New tool to assess open space

PSRC has been working with The Trust for Public Land, U.S. Forest Service, University of Washington’s Green Futures Lab and many others to develop the Central Puget Sound Open Space Assessment Tool.

PSRC is helping to debut a new mapping tool to protect natural resources.

The new tool provides map based modeling of multiple ecosystem service benefits, which supports analysis at a variety of scales and geographies.

Ecosystem services are services that nature provides, such as clean drinking water and air, flood control, and recreational opportunities.

The tool can lay the foundation for a new approach to facilitating cross-boundary planning for the protection of open space in the Puget Sound region and beyond.

Fred Gifford, the Deputy Director of Conservation GIS for The Trust for Public Land, will be demonstrating the capability of this innovative conservation-planning tool at PSRC in Seattle on March 30 from 9 am to 11:30 am.

Presentations will also be made in Everett on 3/30 at 1 pm and Tacoma on 3/31 at 9 am.

If you would like to attend, please contact Erika Harris at 206-464-6360 or




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West approach to 520 bridge seeking approved status

PSRC’s Executive Board may give final approval to the west approach of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement project this week.

The final stage of the SR 520 Bridge Replacement project is scheduled to begin in 2018.

The Washington State Department of Transportation submitted a request to the board to change the status of the SR 520/I-5 to Lake Washington project from Conditionally Approved for Right of Way to Approved.

The project will reconstruct the SR 520 corridor from I-5 to the new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. It includes highway lids in Seattle’s Montlake and Roanoke neighborhoods, the south half of a new west approach bridge, and a replacement Portage Bay Bridge and a second drawbridge over the Montlake Cut. The new structures will meet current design standards for earthquakes. The lane configuration of the new SR 520 will have six lanes including two HOV lanes, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, and the ability to accommodate future light rail.

The SR 520 project as a whole received Conditional Approval for Right of Way status in June 2004.

Connecting Washington, the transportation package adopted by the Legislature in 2015, provided the final $1.64 billion needed for the west approach, which fully funded the SR 520 Bridge Replacement project.

PSRC began funding the project with the original Trans-Lake Study in 1997.

WSDOT is preparing to begin the first phase of construction in 2018.

See the full agenda for the Executive Board meeting here or watch it live.

PSRC conducting household travel survey

PSRC is conducting a regional travel study to better understand the transportation needs and preferences of the region’s residents.

Thousands of residents in the area will receive invitations to participate in this important transportation study sometime between March and June 2017.

Translation services are available. If you received the household transportation survey in the mail and need assistance to take it in your language, please contact us at 206-587-4819.

“The region has seen tremendous population and job growth in recent years, along with completion of new transportation infrastructure,” said Josh Brown, PSRC’s Executive Director. “This survey will provide an up-to-date view of how residents get around and help decision makers continue to plan improvements in the transportation system.”

Demand for travel in the Puget Sound region is expected to increase by 25% between now and the year 2040. Participation in the study can help answer questions about how the region can maintain and improve mobility, accessibility, and connectivity for residents as population grows and travel patterns evolve. The information collected will be vital for planning and prioritizing improvements for the Puget Sound region’s transportation system.

The study will help planners understand the travel behavior of real households, such as the trips people make to work, school, or shopping centers, to help decision makers prioritize transportation projects.

PSRC conducted similar studies in 2014 and 2015, so the 2017 study will provide up-to-date information and will also help planners understand changing needs over time.  Redmond and Seattle are sponsoring extra data collection in their cities.

Resource Systems Group, Inc. (RSG) and ETC Institute, independent research firms, are administering the survey on behalf of PSRC. A random sample of the region’s households will be invited by first-class mail to participate in the survey and will have the option of completing the survey online or by telephone. A small number of households will also have the option to participate using their smartphones.

The survey will involve questions about general household information as well as travel details for a given weekday. All individual and household information collected in this study will remain strictly confidential. Contact information will be kept separate from the responses and destroyed after the study is over. The aggregated data will be used for analysis and modeling purposes.

