VISION 2040 Award Winners Honored

The Puget Sound Regional Council has honored six projects and programs from around the region with VISION 2040 Awards.

Mountlake Terrace accepting a VISION 2040 Award for Arbor Village.

Mountlake Terrace accepting a VISION 2040 Award for Arbor Village.

The VISION 2040 Awards showcase the amazing work that is being done to implement VISION 2040, the region’s long-range growth, economic development and transportation strategy, the region’s vision for the future.

This year’s winners are:

12th Avenue Arts, Sponsored by Capitol Hill Housing

A vibrant new multi-purpose building in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, which transforms a 29,000 square foot surface parking lot into a cultural center that meets arts, housing and public safety needs.

Pierce County Agriculture Program, Sponsored by Pierce County

A successful program to strengthen support for farming and farmers to ensure agriculture remains a healthy component of the Pierce County community.

Fourth Street Improvements, Sponsored by City of Bremerton and LMN Architects with partnering agencies Lorax Partners and Exeltech Consulting.

A streetscape design that created a lively theatrical ambiance to generate new investment in downtown Bremerton.

Arbor Village, Sponsored by Mountlake Terrace

The first, large scale mixed-use project to be developed in Mountlake Terrace’s new Town Center.

Redmond’s Central Connector, Sponsored by the City of Redmond in partnership with King County, Sound Transit, and The Berger Partnership.

The connector locates several instrumental public infrastructure projects on ten acres of prime real estate in the regional growth center and opens a network of active transportation opportunities using the eastside rail corridor.

Residential Infill Measures Report, Sponsored by City of Everett, with partnership from Washington State Department of Commerce, Inova, Property Counselors, and Fehr and Peers.

A reference manual of innovative infill practices and an exploration of potential housing types, infill locations, and land use code changes that will increase residential development capacity in Everett.







Pat McCarthy and John Marchione elected to lead PSRC

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy was reelected President of the Puget Sound Regional Council at today’s General Assembly meeting.


Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and Redmond Mayor John Marchione.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione was reelected Vice President.

“As President of the Puget Sound Regional Council over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with dedicated elected officials, community members, and many other civic minded people on improving transportation, growing jobs, and enhancing the region’s communities,” McCarthy said.

“Through the PSRC, the region works together to lay the foundation so everyone living here, now and in the future, will enjoy the quality of life that has historically drawn people here and convinced them to stay. I look forward to continuing this important work.”

The region’s General Assembly includes elected representation from all the members of the PSRC, including King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, as well as more than 80 cities, towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and tribal governments.

At the meeting, the General Assembly also adopted the agency’s budget and work program and approved an update to the region’s Transportation 2040 plan.



Region wins manufacturing communities designation for aerospace

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced today that the central Puget Sound region was one of 12 communities nationwide winning a Manufacturing Communities designation as part of a federal initiative.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced the region won a Manufacturing Communities designation.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced today the region won a Manufacturing Communities designation.

PSRC developed the proposal to designate the state’s aerospace industry. This special designation means strategic assistance and preferential status for two years on applications for $1.3 billion in federal grants.

“A century of aerospace leadership has taught this region that working together is the best path forward,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, President of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

“This will help our region become even more resilient as international competition grows fiercer every day, and will help keep the best manufacturing jobs in America.”

The U.S. Commerce Department-led program is designed to accelerate the resurgence of manufacturing in communities nationwide.

It supports the development of long-term economic development strategies that help communities attract and expand private investment in the manufacturing sector and increase international trade and exports.

The manufacturing designation helps support the aim of the Washington State Aerospace Strategy, PSRC’s Regional Economic Strategy and other economic strategies throughout the state to grow this key source of family-wage manufacturing jobs.

The application was a collaborative effort, receiving broad support from labor, industry, economic development organizations, education, and congressional partners across the state.

Tagged ,

Is a driverless car in your future?

California became the first state to adopt new regulations on driverless vehicles about a week before Google unveiled its new prototype of a self-driving car.

(Photo courtesy of Google)

(Photo courtesy of Google)

The Google car is designed to be completely self-driving with no conventional controls like a steering wheel.  The company is planning to build about 100 of the vehicles for testing by next year.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles rules and regulations outline how to operate driverless cars developed by Google and other companies.

