Friday, January 05, 2007

RAMP Adopts 2007 Legislative Agenda

Submitted by Paul Ellis

As Tacoma-Pierce County’s primary coalition for transportation issues, RAMP will clearly advance the area’s consensus regarding transportation projects, policies and priorities:

RAMP will work to develop regional, state and federal funding for the following priority transportation projects:
  • SR-167 – RAMP seeks to secure full funding for this critical link from Puyallup to SR-509, including right-of-way acquisition for the full corridor, and supports high capacity vehicle lanes being added to the portion north of Sumner
  • SR-704 – RAMP is an advocate for the construction of the so-called “Cross-Base Highway” and also believes the name of this transportation corridor should reflect the importance of the military and the contributions of its members and their families: Armed Services Highway
  • SR-162 – RAMP supports funding for improvements to this overburdened arterial serving the fastest-growing portion of East Pierce County
  • Sound Transit – RAMP supports the following additions to regional transit services:
    1. Connecting light rail from Tacoma Dome Station to SeaTac Airport
    2. Contingency fund for ridership growth (e.g., additional parking, shuttle service, new stations, pedestrian facilities, signalization)
    3. Extending Sounder service to DuPont
    4. Expanding Sounder service to all-day or expanding express bus service to all-day
    5. Linking downtown Tacoma to TCC via light rail
  • Pierce Transit – RAMP supports completion of the Peninsula Park & Ride facility timed to open with the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge
  • Rail Improvements – RAMP supports construction of grade separations that will serve Sounder, Tacoma Rail and Port of Tacoma infrastructure needs
  • Regional Mobility Grant (WSDOT’s Office of Transit Mobility) – RAMP supports funding for proposed Pierce County projects

In addition, RAMP supports transportation policies essential to our region’s economic development, which include the following:

  • RAMP supports the recommendations of the Washington Transportation Commission in its 2006 Comprehensive Tolling Study and believes that the state should use tolling to encourage effective use of the transportation system through congestion management as well as to provide a supplementary source of transportation funding; moreover, tolling represents the most direct way to charge system users for the cost of the highway system without singling out one specific class of user
  • RAMP opposes cargo taxes that would hamper the state's competitiveness, driving economic activity from Washington to neighboring states and countries, and harming Washington ports, manufacturers, growers, and exporters
  • RAMP believes that subarea equity is important for any regional transportation investment plan and will seek to maintain Pierce County’s fair share of funding while working collaboratively with the rest of the region
  • RAMP seeks full funding for the recommendations of the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board (FMSIB) to improve mobility and the state’s competitiveness
  • RAMP supports keeping the state accountable for efficiencies in the construction of transportation projects by producing verifiable and quantifiable results through cost savings, project prioritization, benchmarks, planning and project streamlining
  • RAMP supports technical changes that may be necessary to adjust benefit area boundaries or make other changes to enable the Roads & Transit package to be presented to voters in November


  • RAMP maintains that governance revisions are secondary to the provision of adequate financial resources; to that end, RAMP will support Legislative goals and recommendations that make adequate financing their top priority
  • RAMP will work to ensure that projects funded within Pierce County via the 2003 Nickel package and the 2005 Transportation Partnership package are completed without delay

Paul Ellis is lead staff for RAMP; an employee of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Ellis led the Pierce County Transportation Advisory Committee (PCTAC), the community's largest transportation planning effort.

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