Congratulations, Dow Constantine!

King County Executive Dow Constantine will be named Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine tonight in Washington, DC.

“It is an honor to represent King County on a national stage as we are recognized as a model of what a forward-thinking region can accomplish when we work together,” said Constantine. “At a time of uncertainty at the national level, we continue to make progress toward being a more just, inclusive community where all have the chance to achieve their full potential. We are embracing the future, upholding the American promise of hope, freedom and opportunity for all.”

This video shows some of what the region has accomplished by working together:

Every year since 1994, Governing has honored individual state and local government officials for outstanding accomplishment by naming them Public Officials of the Year. Readers are invited to nominate individuals who have had a notable positive impact on their department or agency, community or state.

Executive Constantine will be honored alongside the Governor of Massachusetts, the Mayor of Denver, and five others.

Dow was selected for his Best Starts for Kids initiative as well as his work on ORCA Lift and increasing health insurance enrollment.

As Executive of King County, Dow Constantine has been a member of PSRC’s Executive Board since his election in 2009.

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Final move for the region’s Transportation Improvement Program

The state is asking for public comment on its Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) for 2017-2020, which includes $4.5 billion in projects for the central Puget Sound region.

Puyallup Sounder Station

The proposed State Transportation Improvement Program includes improvements to the Puyallup Station.

The state TIP incorporates the regional Transportation Improvement Program approved in October, which includes nearly all major projects underway in the region through 2020.

Federally funded projects must be included in the state’s TIP before projects have the go ahead from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration to spend the funds.

You can find projects in the current 2016-2019 STIP by region and by jurisdiction. A  similar database of the 2017-20 STIP will be created in early 2017, following approval by federal agencies.

The public comment period for the STIP runs until Friday, December 16th.  You can find the full document online.

Fast ferries set sail next summer

Kitsap County voters are passing Kitsap Transit’s Passenger-Only Ferry Investment Plan And Sales & Use Tax in unofficial results.

Kitsap's new passenger only ferries are fast and coming soon!

Kitsap’s new passenger only ferries are fast and coming soon!

The plan is to create three new passenger only fast ferry lines across Puget Sound from Kitsap County to Seattle’s Colman Dock.

New service will start in Bremerton in Summer 2017 and cut the passenger travel time in more than half to 28 minutes.

Similar service will follow in Kingston and Southworth, neither of which have direct service to downtown Seattle at this time.

The Kingston ferry will take 33 minutes and is planned for service in Summer 2018. The Southworth route will clock in at 23 minutes in 2020.

The plan is funded by a 3 cent sales tax on a $10 purchase and by fares. The cost of a one way ride will be $6, with passes available.

The new ferries will run all day during the summery months and only during commute times in the wintery ones.

The new tax will also be directed to the existing foot ferry between Bremerton and Port Orchard, freeing up $1.5 million for additional bus service in the county.


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ST3 and local transportation measures leading; Kitsap fast ferry vote close

With votes still being counted, so far it appears that most transportation measures in the region are passing.

ST3 will ad 62 miles of light rail to a system that will connect the region's centers.

ST3 will add 62 miles of light rail to a transit system connecting the region’s major job centers.

ST3 – the biggest transportation undertaking in the region’s history – is on track to pass.

Bellevue, Bothell, Kenmore and Lynnwood voters are favoring local measures that would fund improvements on local roads, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, safe routes to schools and more.

Issaquah’s Traffic Improvement Bonds (Prop 1) looks short of getting the 60% majority needed to pass.

Kitsap County votes are trending toward approval of new fast ferry service that would connect downtown Seattle with Bremerton, Southworth, and Kingston.

The votes follow approval last year of the state Connecting Washington package, Community Transit’s Proposition 1, and local transportation measures in Tacoma, Enumclaw, and Seattle.

Investments in the region’s transportation plan – some that have been on the books for a decade or more — are significantly funded, including major road and rail connections between the region’s major cities.

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Seven transportation measures on the ballot today

If Kitsap County's ballot measure passes, the Rich Passage 1 would begin 28 minute passenger service between Bremerton and Seattle in July 2017. Photo from Kitsap Transit.

If Kitsap County’s ballot measure passes, the Rich Passage 1 would begin 28-minute passenger service between Bremerton and Seattle in July 2017. Photo courtesy of the Kitsap Sun.