For more information on the Puget Sound Regional Travel Study:

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Nominate projects and programs for VISION 2040 Awards

Nominations are open for the annual VISION 2040 Awards program.

Nominate projects and programs for the VISION 2040 Awards until May 18, 2017.

The awards recognize the excellent work being done to achieve the region’s growth, economic, and transportation strategy, VISION 2040.

PSRC honors businesses, local governments, and non-profit organizations who do creative work to provide transportation access and mobility, enhance our natural environment, bring jobs closer to where people live, focus high quality housing where the infrastructure needed to support it already exists, and improve the quality of life in the central Puget Sound region.

Send in the stuff you are proud of in your community!

Previous award winners include JBLM Transportation Demand Management Plan, Manchester Stormwater Park, Stillaguamish River Valley Economic Redevelopment Plan and Cross Kirkland Corridor Park.
Award nomination materials are available online here or by contacting Michele Leslie at 206-587-4819,
Nominations will be accepted until May 18, 2017 and the awards presented to winners on location throughout the summer.


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Reclassification of Bonney Lake and Covington

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

Bonney Lake and Covington may be classified as Large Cities in VISION 2040.

Bonney Lake and Covington were originally identified in VISION 2040 as small cities, but have requested  reclassification to large city from PSRC.

Both cities were found to meet the required Larger city threshold of 22,500 in combined population and employment, as defined in VISION 2040. Based on this, the Growth Management Policy Board recommended the reclassification last November. However, the Executive Board paused the decision to allow time for a broader regional discussion on growth targets and their impacts on local comprehensive plans.

Last year the plans for Bonney Lake, Carnation, Covington, Gig Harbor, North Bend and Snoqualmie all received conditional certification from PSRC because the cities’ plans anticipate growth substantially above adopted countywide growth targets for housing and jobs.

After further discussion and review on the issue, PSRC approved a new path in January to fully certify the comprehensive plans for these cities.

The new option allows full plan certification if the cities make a commitment to completing a number of steps that support VISION 2040.

PSRC anticipates that all of the conditionally certified plans will be fully certified by the end of the year.

At its meeting on March 23, the Executive Board will review the reclassification request by Bonney Lake and Covington.

See the full agenda here or watch it live.



Climate Adaptation event on March 16

Preparation for climate change is the topic of a free session on March 16, 12-1:30 p.m., at PSRC.

Come to a panel discussion on Climate Adaptation: From Policy to Action on March 16.

Climate change could affect our environment, communities and economy.

Central Puget Sound cities and counties have begun preparing for possible impacts in a variety of ways.

PSRC is offering a panel discussion on how communities are preparing for a changing climate, from developing policies and a climate impact assessment to implementing actions.

This session will include presentations from several climate experts and planners, along with a panel discussion.

Speakers will include Erika Harris and Kelly McGourty, Puget Sound Regional Council; Lara Whitely Binder, Climate Impacts Group; Stacey Justus Nordgren, Foresight Partners; Jennifer Sutton, City of Bainbridge Island; and Tracy Morgenstern, City of Seattle.


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Transit access and parking

A new analysis of regional transit access and parking is being developed as part of the Transportation 2040 update.

PSRC is working with the region’s transit agencies, all of whom have recently completed or updated long-range plans, to develop a sketch of the regional transit network today, in 2025, and in 2040.

How transit agencies’ long-range plans sync with the development of Transportation 2040.

New analysis tools show how far people can travel on transit by location in 2016 compared to 2040 after new investments have come online.

Parking is a growing transit access issue in the region. The transit parking supply grew by 5% from 2010 to 2016, while demand for those spaces grew by 9%.

The Transportation Policy Board will be discussing this work and giving direction for developing a strategy to improve transit access at its meeting on March 9, 2017.

See the full agenda here or watch it live at 9:30 a.m.



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