Multifamily housing gaining steam

Construction of multifamily housing is accelerating as the region adds jobs and people.

While single-family housing growth is mostly flat, multifamily housing units have ticked up since 2012.

In 2016, Seattle added about 7,300 multifamily units  – 54% of the regional total.

A booming economy is fueling housing demand. Since 2010,  the region has gained 279,000 jobs – a 16% increase.

That means the region has added over 3 jobs for every new housing unit.

Average rental costs in the region have increased 43% since 2010. Average rent in Seattle is up 51%.

For more, check out our Puget Sound Data Trends presentation.


Comment on the Public Participation Plan by August 10

Got some ideas on how PSRC can improve outreach and public participation? PSRC is seeking comment on the 2016 update to the Public Participation Plan.

We want to hear from you! PSRC is taking comment on its draft Public Participation Plan.

We want to hear from you! PSRC is taking comment on its draft Public Participation Plan.

The 45-day public comment period ends on August 10, 2016.

The draft plan reflects PSRC’s current practices for public involvement, consultation with interested parties, interagency consultation, and agency governance and operations, all in one document for public reference. The new draft includes expanded social media on Facebook and Twitter, use of a blog, and translation services.

How to make a comment:

Email: Michele Leslie at

US Mail: ATTN: Michele Leslie, 1011 Western Ave, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98104

In person: Any PSRC board or committee meeting, see calendar

PSRC worked with its membership, boards and committees, interagency consultation process, stakeholder groups, interested parties and the public to develop its public involvement practices. PSRC adopted its first Public Participation Plan in 1993.  It was updated in 1994, 2002, 2007 and last in 2012. It was refined through public processes by incorporating outreach strategies that proved effective in involving the public during specific studies, as well as new federal and state guidance.


New bridge on Bucklin Hill Road

Congratulations to Kitsap County on the near completion of its Bucklin Hill Road project.


Kitsap County Commissioners Ed Wolfe and Rob Gelder celebrate the ribbon cutting of the new bridge on Bucklin Hill Road. PSRC contributed $6.8 million to the project.

The county celebrated the opening of the new bridge on July 22, 2016.

The project increases traffic capacity and brings better traffic flow through Silverdale. Scenic overlooks and wider sidewalks will improve the pedestrian experience. The new bridge enhances tidal exchange which enhances the estuary and improves fish habitat.

PSRC contributed $6.8 million to the project.

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Critical urban freight corridors in the region

With the adoption of Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a new feature of America’s surface transportation law is its emphasis on freight.

These routes could be designated by the Executive Board as Critical Urban Freight Corridors, which would make them eligible for new federal funding.

These routes could be designated by the Executive Board as Critical Urban Freight Corridors, which would make them eligible for new federal funding.

The new law establishes a new National Highway Freight Network and over the next five years will direct $6.3 billion in federal formula funding to states to invest in infrastructure and operations that improve the efficient movement of freight on that network.

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell championed the creation of the new funding source within the FAST Act.

PSRC is leading up the charge, in close coordination with WSDOT and the FAST Freight Advisory Committee, for the region to identify critical urban freight corridors to be included on the National Highway Freight Network in order to better compete for the new funding.

The recommendation includes routes in Everett, Seattle, Tukwila, Frederickson, and SKIA.

The Executive Board is scheduled to act on the recommendation on July 28.

In addition, the board will finalize the list of projects recommended to receive PSRC funding and enjoy a presentation on data trends in the region. See the full agenda for the meeting here.

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Special needs transportation funding underway

PSRC is gearing up for a new funding cycle for transportation serving seniors, youth, and people living with low income or disabilities.

Hyde Shuttle is one of the transortation rpograms funded via PSRC's special needs program.

Hyde Shuttles transport seniors and people with disabilities to hot meal programs, medical appointments, senior centers, grocery stores, and other local destinations. (Photo – Sound Generations)

The first step for applicants is to complete a project eligibility screening form for Federal Transit Administration Section 5310 funds.

Applicants should complete forms no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, August 19.  We encourage you to submit eligibility screening forms as early as possible.

Questions about eligibility and special needs funding?  Join us at a workshop on Tuesday, July 26, 1 – 3 p.m., at PSRC to learn more.

PSRC’s competitive Coordinated Grant program funds eligible projects from Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310 (Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities) program in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett Urbanized Area.

PSRC’s process also provides regional priority ranking for state and other FTA special needs transportation funds managed by WSDOT in its Consolidated Grant Program.

Through this coordination, PSRC and the Washington State Department of Transportation help leverage funding to meet needs and fill gaps for special transportation services in the region.

If you have any questions, please contact Gil Cerise at or 206-971-3053 or Gary Simonson at or 206-971-3276.

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New statewide public transportation plan

Younger people today are less likely to have a driver’s license and more likely to choose alternative ways to get around like transit, ridesharing and biking.

Cover mage of 2016 Washington State Public Transportation Plan

One of the plan’s early actions is to establish an innovation center to support public transportation innovation and adaptation.

At the same time, the overall population is aging, with growing numbers of people who may not be able to drive anymore but still need transportation services that help them get to the store and appointments.

A new 20-year plan from the Washington State Department of Transportation takes a look at these trends and more to anticipate how to provide public transportation in diverse urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the state.

Public transportation is defined broadly as transit, biking, walking, vanpooling, riding a ferry, teleworking and more — basically any form of transportation that doesn’t involve driving alone.

The plan outlines steps needed moving forward, including a team effort with coordination with and support for public transit providers, regional planning organizations like PSRC, social service agencies and others.

Near-term goals and actions will lead implementation of the plan. WSDOT will produce the first progress report in December 2017.


New ORCA Data Analysis effort to be shared at lunch event

When you tap your ORCA card, some data is collected and stored for transit agency financial record keeping. It turns out, this data is also a huge untapped resource that shows actual transit use in the region.

This map shows the percentage of transit fares paid with an ORCA card throughout the region.

This map shows the percentage of transit fares paid with an ORCA card throughout the region.

PSRC is helping with a project to analyze this information in combination with existing vehicle location, ridership, and commute trip reduction data sources to gain a better perspective on regional transit travel behavior.

On Thursday, July 21, 2016, 12:00-1:30pm in the PSRC boardroom, this work will be presented by Mark Hallenbeck, Washington State Transportation Research Center, University of Washington; Eric Howard, UW Urban Form Lab; and Alex Krieg, Puget Sound Regional Council.

The lunch session will begin with an overview of the project’s conception and purpose, describe the process used to link the various datasets involved, review initial analytic outputs and findings produced thus far, and conclude with a discussion about the potential value for the project going forward.