Industrial lands, economic strategy review on deck for Sept 3

PSRC’s Economic Development board is set to meet on September 3 at 1 pm in the boardroom.

PSRC is doing a study to understand how important industrial land will be for the region's future.

PSRC is doing a study to understand how important industrial land will be to the region’s future.

The primary discussion topic will be the preliminary findings of PSRC’s Industrial Lands Analysis, which will assess the supply of industrial land and related planning issues.

The board is also in the process of a mid-point review of the Regional Economic Strategy to determine if any course corrections are necessary. This effort will include a discussion of potential 2015 Action Items and the development of a tracking dashboard for monitoring active strategy implementation actions.

See the full agenda here.

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Air quality in Pierce County improving

Good news for residents and businesses in Pierce County: Air quality is getting better and the area now meets a federal air pollution standard, according to a plan being submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Tacoma and Pierce County violated the federal air standard for fine particles from 2006-2008.

The fine particle pollution is primarily caused from residents burning wood to heat homes during winter.

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency worked closely with the state Ecology department and a community task force to reduce wintertime particle pollution.

Ecology is now asking for comments on the air pollution plan through October 3, 2014 and at a public hearing on September 30.

EPA requires Ecology and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to submit a revision (a plan) to the State Implementation Plan.

The plan shows the improvement in air quality in Tacoma and Pierce County, and outlines how to maintain and continue to decrease fine particle pollution in the area.

Find out more on Ecology’s website.

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New Port of Seattle CEO announced

The Port of Seattle Commission has selected Ted J. Fick as Chief Executive Officer to replace Tay Yoshitani, who retires next month.

Ted J. Fick was selected as the Port of Seattle's new chief executive officer.

Ted J. Fick was selected as the Port of Seattle’s new chief executive officer.

“Ted has the right combination of skills and dynamic leadership to help the Port of Seattle thrive in the globally competitive environment ports face today. He brings the fresh perspective and breadth of experience we need to help our region generate new jobs and economic growth,” said Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire.

Fick is a Tacoma native and began his career at his family’s Tacoma-based foundry, Fick Foundry Co.

He spent many years at PACCAR, holding leadership positions at PACCAR and their division Kenworth. Most recently, he served as CEO of Polar Corporation, a trailer and component parts manufacturer based in Minnesota.

On September 11, Fick will join commissioners at a public meeting, where they will vote to formally appoint him to lead the Port of Seattle. He will begin work on September 29, 2014.

The Port of Seattle is a member of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

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Touring the Redmond Central Connector

The City of Redmond has transformed an old rail line into a new trail and linear park that connects to the regional trail system.

The Redmond Central Connector features striking public art.

The Redmond Central Connector features striking public art.

The 1.1-mile Central Connector trail links the historic Old Town with the newer Redmond Town Center.

Members of PSRC’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee are taking a tour of the Connector on foot and bike today.

The trail project and other investments by the city are aimed at making downtown Redmond a magnet for people to live, shop and gather — and eventually catch a ride on light rail.

In 2010, PSRC provided $2.3 million in federal transportation enhancements funds for the first phase of the Central Connector project.

The second phase of the Redmond Connector is in design now with construction anticipated to start in spring 2015. It’s among the projects recommended for funding by PSRC’s Executive Board in July.

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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 that will replace 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 gcerise@psrc.org 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.