Five cities are looking to upgrade their street and sidewalk systems, Kitsap County will vote on passenger only ferries, and the urban core of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will decide on Sound Transit 3’s long-range plan.

Bellevue’s voters will act on a proposed Levy for Neighborhood Safety, Connectivity, and Congestion (Prop 2), a 20 year, $140 million plan to fund transportation, neighborhood safety, connectivity and congestion improvements.

Bothell’s eyeing a Levy for Safe Streets and Sidewalks (Prop 1), a 9 year, $36 million measure will also fund street maintenance and safety improvements for neighborhood streets and arterials, including resurfacing, school walk routes, sidewalks and crosswalks.

Issaquah’s electorate will decide on Traffic Improvement Bonds (Prop 1) worth $50 million. The proposition would authorize capital projects designed to reduce congestion, enhance safety, and improve local streets and related amenities.

Kenmore is also going the bond route with General Obligation Bonds Walkways and Waterways Improvements (Prop 1) for $19.75 million to finance sidewalks, bike lanes and waterfront access improvements. Specifically at Juanita Drive and 68th Avenue as well as several parks including Log Boom, Rhododendron, and Squire’s Landing.

Lynnwood is asking for a Transportation Benefit District (Prop 1), a 10 year, $20 million funding program for preventative and routine pavement maintenance and reconstruction, street and traffic maintenance and operations, and other capital projects as identified in the City’s Transportation Plan.

Kitsap Transit is proposing a new Passenger-Only Ferry Investment Plan and Sales & Use Tax (Prop 1) to fund fast passenger only ferries between Bremerton, Kingston, Southworth and downtown Seattle, as well as 23,000 hours more of bus service annually.

Sound Transit is asking the region’s voter’s to fund Sound Transit 3 (Prop 1) to expand light-rail from Everett to Tacoma, add commuter-rail capacity and stops in DuPont and JBLM, and provide additional bus rapid transit service to connect population and growth centers throughout the region.



Improvements to Mukilteo and Seattle ferry terminals coming

The Washington State Department of Transportation Ferry Division is seeking approved Transportation 2040 project status from PSRC for two ferry terminal projects slated to begin construction in 2017.

Improvements to two ferry terminals on deck for 2017.

Improvements to two ferry terminals on deck for 2017.

The Colman Dock project will replace the aging and seismically vulnerable components of the Seattle Ferry Terminal to maintain safe and reliable ferry service in the future. Key elements include replacement of the timber trestle portion of the dock, the main terminal building, staff building, entry building, the foot ferry facility, the vehicle transfer span, the overhead loading structures, and landing aids of Slip 3 as well as adding a new bicycle facility and maintaining a connection to the Marion Street pedestrian overpass. The total project cost is $347 million.

The Mukilteo Terminal project consists of the replacement of the existing Mukilteo Ferry Terminal with a new facility, relocated one-third of a mile east, constructed within a former tank farm site. Key features include a one vessel slip, a two-story terminal building with overhead pedestrian loading, bicycle and HOV holding lanes, expansion of the vehicle holding lanes and a bus transit center. The total project cost is $134.7 million.

Both projects are consistent with Transportation 2040, financially feasible and meet federal, state, and local requirements.

The Transportation Policy Board will make a recommendation at its meeting on November 10, 2016. See the full agenda here.


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Bonney Lake and Covington may move from Small to Larger city classification

Bonney Lake and Covington would be reclassified from Small to Larger cities, under a recommendation made by the Growth Management Policy Board.

Ascent Park in Bonney Lake

Bonney Lake has combined population and employment of over 24,000 and meets the threshold for Larger City.

The growth board recommended that the Executive Board adopt a minor amendment to the VISION 2040 regional growth strategy that reclassifies the two cities.

Both cities were found to meet the required Larger city threshold of 22,500 in combined population and employment, as defined in VISION 2040.

VISION 2040 uses regional geographies to guide growth expectations. Regional geographies include Metropolitan, Core, Larger, and Small cities, along with Rural and Unincorporated Areas.

Also at the meeting, the growth board continued review of six Small cities that received conditional certifications of their comprehensive plans earlier this year because they were planning substantially above growth targets.

The board recommended providing additional time for the King County cities to work with the King County Growth Management Planning Council to address the growth targets.

Board members also asked for additional information from PSRC and city staff to better understand what specific changes are needed so the plans could move to full certification.