John Marchione and John Lovick elected to lead PSRC

Redmond Mayor John Marchione was elected President of the Puget Sound Regional Council at PSRC’s General Assembly meeting on Thursday. Snohomish County Executive John Lovick was elected Vice President. 

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Redmond Mayor John Marchione and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick

“I’m honored to serve in the role of President and support PSRC’s mission to plan for growth in a way that preserves and enhances what makes this region such a great place to live,” Marchione said.

“This is a crucial time for our region. More people are moving here, attracted by the strong economy. Forecasts show that we’re on track to go over the 4 million mark in 2016.  These are positive trends, but it means we’re outgrowing the existing transportation system. It’s time to make a major investment for the future. I look forward to continuing to engage with regional and state leaders to make that happen.”

Executive Lovick has served as a member of PSRC’s Executive Board since taking office in 2013. Before becoming Snohomish County Executive, Lovick served as Snohomish County Sheriff, and also served nine years as the 44th district representative to the state legislature.

the Assembly also recognized outgoing PSRC President Executive Pat McCarthy for her "spirited leadership...dedication, steadfastness, friendly and approachable spirit, and commitment to high standards in public service."

The General Assembly honored outgoing PSRC President Executive Pat McCarthy for her “spirited leadership…dedication, steadfastness, friendly and approachable spirit, and commitment to high standards in public service.”

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.

The Assembly also adopted the agency’s budget and work program and heard a special presentation on Link light rail and development of a potential ST3 ballot measure in 2016.

 

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Lynnwood Link route and stations approved

Last week the Sound Transit Board selected the route and station locations for extending light rail from Northgate to Lynnwood.

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A trip on Link between Lynnwood and downtown Seattle will take 28 minutes.

Stations will be built in Shoreline at Northeast 145th Street and Northeast 185th Street, at 236th Street Southwest in Mountlake Terrace, and at the Lynnwood Transit Center.

Construction is set to begin in 2018 and the route will open by 2023.

Sound Transit is also asking for comment on route and station options for the Federal Way light rail extension.

The Federal Way Link Extension project will extend light rail from the future Angle Lake Station at South 200th in SeaTac, which is under construction, to Kent/Des Moines by 2023.

A plan for extending light rail to the Federal Way Transit Center when additional funding is secured is also in the works.

At the PSRC’s General Assembly on April 30, leadership from the Sound Transit Board — King County Executive Dow Constantine, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, and Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland — will talk about recent progress on Link light rail and development of a potential ST3 ballot measure in 2016.

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Travel survey shows more people walking, using transit

Across the Puget Sound region, more people are taking transit and walking, while driving and riding in personal vehicles is decreasing.

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Trips are shifting away from driving alone

This trend is amplified in the densest urban areas and most regional growth centers, and strongest among younger residents.

Since 1999, the region has seen a substantial shift away from drive-alone (SOV) shares to transit, though driving and riding in passenger vehicles is still the primary way that people get around the region.

For all trip purposes, the share of trips by driving alone (SOV) decreased from 48 percent in 1999, to 44 percent by 2006, and continued downward to around 42 percent by 2014. Meanwhile, the number of carpool (HOV) trips also decreased slightly.

Trips to Regional Growth Centers

Among the regional growth centers, the largest drops in SOV and HOV shares occurred in Seattle’s South Lake Union, Capitol Hill/First Hill, Downtown, and in Redmond’s Overlake and Downtown neighborhoods.

Personal vehicle shares to South Lake Union were cut in half between 2006 and 2014, while transit share increased by 50 percent and walking shares more than tripled. This change seems to reflect the boom of office, retail, and housing in the area within the past decade.

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All ages show a decrease in driving alone but the trend is most pronounced in younger age groups.

Mode Share by Age

Looking at mode shares by age, the most significant decreases in auto use between 2006 and 2014 were among younger travelers.

Ages 18-24 saw the largest drop from over 85 percent auto trip share in 2006 to around 70 percent auto in 2014 (for all trip pur­poses). Those aged 25-34 saw auto modes decrease to around 74 percent over the same time as well. The trend is less pronounced for other age groups, but no age group experienced increases in auto shares between 2006 and 2014.

