Thursday, June 28, 2007

Chamber Endorses Roads & Transit Plan

Submitted by Paul Ellis

This morning, the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber came on board as the latest supporter for the Roads & Transit package on the November ballot.

The Chamber's Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a resolution presented by Gary Nomenson from Puget Sound Energy, representing the group's Public Affairs Committee. "Decades of deferred investment in the region’s transportation infrastructure will be addressed in the combined Roads & Transit proposal," the resolution read, "which was developed by regional leaders through two high-level venues: the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) chaired by Pierce County Councilmember Shawn Bunney, and Sound Transit, the regional transit agency chaired by John Ladenburg, Pierce County Executive."

The business group's approval is timely as members of the Pierce County Council prepare to consider action next week on the package--whether or not to join their peers in King and Snohomish counties in placing the combined package on the ballot.

Meanwhile, a new regional poll reveals that fifty-seven percent of voters in the Central Puget Sound are inclinced to vote for the package. Politicians and transportation planners have been quietly worrying that the roads and transit package might be doomed, but Elway's latest poll of 400 voters last week suggests there's some hope.

The survey, which has a margin of error of 5 percent, did reveal that only 38 percent of those questioned had heard of the tax plan. That's not surprising because interest groups, both pro and con, haven't started their ad blitz yet.

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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