying to WSDOT’s Consolidated Grant Program.

Application materials are available online and are due to PSRC on September 30, 2014.

Those applicants who are seeking these funds are still required to submit an eligibility screening form to no later than 5:00 pm on Friday, August 22, 2014  to be eligible for these funds as part of the PSRC competitive grant process.

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Planning for Whole Communities Brown Bag Aug 21

On Thursday, August 21 from 12:30 to 2 pm, PSRC will be hosting a free brown bag on the Planning for Whole Communities Toolkit in the boardroom

This event is part of PSRC's networking lunch series Toolbox 2014.

This event is part of PSRC’s peer networking lunch series Toolbox 2014.

Speakers will include: Brian Saelens, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Julie West, Seattle-King County Public Health, and Laura Benjamin, Puget Sound Regional Council.

The Planning for Whole Communities Toolkit is a web-based resource designed to help local jurisdictions promote health, equity, and sustainability in policies, programs, and comprehensive plans.

The Toolkit focuses on the cities of Auburn, Burien, Des Moines, Kent, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, and Tukwila, and the neighborhoods of Southeast Seattle—including Beacon Hill, Georgetown, and South Park—and North Highline.

This work is a product of the Community Transformation Grant and the result of a yearlong collaboration between planners, community advocates, and public health professionals.

The Toolkit focuses on four planning elements: land use and the environment, complete communities, economic opportunity, and active transportation. It is divided into 25 resource guides describing specific tools and outlining guidance for local implementation. While each resource guide is designed to stand alone, many are closely related, and can be combined to create a suite of policies or programs that meets a jurisdiction’s needs.



Slight change in pedestrian and bicycle safety

travel safety tableThe region’s 5-year rolling averages for pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and significant injuries show minimal change.

The 5-year span of 2004 to 2008 showed higher counts of pedestrian fatalities and injuries, 40 and 194 respectively, than did the span of 2009-2013, which had 34 and 185 respectively.

Comparing the same 5-year spans for bicycle safety showed an increase in fatalities from 5 to 6 and a decrease in serious injuries from 79 to 75.

The actual percentage share of both fatalities and injuries for both pedestrians and bicyclists rose in the same time period because motor vehicle safety showed greater improvement overall.

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Car travel safety improving overall in the region

travel safety chartOver the last 10 years, the rate of fatalities and serious injuries caused by collisions in the central Puget Sound region has seen a significant decline.

From 2004 to 2013, the region saw a reduction in fatalities by 29% and in serious injuries by 34%.

In 2004, the region had 0.80 fatalities and 4.93 serious injuries  per every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, which lowered to 0.57 fatalities and 3.27 serious injuries in 2013.

The majority, about 60%, of people killed or seriously injured in vehicle collisions are the drivers of the vehicles involved in the accidents.




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New State of Good Repair Working Group

PSRC will be convening a new State of Good Repair Working Group soon.

 State of Good Repair is the highest priority in the region’s long-range transportation plan, Transportation 2040.

State of Good Repair is the highest priority in the region’s long-range transportation plan, Transportation 2040.

State of Good Repair refers to projects and programs designed to maintain, preserve, and operate the existing transportation system in a safe, efficient, and usable condition.

The group’s charges will be to respond to a upcoming federal policies on State of Good Repair performance-based planning and develop a proposal for the future of PSRC’s State of Good Repair work program.

The limited term working group will meet as needed and be comprised of representatives from the Regional Project Evaluation Committee and Regional Staff Committee.

Volunteers should have a working knowledge of asset management planning with a particular focus on pavement preservation.

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The Fiscal Benefits of Urban Mixed Use Development

Recent research concludes that mixed use development in urbanized areas generates more tax revenues than other types of development.

Thea Foss, Tacoma

Mixed-use development requires less infrastructure investment and generates higher tax revenues than other types of development.

Peter Katz, in the August 2013 issue of Government Finance Review, states: “Revenue return from property taxes is the missing metric for communities that want to grow in a way that is healthy, balanced, and economically sustainable.”

The number of years it takes for property taxes to pay back the municipality’s up-front investment to accommodate a new development must be considered. To do this, a municipality must look at the annual tax yield per acre.

The study looked at annual tax yields per acre for various development types in Sarasota County, Florida. It found that compact, mixed use development in urbanized areas generated much higher tax revenues on a per-acre basis than single-family, big box store, and other land-intensive types of development.

In addition to more efficiently using land, mixed use development typically requires less horizontal infrastructure (roads, water, and sewer lines) that local governments provide and more vertical infrastructure (elevators, stairs, and structural steel) that the private sector provides.