Legislature: YES! to Aerospace Office

Funding for the Governor’s Office of Aerospace is included in the operating budget expected to clear the state legislature later today.

Strategy Focuses Winning the 777 X

Strategy Focuses Winning The 777 X

The funding will sustain the new office and comes with an additional $200,000 to support the state’s new aerospace strategy.

The Aerospace Office is a joint venture between the state and the Washington Aerospace Partnership with offices in Olympia and at the Puget Sound Regional Council.   PSRC’s Executive Director, Bob Drewel, is President of the WAP.

The office was created to enhance the state’s competitiveness in aerospace.  Since then it has supported trade missions around the world, the state’s presence Farnborough and Paris air shows, and, critically, developed the state’s first-ever aerospace strategy, focused on securing assembly of Boeing’s new 777-X in Washington.

Community interests throughout the state rallied to support the office after an early budget proposal appeared to eliminate it.  Creation of the office, and the statewide strategy, have been priorities in implementing Prosperity Partnership’s Regional Economic Strategy.

Tagged ,

Special Needs Projects Approved for Contingency Funding

In anticipation of additional transportation funding becoming available, the Executive Board approved a contingency list of 12 special needs projects at its meeting on Thursday.

Hyde Shuttles in King County is one of the services approved for contingency funding.

Hyde Shuttles in King County is one of the projects approved for contingency funding.

These are projects and transportation services that help elderly and disabled people, or others who don’t drive, to get where they need to go.

During the last round of funding earlier this year, not all recommended projects were able to receive funding – the first time this has happened since PSRC began administering the program.

More special needs funding typically appears between grant rounds so it makes sense to have a list of contingency projects ready to go as these funds become available.

For more information, please contact Gil Cerise at 206-971-3053.

Read more about what happened at the Executive Board meeting here or watch a video of the meeting.

Tagged ,

Regional Bike Network Recommended

The Sodo Trail connecting West Seattle and SODO with downtown.

The SODO Trail connecting West Seattle and SODO with downtown.

A bicycle network connecting to key destinations throughout the region was finalized on Wednesday by PSRC’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

This is the first time PSRC has produced a regional network of existing and potential bike linkages that connect regional centers, transit stations, military bases, and major destinations like the University of Washington and community colleges.

The regional bike network will be part of PSRC’s Active Transportation Plan, now being developed as part of the Transportation 2040 update.

The Active Transportation Plan is focused on improving options for people of all ages and abilities to walk, bike, skateboard, wheelchair or otherwise get around without driving.

It will provide tools and information for local governments to plan for nonmotorized transportation.

A snapshot of the regional bike network in northwest King County.

A snapshot of part of the regional bike network in east King County.

The regional bicycle network is the result of over a year of coordination with the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, jurisdictions across the region, and with other interested organizations like the Cascade Bicycle Club.

There’s more work to come. Next steps will include further analysis to tier the network, finalize the existing segments, and create a gap list, which will provide information on where better connections are needed.

Tagged ,

Deadline for Fair Housing Equity Assessment Survey Approaching

The Regional Fair Housing Equity Assessment is a part of the Growing Transit Communities work plan.

June 30th is the last day to fill out the survey that kicks off the Regional Fair Housing Equity Assessment. The survey seeks to find out about perceptions and experiences on issues related to equal opportunity to housing. If you are a resident of King, Pierce, or Snohomish County, please take a moment to take the survey and forward it to your contacts and constituents.

The Regional Fair Housing Equity Assessment is designed to identify areas of segregation, increasing diversity, and concentrated poverty, examine the impacts of major public investments on different communities, and evaluate existing fair housing services and activities. Recommendations from this work will be available this fall.

If you would like the survey translated into another language, please send your request as soon as possible to Tim Parham.

Tagged ,

Coming Up at Executive Board

PSRC’s governing board is set to meet on Thursday, June 27 at 10 a.m.

PSRC’s Executive Board meets monthly and serves as the governing board of the agency.

The Board is set to act on:

  • Increasing the agency budget by $30,000 from the City of Seattle for the Regional Food Policy Council to identify key obstacles to the viability of farmer’s markets and to identify best practices for stabilizing them.
  • Authorizing contract authority for consultant services for the upcoming Regional Industrial Lands Analysis work.
  • Helping transportation projects in Shoreline, in Snohomish County, and at Seattle’s Ferry Terminal move forward.
  • Approving a contingency list for special needs transportation projects should any additional funding become available during this grant cycle.

In addition, the Board will discuss:


Region Gains Jobs in May

The Washington Economic Security Department released its monthly employment report for May this week, which shows the unemployment rate is falling in Washington.

The Seattle metro areaTongaat Welfare Centre (including Bellevue and Everett) had an unemployment rate of 4.7% in May, down from 5.1% in April. The state jobless rate was 6.8%.

The report estimates that Washington state as a whole gained 4,100 nonfarm jobs from April to May 2013.  Of those, 900 were in the private sector and 3,200 in the public sector.

You can see the full report on the ESD website, along with a map showing the jobless rates in each county in the state.


Skagit River Bridge Reopens

The state department of transportation reopened the I-5 Skagit River Bridge this morning, less than a month after a portion of the bridge collapsed into the Skagit River.

Skagit River Bridge reopens

The I-5 Skagit River Bridge opened to traffic today. A permanent fix will be installed by October 1. (WSDOT photo)

For updates on the project, check out WSDOT’s Skagit River Bridge page.

“Roughly 99 percent of the car and truck traffic will be able to cross the I-5 bridge again,” said WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson. “This will dramatically reduce the congestion through Mount Vernon and Burlington, and hopefully bring some much-needed normalcy back to our communities.”

The speed limit will be reduced from 60 to 40 mph between the College Way and State Route 20 interchanges, a distance of roughly a half-mile on each side of the bridge. All oversized or overweight trucks must exit and use the current detour route.

WSDOT has awarded a $6.87 million contract to permanently fix the bridge. A federal emergency grant will fund the work, which is expected to start this week and be complete by October 1.