Monday, July 16, 2007

Invitation to RAMP Participants

With the Roads and Transit package vote looming in November, the latest transportation roundtable sponsored by the Cascadia Center will examine what other regions are doing to align transportation needs with regional development. This coming Thursday, July 19th, the event will be held from 4:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Athletic Club in downtown Seattle.

The theme of this roundtable is "Getting to Yes" and the roundtable will offer examples of how other regions surmounted the challenges facing them and were able to move forward on agreements of large-scale benefit--in each instance, a wide range of interests from both the public and private sectors had to be accommodated:
  1. Allocating a Scarce Resource: The Colorado River agreement among southwest states. Reaching this agreement required reconciling not only the competing interests among states but competition within each state for agricultural, urban and environmental uses of a limited water resource. The story will be told by Richard Katz,, former California State Water Resources Board member and former state legislator.
  2. Winning a Super-Majority and How to Leverage It: The San Diego regional transportation revenue package. Last November, San Diego metro area leaders overcame a daunting state requirement for two-thirds voter approval on a $14 billion, 40-year plan of highway, transit and freight improvements. Now they are moving ahead with innovative partnerships such as the South Bay Express, a 12-mile toll road financed by a mix of new regional, voter-approved funding and private equity capital. The story will be told by Craig Scott, TransNet Manager for the San Diego Association of Governments.
  3. Revitalizing the Waterfront: The Baltimore Inner Harbor project. One of America’s most historic cities, Baltimore needed a boost and capitalized on a major asset – its Inner Harbor. A stunning mixed-use project combining destination attractions with commercial and residential projects, the Inner Harbor demonstrates redevelopment in a dense urban setting. The story will be told by a representative of the Baltimore Development Corporation.
RAMP participants may register for the event by contacting by contacting Jennifer Zucati at (206) 292-0401 x.157.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pierce County Council Votes on Combined Package

Submitted by Paul Ellis

The Pierce County Council is expected to endorse the regional Roads & Transit package today, placing the fate of "the largest transportation investment since the Federal Highway Act" in voters’ hands. The King County Council and the Snohomish County Council have already agreed to put the package on the ballot in their respective jurisdictions.

All seven Pierce County Council members voted to pass the package forward yesterday as a Committee of the Whole. RAMP co-chair David Graybill spoke in favor of the measure, reflecting the support of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber; representatives from the cities of Tacoma, Puyallup and Fife also voiced their support for the transportation plan.

Graybill will be on hand this afternoon to reiterate the Chamber's support as the County Council considers Ordinance 2007-49; an affirmation of this proposal will authorize officials to put the Roads & Transit measure on the November ballot. Also this afternoon, Commissioners of the Port of Tacoma will vote on whether or not to endorse the transportation package.

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.