Friday, October 30, 2009

Congress Extends SAFETEA-LU

Thanks fto WSDOT for this update:

On Thursday, Congress passed legislation to extend SAFETEA-LU, and to continue
funding USDOT, through December 18th. The President should sign the bill into
law sometime in the next two days.

The Senate may attempt to pass a 6 month extension of SAFETEA-LU next week. The House Transportation Committee chair continues to oppose that.

For more information on
this and other related topics visit:

Friday, October 23, 2009

SAFTEA-LU Reauthorization Update

Thanks to WSDOT for passing on this update on the SAFTEA-LU Reauthorization. Learn more about federal funding on their blog:

Reports are sketchy but apparently on Wednesday some Senators attempted, unsuccessfully, a legislative maneuver to pass an 18-month extension of SAFETEA-LU. “Hotlining” is a process in which Senators are asked if they would object to taking up a bill and passing it without debate or amendment. If so much as one Senator objects, the legislation must be scheduled for a floor debate and vote. It’s a process often used for non-controversial bills, and sometimes used to flush out potential objections and amendments.

At least one Senator objected, almost certainly Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who supports a shorter extension (e.g., 12-month). Voinovich is retiring in November 2010, and may want the shorter extension so that he can influence the longer-term bill and funding for Ohio projects.

It’s possible the Senate could debate the bill next week (Oct 26-30). But there would likely be filibusters from Voinovich and others, and it’s unclear if the Senate could pass the bill next week. At any rate, it’s hard to see how a final extension bill could be negotiated by the House and Senate and sent to the President by November 1, unless there’s a last minute agreement on a shorter-term extension.

Best guess at this point is we get another one-month extension, along with a one-month extension of 2010 transportation appropriations spending.

Friday, October 16, 2009

WSDOT Takes Truck Ops Survey

The Washington State Department of Transportation is requesting your input regarding impediments to the operation of trucks in the State of Washington.

The information gathered from this short survey will be used as part of the Highway System Plan.

The Truck Corridor Survey consists of (3) questions. Please take a moment to share your input with them. Click here to access the survey.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RAMP reviews PSRC's Transporation 2040

Wednesday a representative from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) briefed RAMP on the preliminary preferred alternative for Transportation 2040, the region’s long-range transportation planning document.

The presentation is available here.

PSRC staff is developing the preferred alternative based on public comments received on the DEIS this summer. The PSRC’s transportation policy Board comprised of elected officials and stakeholders from King, Pierce, Kitsap and Snohomish counties is scheduled to vote to recommend the preferred alternative to the PSRC Executive Board on November 12th. The Executive Board will adopt the preferred alternative on December 3rd.

For more information go to the PSRC’s project website

Lakewood Updates RAMP on OEA Congestion Study

At last Wednesday's RAMP meeting Dan Penrose from the City of Lakewood updated the group on preliminary findings from the I-5 congestion study the City of Lakewood has been designated to administer on behalf of the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) at the Department of Defense.

The presentation is available here.

In January 2009, OEA awarded the City a $450,000 planning assistance grant to study congestion on Interstate 5 through Ft. Lewis. The grant funds efforts to refine computer traffic models and determine which transportation alternatives would best address the challenges in the Interstate 5 corridor adjacent to Ft. Lewis and McChord AFB.

The 18 month study, closely coordinated with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Ft. Lewis, McChord AFB and other regional stakeholders, considers which strategies hold the most promise for reducing the congestion drivers experience on I-5 as a result of the increased base population.

More information on the study is available on the City of Lakewood website and the WSDOT project page.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Joint Transportation Committee Evaluates Alternative Funding Options

Traditional sources of revenue for transportation, namely sales and gas taxes no longer keep pace with the demand for transportation investments. In response, the Joint Transportation Committee of the Washington State Legislature has commissioned a study to identify viable funding alternatives. The goal of the study is to develop a package of funding tools the legislature can consider to meet transportation funding objectives.

- The Evaluation Framework and alternatives being considered can be found here.

- A summary of the goals and process is available in a September 30th, 2009 presentation to the Joint Transportation Committee.

For more information please go to the Joint Transportation Committee’s website.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Candidates Appear at Transportation Forum

You’re invited!

Tacoma Mayoral/City Council Candidates’ Transportation and Land-Use Forum

On Thursday, October 1st, please join an exciting group of co-hosting organizations for a lively evening debate as we pose questions about transportation and land-use to the Tacoma City Council and Mayoral candidates.

When: Thursday, Oct 1st, 6:30-8:30 p.m.*
Where: Carwein Auditorium, Keystone Building - UWT

Event Co-Hosts:
Transportation Choices Coalition, The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, University of Washington Urban Studies Program, Futurewise, Cascade Bicycle Club, Tacoma Wheelman’s Bicycle Club, Tacoma Sun, Cascade Land Conservancy, Exit 133.

* Approximately two weeks after this event until election day, the Forum will be available for 24-hour viewing on Click! Cable TV’s local section of On Demand.