PSRC conducting regional travel survey

PSRC is conducting a regional travel study to better understand the transportation needs and preferences of the region’s residents. Beginning in April 2014, over 90,000 homes throughout King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties will receive postcard invitations to participate in the online or telephone study.

Translation services are available. If you received the household transportation survey in the mail and need assistance to take it in your language, please contact us at 206-587-4819.

Translation services are available. If you received the household transportation survey in the mail and need assistance to take it in your language, please contact us at 206-587-4819.

Participation in the study can help answer questions about how the region can maintain and improve mobility, accessibility, and connectivity for residents as population grows and travel patterns evolve. The Puget Sound regional travel study will be conducted through June 2014.

The study will help planners understand the travel behavior of real households, such as the trips people make to work, school, or shopping centers, to help decision makers prioritize transportation projects.

“A lot has changed in the region since the last household survey in 2006,” said Billy Charlton, Program Manager for the Puget Sound Regional Council. “The region now has Link Light Rail, Streetcar service, and some tolling in place. We’ve also faced a huge economic downturn and faced incredible changes in technology that change people’s travel behavior. We expect to see some major differences.”

Resource Systems Group, Inc. (RSG) and ETC Institute, independent research firms, are administering the survey on behalf of PSRC. A random sample of the region’s households will be invited to participate in the survey.

The survey will involve questions about general household information as well as travel details for a given weekday. All individual and household information collected in this study will remain strictly confidential. The aggregated data will be used for analysis and modeling purposes.

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The Puget Sound Regional Council has been an active member of the Puget Sound LiDAR Consortium since its inception in 1999.

This LiDAR image shows the area around the Oso mudslide.

This LiDAR image shows the area around the Oso mudslide.

LiDAR can be used to help find slide risks and aid other disaster planning efforts. Read more about this Seattle Times article on the Oso Mudslide.

LiDAR – or Light, Detection And Ranging (also known as Airborne Laser Swath Mapping) –  employs an airborne scanning laser rangefinder to produce accurate topographic survey images of unparalleled detail.

This kind of imaging can help find earthquake faults, forecast floods, determine stream slopes, characterize forests, and provide detailed surface maps.

PSRC houses and distributes LiDAR data holdings for the consortium. PSRC staff is also involved in quality assessment and control of the data before it is placed in the public domain.

The consortium was started by a group of local agency staff and federal research scientists devoted to developing public domain high-resolution LiDAR topography and derivative products for the Puget Sound region and beyond.

The consortium currently has data for all four counties covered by the PSRC – King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish – plus many other locations in Washington State.




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PSRC welcomes Puyallup Tribe of Indians as new member

Today the PSRC Executive Board recognized the Puyallup Tribe of Indians as a new member of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians operates Chief Leschi School, dedicated to serving the educational needs of all Native Americans in the area.

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians operates Chief Leschi Schools, dedicated to serving the educational needs of all Native Americans in the area.

“The Puyallup Tribe welcomes the opportunity to participate in regional planning efforts and looks forward to working with other members on critical issues facing the Puget Sound region,” noted Chairman Herman Dillon, Sr.

The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a federally recognized Native American tribe. The Puyallup Indian Reservation is located primarily in northern Pierce County, with a small part extending north into the city of Federal Way.


Prosperity Partnership Action Items move forward in legislative session

This past January, PSRC’s Economic Development District Board adopted the Prosperity Partnership’s 2014 Action Items and Legislative Recommendations, which highlighted legislative activities that would support the implementation of the 2014 Prosperity Partnership Action Items.

The Partnership’s successes are highlighted below:

Education and Workforce Development

Goal: Strengthen STEM education in the state K-12 education system. Many high paying jobs the future will require workers with STEM education.Partnership for Learning supported a bill to ensure that Washington students are more prepared for higher education by improving high school graduation requirements. Partner: Partnership for Learning.


  • Passed SB 6552 (Senator Rolfes) Improving student success by increasing instructional hours and raising high school graduation requirements to 24 credits to better align with higher education admission requirements.