The regulations released this month address only manufacturer testing requirements. Rules governing public operation of autonomous vehicles are currently being developed by the California DMV and are expected to be adopted by January 1, 2015.

Some are predicting driverless cars will become widespread by the next decade, but technological issues and liability and privacy concerns are potential obstacles.

Driverless cars could make driving much safer and help reduce congestion. And the cars could be a real boon for those unable to drive a car today such as people with a disability. People may also opt not to own private vehicles if on-demand driverless cars are available. Here’s a video showing the Google car in action.


Sound Transit ridership growing

The latest Sound Transit ridership numbers continue the recent trend showing transit use in central Puget Sound is growing faster than the national average.


One-day Sound Transit ridership records were set February 5 as hundreds of thousands of Seahawks fans attended the Superbowl victory parade in downtown Seattle.

In the first three months of 2014, Sound Transit had 7.5 million boardings, a jump of more than 8% compared to the same quarter in 2013. It was the busiest first three months of the year in Sound Transit history.

Central Link light rail increased 15% from last year, with 29,919 average weekday boardings.

ST Express regional buses had 58,659 average weekday boardings, a 7% increase. Sounder commuter rail grew 5%, with 11,843 average weekday boardings.

“The demand for both buses and congestion-free light rail will keep growing. The good news is that Sound Transit remains on track to expand the region’s light rail system from 16 miles to 50 miles by 2023,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who chairs the Sound Transit Board.

In the coming months, the Sound Transit Board will continue a process to plan for the projected 30% population growth the region will see by 2040 through an update to its Long-Range Plan. PSRC’s data team provides key modeling and forecasts to inform  Sound Transit’s planning process. The full annual ridership report can be found here:

Tagged ,

Harbor maintenance tax relief for Seattle and Tacoma ports

Happy National Maritime Day!  The holiday was created by Congress in 1933 to recognize the maritime industry and commemorate the date in 1819 when the American steamship Savannah embarked on the first-ever transoceanic voyage under steam power.

port of seattle image

New legislation reforms the Harbor Maintenance Tax and makes the ports of Seattle and Tacoma more competitive.

Nearly 200 years later, maritime remains a big contributor to economic prosperity and growth in the central Puget Sound.

A major issue that has long affected the competitiveness of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma has been the Harbor Maintenance Tax, a tax charged to shippers to fund dredging.

The problem is that Puget Sound ports are naturally deep and don’t require regular dredging, which means local ports are charging a federal tax that is used to improve other U.S. ports with no local return.

As “donor ports,” the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma currently receive pennies for each dollar they contribute, while other ports receive millions.

A provision in the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) will help fix that.

The legislation reforms the Harbor Maintenance Tax for the first time to authorize the return of a portion of the tax to shippers that use eligible donor ports like Seattle and Tacoma.

The provision builds on existing efforts from Senators Murray and Cantwell to overhaul the outdated Harbor Maintenance Tax and Trust Fund and keep American ports like Seattle and Tacoma competitive in the global marketplace.

Addressing the Harbor Maintenance Tax to ensure the continued competitiveness of Puget Sound ports has been a longstanding priority of the Prosperity Partnership in support of the Regional Economy Strategy.

This major legislation also authorizes investment in the nation’s waterways and the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including flood prevention and navigation.

The House and Senate passed the measure this week, and it’s now on its way to the President for his signature.



Governor Inslee to join region’s elected leaders at General Assembly

Special guest Governor Jay Inslee will speak to the region’s leaders at PSRC’s General Assembly on Thursday, May 29, at the Seattle Westin.

Governor Inslee will address the region's leaders on May 29 at PSRC's General Assembly.

Governor Inslee will address the region’s leaders on May 29 at PSRC’s General Assembly.

The General Assembly is PSRC’s big annual meeting that brings together mayors, county executives, commissioners, and councilmembers of PSRC member jurisdictions.

The agenda will include adoption of an update to the region’s transportation plan, election of officers, and action on the budget and work program.

The General Assembly starts at 4 p.m. The business meeting will be followed by a social hour and dinner. Governor Inslee will speak to the group during the VISION 2040 Awards dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, go online or contact Sheila Rogers at 206-464-5815,