Special needs transportation projects proposed

The Puget Sound Regional Council is inviting people to comment on special needs transportation projects recommended for funding.

South Sound 2-1-1’s transportation specialists help connect people with public transit, paratransit, and other specialized transportation services available in Pierce County.

South Sound 2-1-1’s transportation specialists help connect people with public transit, paratransit, and other specialized transportation services available in Pierce County.

Special needs projects provide transportation services to seniors, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and youth.

The list includes 24 projects totaling more than $11 million in requests for funding.

One project is Senior Services of Snohomish County’s Transportation Assistance Program, which is requesting funds to replace four buses.

This program helps seniors and people with disabilities get to medical appointments, educational opportunities, jobs, shopping and social interactions.

Another program on the list is the South Sound 2-1-1 Transportation Resource Center, managed by United Way of Pierce County. The center provides information, referral, advocacy and follow-up about available transportation resources.

The public comment period on the special needs projects will run from December 11, 2014 through January 22, 2015.

How to make a comment:

Mail: Puget Sound Regional Council
ATTN: Gil Cerise
1011 Western Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, Washington 98104-1035
E-mail: gcerise@psrc.org
In Person: January 8 at 9:30 a.m. or January 22 at 10 a.m. at PSRC

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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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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.



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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.

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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.


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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Subcommittee tasked with developing a “sub-regional” transportation alternative

Redmond Mayor and PSRC Vice President John Marchione told the Transportation Policy Board yesterday that his number one transportation priority in 2015 is a new comprehensive statewide package.

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Redmond Mayor John Marchione advocates for statewide transportation investments 2015 – and a “sub-regional” approach should state leaders fall short

He called on the PSRC to develop a more detailed and balanced regional transportation request to the 2015 state legislature to show “how it all comes together.”

And he noted that frustration about the legislature’s inability to produce a statewide package last year, combined with doubts about progress next year, is driving consideration of a “sub-regional” alternative.

His pitch was greeted with head nods around the table.

Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci, who chairs the Board, proposed a subcommittee to develop “what a sub-regional package might look like.”

Balducci noted that the regional alternative is necessary if state leaders can’t find common ground on a statewide package.

The subcommittee is expected to be assembled quickly.

The Transportation Policy Board will spend its next two meetings working on recommendations to the legislature for the Executive Board to take up on January 22nd.

You can watch yesterday’s meeting here.

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