Ferry Ridership

The Vashon-Seattle Water Taxi and the West Seattle Water Taxi, operated by the King County Ferry District, are attracting more riders each year.

The Vashon-Seattle Water Taxi and the West Seattle Water Taxi, operated by the King County Ferry District, are attracting more riders each year.

Ridership on the Vashon-Seattle and the West Seattle-Downtown water taxis is trending upward, while overall ridership on Washington State ferry routes continues to decline.

That’s some of the news from the latest issue of Puget Sound Trends.

Since peaking in 1999 at 24 million riders, regional ferry ridership has declined every year but one — nearly 18% cumulatively.

Contributing to the decline:  frequent fare increases on Washington State Ferries— including 2.5% in 2011 and 3% in 2012 — as well as the recent economic downturn.

Not all ferry routes lost riders, however. Ridership grew on the Bainbridge Island-Seattle and Port Defiance-Tahlequah ferries.

 

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Region Welcomes New Secretary of Transportation

Commissioner Josh Brown - PSRC President, Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson, and Executive Pat McCarthy, PSRC Vice President

Commissioner Josh Brown – PSRC President, Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson, and Executive Pat McCarthy – PSRC Vice President

The Executive Board welcomed its newest member at a reception today.

Secretary Lynn Peterson is new to Washington, but she is no stranger to highway engineering, regional planning and local government.

For the past couple of years she worked as the Sustainable Communities and Transportation Advisor to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

Peterson has degrees in civil and environmental engineering and urban and regional planning.  Her biography includes stints as a county commissioner, staff at Metro (PSRC’s counterpart in the Portland region) and TriMet.

Peterson was appointed Secretary by Governor Jay Inslee, and serves as a member of his cabinet. Read the rest


Parking Interns are Here!

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New PSRC parking interns stop for a picture before they head out to collect data.

Over the next few months, PSRC’s parking interns will be heading out to the region’s central business districts to do an inventory of off-street parking.

You may see them with clipboards and clickers in hand, roaming the parking garages and lots in downtown Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, and Bremerton.

They’ll also be working on Seattle’s First Hill, Lower Queen Anne, and University District neighborhoods, and at ferry terminals at Bainbridge Island, Kingston, and Southworth. Read the rest

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California Adopts Signs Developed in Washington

EV sign

California’s department of transportation has adopted new Electric Vehicle signage. The signs are a direct result of PSRC’s work to help the region get ready for electric vehicles.

The old standard signs for electric vehicle charging stations featured a gasoline pump stamped with “EV.”  The newer design features a plug instead, signaling a wholly different source of power.

“We’re proud that California has adopted the General Service, Time of Day, Parking Restriction, and Enforcement signage our committee recommended,” said Ivan Miller, co-chair of PSRC’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Technical Advisory Committee.

The signs were part of a set of regulations, codes and standards for electric vehicle infrastructure design to help local governments in their planning for electric vehicles.

Read more in the report: Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: A Guide for Local Governments in Washington State

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Manufacturing in Snohomish County

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The Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s North Puget Sound Manufacturing Corridor Map

“Snohomish County is the manufacturing backbone of Washington State,” Economic Alliance Snohomish County’s Patrick Pierce told PSRC’s FAST Freight Advisory Committee in a presentation March 13.

Other facts he gave the group:

  • Snohomish County’s 63,000-plus high tech manufacturing jobs make it the second largest manufacturing center in the state.
  • Over 170 aerospace suppliers are located in the county.
  • An Arlington aerospace manufacturing facility is the largest consumer of aircraft grade aluminum in Washington State and uses the largest 5-axis milling machines in the world.
  • Paine Field generates almost two times the annual economic output of any other airport in the state.
  • Port of Everett is the fifth largest on the West Coast by export value.

For more information: Patrick Pierce, Economic Alliance Snohomish County

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Booth Gardner

In the 1980s, a young Mark Gulbranson from the Puget Sound Council of Governments went looking for the new Pierce County Executive at his office in Tacoma.  Something needed to be signed.

A guy asked if he could help, and said “follow me.”

Governor Gardner Signs Amendments of GMA in 1991

Governor Gardner Signs Amendments to the GMA in 1991

When they got to the Executive’s office, the guy went in and shut the door.  The door opened again, with that same guy grinning and introducing himself as: Booth Gardner.

Booth Gardner became active as County Executive on the board of the old Council of Governments.

When he became Governor of Washington, Gardner did two things that still guide regional planning:  He signed the state’s Growth Management Act and, with a stroke of a pen, designated the new Puget Sound Regional Council as the place where King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties plan together. Read the rest


Mayor Marilyn Strickland on Smart Growth in Tacoma

In this video, Mayor Marilyn Strickland makes the case for how smart growth is working in Tacoma.

Strickland is a member of of the Advisory Board of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, a nonpartisan group of municipal officials focused on livable communities.

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