Goal: Support a more sustainable and accountable state higher education system that meets industry needs for STEM and other high demand fields. Washington’s higher education system needs to keep up with the demands of local industry, with a curriculum that reflects the skills of the jobs of today and tomorrow.


  • Added capacity in the state’s higher education system for STEM education, with $1 million for Computer Science at Central Washington University and $1 million for Engineering at Eastern Washington University.
  • $410,000 for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) to provide additional STEM opportunities for underrepresented students.

Business Climate

Goal: Secure final assembly of the 777X and associated composite wing fabrication in Washington. Boeing recently went through a citing decision process for the location of the 777X final assembly and wing fabrication, creating a significant economic boon to the region selected to do this work. Partners: Washington Aerospace Partnership, Washington State Office of Aerospace.


  • Boeing will locate the 777X and wing fabrication in the central Puget Sound region.
  • $750,000 in matching funds to create the Washington State University Aviation Biofuels Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence.

Goal: Adopt a sustainable funding model to promote state tourism. Tourism is significant contributor to our state and regional economy. In 2011, the Legislature eliminated funding for the state tourism office and the Washington Tourism Alliance is seeking a strategy to continue funding state tourism promotion activities. The Washington Tourism Alliance introduced legislation in 2014 to establish an industry-funded, self-assessment model which they have vetted with their members. Additional legislation will have to be passed in 2015 to finalize the tourism assessment model. Partner: Washington Tourism Alliance.


  • Passed HB 2229 (Representative Morris) Concerning long-term funding for a state tourism marketing program.

Executive Board to meet March 27

PSRC’s Executive Board will meet on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 10 am in the Boardroom at 1011 Western Ave Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98104.

WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson will present at the March 27 Executive Board Meeting.

WSDOT will present at the March 27 Executive Board Meeting.

The Puget Sound Regional Travel Study and a briefing on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and SR 520 Bridge replacement projects will be the primary topics of discussion.

Action items will include a number of administrative items, changes in transportation project status, and certification of a comprehensive plan.

View the full agenda here.


Growing Transit Communities Equity Grants

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership’s Equity Network Grant Program has invested in community-based organizations to provide resources to organize and increase participation of historically underrepresented communities and give voice to community priorities.

Thirteen additional equity grants were given out in 2014.

Thirteen additional equity grants were given out in 2014.

A special extension of the HUD regional planning grant has allowed thirteen community-based organizations to receive grants through an additional funding round of the Equity Grant Program. This one-time funding opportunity focuses on implementation of earlier equity grant work. Community-based organizations will use the grant resources to identify next steps to advance community priorities.

The final round of the grant program will build on the enormous success of the first ever Puget Sound Equity Summit at Highline Community College on November 8-9, 2013.  The event brought together nearly 400 people from across the region, representing community organizations, policy makers, philanthropy, and others.  Through community-led workshops, strategy sessions, and plenaries, participants built on community activities underway to identify next steps and shared equity strategies in the areas of education, jobs, health, transit and more.

Final reports from previous grantees are now available online. A video that highlights the work of the Equity Network, the Puget Sound Equity Summit, and the grant program is also available online.


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What’s next for aerospace in Washington?

A report released by Governor Inslee highlights recent progress for the aerospace industry in Washington state and offers a glimpse at what’s ahead.

Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner Changing How Passengers Travel Around the World

Topping the list of accomplishments in 2013 was Boeing’s decision to assemble the 777X and its carbon fiber wing in Washington.

Another exciting win was the selection of Washington State University to co-lead the FAA’s new Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment.

New priority action items over the next two years include aggressively recruiting companies from around the world eager to participate in the 777X supply chain.

Other strategies will support emerging segments of the industry, including advanced materials and composites, unmanned aerial systems, aviation biofuels, and maintenance, repair and overhaul operations.

Aerospace is one of 10 industry clusters in the Regional Economic Strategy.