The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

PSRC approves 405 Corridor plan

On April 25, 2002, the Executive Board of the Puget Sound Regional Council unanimously concurred with the I-405 Preferred Alternative.

The Executive Board found the Preferred Alternative and Corridor Environmental Program to be consistent with adopted regional policies. The Preferred Alternative is a comprehensive strategy to connect centers and improve mobility along the I-405 corridor within the urban growth area. The Preferred Alternative includes road improvements, high capacity transit investments, and a focus on transportation demand management, including the potential use of managed lanes. This concurrence includes the following findings and comments:

1. The PA and CEP, though not yet fully described at project-level environmental detail for modal operational and system management elements, are found to be consistent with the region's adopted transportation plan and policies contained in Destination 2030.
2. A positive air quality conformity finding has resulted from the air quality testing of the Preferred Alternative's program of projects with the Destination 2030 plan.
3. For optimal policy consistency with Destination 2030, the Regional Council endorses and supports the I-405 Corridor Program's continued examination and development of two managed lanes on I-405, to achieve the greatest long-term system performance benefits and allow flexibility to operate express-bus high capacity transit while allowing for future conversion to high capacity transit if and when such is warranted. Managed lanes should be explored to identify opportunities to manage transportation demand and generate revenue to help finance the project.
4. The Preferred Alternative for the I-405 corridor program includes a balanced set of complex multimodal capital and operational projects and program strategies, including transit and TDM (transportation demand management). Therefore, the Regional Council supports the need to ensure that subsequent corridor program finance and implementation actions incorporate all such composite elements. Financial planning and implementation for both capital and operations for HOV, TDM and transit must be integral to the implementation of I-405 improvements. The timing of implementation of specific elements may vary according to the type of improvements eligible for particular funding resources that become available for portions of the project.
5. Given the extensive nature of essential construction when implementing the I-405 Corridor Program and the many years associated with such construction, priority consideration should be given to supporting enhanced and improved transit service and HOV operations along with expanded TDM measures from the very start of corridor construction to help maximize personal travel in the corridor and mitigate the inevitable traffic delays and frustrations from construction.
6. Preservation of the BNSF (Burlington Northern-Santa Fe) right-of-way should be given high priority in order to maintain the opportunity for future transportation uses or needs. Consideration should be given to the purchase of any right of way being sold by the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad and evaluation of the corridor for extension of commuter rail and other HCT services.

The Executive Boards authorized an update of the I-405 projects currently included in Destination 2030. The project list will be revised to more accurately reflect the implementation plans for the I-405 corridor. For more information, contact Kevin Murphy at (206) 464-6411.

The Executive Board heard an update on the legislation passed by the State Legislature allowing King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties to form a Regional Transportation Investment District to fund transportation projects.

Currently, representatives from the three county councils are meeting to discuss how to move forward on crafting a regional package of projects to present to the voters.

For more information, contact Rick Olson at (206) 587-5060.

The Executive Board approved a change in status for four Destination 2030 projects from "Candidate" to "Approved," recognizing that the projects are consistent with the region's transportation plan and have completed the required environmental process.

The four projects are Federal Way Transit Center/City Center, Federal Way Transit Center Park and Ride, Bellevue Bus Transportation Center, and Bremerton Transportation Center.

For more information, contact Rocky Piro at (206) 464-6360.

The Executive Board endorsed three additional Manufacturing and Industrial Centers for the TEA-21 Regional Project Competition.

The recently adopted TEA-21 TIP Policy Framework targets the region's federal transportation funds to "centers and connecting corridors." Centers includes both the 21 designated "urban centers" and "manufacturing/industrial centers" that have been designated by countywide planning policies. Pierce and Snohomish counties had not formally designated the manufacturing centers they had under consideration when the new policy framework was adopted. The Executive Board endorsement formally recognizes the Port of Tacoma and Fredrickson in Pierce County and Paine Field in Snohomish County as designated manufacturing/industrial centers for the Regional Project Competition.

For more information, contact Karen Richter at (206) 464-6343.

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