This data comes from the Puget Sound Travel Survey, which surveyed more than 6,000 households throughout King, Kitsap, Pierce, and Snohomish counties from urban, suburban, and rural locations last year.

You can learn more in the latest issue of Puget Sound Trends.

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Vashon water taxi now in service

The MV Sally Fox began foot ferry service on April 7, 2015.

The new Vashon Water Taxi MV Sally Fox is in service for the weekday commute.

The new Vashon Water Taxi MV Sally Fox is in service for the weekday commute.

Vashon commuters can now sail directly from the northern tip of the island to downtown Seattle.

The Sally Fox departs Pier 50 in Seattle at 5:30 AM and operates its first 22 minute crossing from Vashon to Seattle at 6:10 AM. The taxi runs continuously until its 8:15 AM departure from Vashon.

In the evening it runs from 4:30 to 7 PM. The water taxi only runs Monday through Friday.

The regular adult fare is $5.50 in cash or $4.75 on an ORCA card.

 

 

 

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Planning conference draws 6,400 people from around the country

Ron Sims at the American Planning Association conference, April 19, 2015

Photo by Joe Szurszewski, courtesy of the American Planning Association

“How could a child’s life be determined by a zip code?”

Ron Sims asked that question of attendees during his keynote address at this week’s American Planning Association conference in Seattle. He described how he was struck by the importance of planning when he saw data correlating home address and life expectancy. The former King County Executive and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development deputy secretary cited research showing lower crime rates in communities with amenities like sidewalks and parks.

After Sims’ speech, planners, planning commissioners, community advocates, and others packed the more than 300 sessions at the conference to hear about topics such as comprehensive planning, climate change, water resources, and community resiliency.
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New leaders at region’s transit agencies

Community Transit and Pierce Transit have both recently named new chief executive officers.

New transit leaders: Community Transit's Emmett Heath and Pierce Transit's Susan Dreier

New transit leaders: Community Transit’s Emmett Heath and Pierce Transit’s Susan Dreier

Emmett Heath was appointed to lead Community Transit last month. Heath served as Director of Administration at Community Transit for 10 years before taking over as CEO in an acting capacity last summer.

On April 13, the Pierce Transit Board approved Susan Dreier as Pierce Transit’s new CEO. Dreier’s first day on the job will be May 26. Dreier previously served as the chief of Salem-Keizer Transit in Salem, Oregon.

Both Pierce Transit and Community Transit are adding service hours this year to meet growing demand.

“We’re back in growth mode. Today, we have every driver and every bus out on the road, yet we know there are still unmet needs in our community,” Heath said.

Community Transit is seeking legislative authority to go to the ballot with up to 0.3% sales tax increase.

Both transit agencies are members of the PSRC.  Half of the local elected officials on PSRC’s Executive Board also serve on the governing boards of the region’s transit agencies.

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New drivers from out of state a sign of accelerating growth

The number of people from out of state being issued drivers licenses is growing in all four counties of the region compared to the previous year. 

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The totals from the first three months of 2015 exceed those of previous years, suggesting that the region’s population is growing at a more rapid pace.

Gene Balk’s column in the Seattle Times on driver registrations in King County made us curious about trends in the entire four-county region.

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In 2014, King County had the most new licenses issued to out-of-state drivers (64,337), followed by Pierce (14,485), Snohomish (13,016) and Kitsap (6,861).

Where are these new drivers coming from? California, Texas, Oregon, Florida and Arizona are the top five states, though there are some variations among which county they move to.

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Some of the new driver registrations come from other parts of the world.  In King County, 9 percent of the driver registrations were from outside the U.S. states. Kitsap had the lowest rate at 2 percent. Regionwide, it was 7 percent.

Licenses issued to drivers outside the U.S. states saw a sharp decrease in 2002, but are now more than double what they were in 2002, and the highest they’ve been since 2001.

For King County, India is the biggest source of new driver registrations from outside the U.S. states. But in the region’s other counties, the top places outside the 50 U.S. states are Guam and Korea.

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