Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chamber Board Supports Top 3

Today, the Chamber's Board of Directors accepted a resolution to support the top three priorities of the East Foss Transportation Study.

The Tacoma City Council, in a study session July 15, remanded the East Foss Transportation Study to two of its Council Committees: Environment and Public Works Committee and the Economic Development Committee.

These two Council committees will be charged with reviewing the East Foss Transportation Study and bringing recommendations for implementation to the full Council.

The East Foss Transportation Study itself identifies these implementation options:
  • incorporate appropriate sections of the traffic study into the S-8 Shoreline Master Plan Regulations;
  • Implement the recommended three priority projects;
  • Participating entities need to take study recommendations back to their boards/commissions (Chamber and Port of Tacoma);
  • Increase coordination of advanced facility planning between the City of Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma;
  • Facilitate partnerships to share infrastructure costs to maintain existing uses and to increase economic development in the study area.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

E. Foss Transportation Plan

As a component of the compromise to resolve the Tacoma Comprehensive Land Use Plan amendment, which resulted in stopping gentrification of industrial lands at the Foss Waterway, an E. Foss Transportation Plan study was authorized. The Plan amendment was adopted in December 2005 and the study begun in December 2006.

The directed objectives of the study were to:
- separate industrial and non-industrial land uses
- address traffic and related issues of the area

The study area is roughly encompassed as the east bank of the Foss Waterway, Commencement Bay to the north, the Puyallup River and Puyallup Avenue. The stakeholders group to oversee the study and provide technical assistance consisted of Don Meyer, Foss Waterway Development Authority, Jay Steward (and others), Port of Tacoma and Gary Brackett, Chamber. Additionally, various City of Tacoma staff participated and Dana Brown, administered the project.

The Thea Foss Transportation Study was presented to a Tacoma City Council study session July 15, 2008. The study contains nine recommended solutions, and a “top three” priority recommendations.

The top three priorities identified in the E. Foss Peninsula Transportation Plan are:
- area-wide street and rail crossing maintenance
- improve the E. 11th St. at E. “F” Street/St. Paul intersection
- move forward with SR-509 at “D” Street ramps feasibility

All recommendations are estimated to cost $23.999 million.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tacoma Narrows Bridge One Year Anniversary Celebration

Save the date! Wednesday, July 16 marks the one year anniversary of the new eastbound Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Please join Governor Chris Gregoire, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste and the Washington State Department of Transportation as we commemorate a year of successes and share stories on the impact of the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge across the South Sound.

Where: War Memorial Park in Tacoma
When: Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Time: 11:00 a.m.

The event is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Questions or RSVP? Contact Ian Morrison, Office of the Governor, (360) 239-4212 or

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bow Down to Foss

Hard on the heels of a NOAA study apportioning a greater share of airborne soot among tugboats and large cargo ships, comes the welcome news that one of our own sets the standard.

Foss Maritime tugboat company, which has its roots and history in Tacoma, announced that it has been awarded the 2008 William M. Benkert gold award for marine environmental protection by the US Coast Guard. Foss was also chosen by the California Air Resources Board Carl Moyer Program to fund the Green Dolphin hybrid tug project.

According to the NOAA study, tugs put out more soot for the amount of fuel used than other commercial vessels. Large cargo ships emit more than twice as much soot as previously estimated, it said.

Friday, July 11, 2008

WSDOT Releases West Coast Corridor Transportation Study

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has released the West Coast Corridor Coalition Trade and Transportation Study Final Report. The study conducted an analysis of freight, trade, and transportation trends in the West Coast, and outlined the identification and description of key chokepoints, constraints, and issues in the region.

Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • West Coast seaports - led by Los Angeles, Long Beach, Seattle, Tacoma, and Oakland - handled over one-half of all containerized shipments entering and departing the United States in 2006. Locally, the Portland/Vancouver, WA to Seattle trade flow accounted for $23 billion in total value according to the (Federal Highway Association) FHWA Freight Analysis Framework in 2002.
  • In the same year, the West Coast’s airports handled nearly 8.4 million tons of overseas freight, accounting for 42 percent of the U.S. total.
  • The region’s north-south transportation infrastructure, with I-5 as its backbone, has emerged as a crucial trade corridor for both domestic commerce and international trade, connecting West Coast metropolitan areas and serving increasing volumes of NAFTA-related shipments. Total domestic trade among these major West Coast metropolitan areas totaled over 145 million tons, valued at more than $254 billion in 2002. The majority of goods movement among the West Coast mega regions and their major metropolitan areas- approximately 75 percent- occurs by truck, primarily on the I-5 and SR-99 corridors.

The West Coast Corridor Coalition Trade and Transportation Study Final Report can be reviewed here.

Pierce County Seeks Input on Transportation Plan Update

Pierce County Public Works is seeking input on an update of the Pierce County Transportation Plan. The Plan maps out the County's strategy for meeting transportation needs over the next 20 years. Planning of this sort is required by the State Growth Management Act.

This year’s update will be the most comprehensive update to the original transportation plan since it was prepared in 1992. Unlike previous updates, this Plan will address all components of the transportation system -- maintenance, operations, preservation, improvements, and administration (collectively referred to as 'MOPIA'). This year's plan is intended to represent project and services that the County can realistically afford to implement over the next 20 years.

Click here to learn about the draft alternatives.