Historic Water Ditch Trail nearly complete

The City of Tacoma is asking for input on the final section of the Historic Water Ditch Trail.

The city has developed four different options for the final piece of the 6-5 mile Water Ditch Trail.

The city has developed four different options for the final piece of the 6-5 mile Water Ditch Trail.

When the trail is complete, cyclists and walkers will be able to travel 6.5 miles between south Tacoma to downtown, the Tacoma Dome and the Thea Foss Waterway.

PSRC awarded $1.8 million to the project earlier this year.

The Historic Water Ditch Trail was originally part of a 110-year-old trail system that crossed Tacoma and extended to Mt. Rainier.

Plans are for a concrete multi-use trail, two-foot gravel shoulders, curb and gutter, pedestrian level lighting and amenities for pedestrians and transit users.

The city has developed four options for linking the existing segments of the trail and is inviting residents to learn more and fill out an online survey to provide comments.

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Smart Building Innovations Panel Dec 17

Interested in the future of building energy efficiency? Attend this free event to learn about how Internet connected devices are expanding smart building technologies.

The Pacific Tower is currently being retrofitted with energy efficiency technologies that will  meet Washington State greenhouse gas reduction target.

The Pacific Tower is currently being retrofitted with energy efficiency technologies that will meet Washington State greenhouse gas reduction target.

Washington State, with strengths in both energy efficiency and information technology, is poised to be at the epicenter of a smart buildings revolution.

From now through 2018, the global spend on smart buildings technologies is projected to grow from $7.3 to $21.9 billion (IDC Energy Insights).

The Regional Economic Strategy data shows that this industry is particularly strong in the central Puget Sound region.

The Smart Building Innovations Panel will explore how Washington can position itself at the forefront of the opportunity created by the convergence of building automation and the internet-connected devices.

Panelists:

Date: December 17th, 2014
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 panel event; food and drinks at 5:30
Location: Impact Hub Seattle, 220 2nd Avenue South, Seattle: First Floor Main Event Space

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Electric trolley buses go for a test drive

Prototypes of Metro’s new electric trolley buses are on the road for a 90-day test drive.

The new buses feature air conditioning, low floors for easier boarding, and an updated system to secure wheelchairs.

The new buses feature air conditioning, low floors for easier boarding, and an updated system to secure wheelchairs.

PSRC awarded $137 million in federal transportation funds to replace the agency’s aging fleet of trolleys.

The test drive will help identify any fixes that might be needed before production of the buses starts in early 2015.

Metro’s trolley system spans more than 70 miles from Ballard to Rainier Beach, and serves five designated regional growth centers and 12 local centers in Seattle.

According to the county, the new trolleys will use 25-30% less energy than the older models and will be able to operate off-wire on battery power for 3 miles.

The trolleys are scheduled to be in service by late 2015.  You can find out more here.

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Watch KING 5 Sunday: Transportation on Inside Politics

PSRC’s Vice President, Redmond Mayor John Marchione, will appear on KING TV on Sunday morning to support a statewide transportation package.

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Redmond Mayor John Marchione at KING TV this morning: statewide transportation package top priority in 2015

Mayor Marchione taped the segment with KING 5’s Mark Wright this morning.

Wright wanted to know more about PSRC and efforts to improve transportation in the region.

The Mayor described the region’s top priority: Securing a comprehensive statewide investment in roads, transit, ferries, and systems to support walking and bicycling in the 2015 state legislature.

He also explained the rationale behind a new effort to craft a “subregional” approach to meeting regional needs, should state leaders fall short.

The interview is expected to air Sunday sometime within the 8 a.m. hour on the Inside Politics segment of KING 5’s morning news.

 

 


KING 5 reports on subregional transportation alternative

Efforts at PSRC to develop a subregional alternative – should state leaders fall short on meeting transportation needs – are getting attention.

Last night KING 5 reported on long commutes, and spoke with Redmond Mayor John Marchione about a possible new way to move on transportation.

Marchione told KING 5,  “The best thing for the state of Washington and the Seattle region is a statewide transportation package,” said Marchione. “But they came close and didn’t pass it before, so we have to start thinking about Plan B.”

“We can’t wait two more years,” said Marchione. “We have to move now.”

Last week the Transportation Policy Board created a subcommittee to recommend what a regional alternative might look like.  That group will be meeting December 11 at PSRC.


Kirkland cuts ribbon on green road extension

Today the City of Kirkland is celebrating the opening of the NE 120th Street extension in Totem Lake. PSRC awarded over $2.5 million to the project.

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Crews putting the finishing touches on new bike lanes on NE 120th Street in Kirkland.

The city produced a great video all about the project.

The road is an 880-foot-long extension of NE 120th Street connecting Slater Avenue Northeast and 124th Avenue Northeast.

The city used sustainable building practices to build the project up to Green Roads standards.

The new road will improve Totem Lake’s traffic circulation, as well as access for commerce, emergency responders and cyclists and pedestrians.

It includes bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street, and new smart traffic signals Intelligent Transportation Systems technology.

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PSRC re-certified in joint review

Every four years, Metropolitan Planning Organizations like PSRC undergo a joint review by Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration staff.

Photo by Larry Vogel

Re-certification means PSRC can continue to fund local transportation projects, such as the recently completed Five Corners Roundabout in Edmonds. PSRC provided $2.4 million to this project.

PSRC’s continued certified status means that federal transportation dollars will continue to flow to the region.

The review process ensures that the regional long-range transportation planning process is meeting federal requirements.

PSRC received several commendations on its transportation planning process and no corrective actions.

Comments from the review team included:

  • We commend “PSRC for its work in developing its 2014 long-range plan update for Transportation 2040. The update reflects an attempt to address the serious funding shortfall facing the region and establishes a transparent prioritization process for identifying unfunded projects.”
  • “PSRC has established cooperative, effective working relationships within its membership.”
  • “PSRC’s planning process reflects a strong commitment to multi-modal transportation as illustrated by its planning activities and decisions and the effective partnership it maintains with local transit providers, as well as, bicycle and pedestrian interests.”

 

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