Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Transportation 2040 goes for a vote

Transportation 2040 the 30-year regional action plan for transportation investments in central Puget Sound will be adopted by the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Executive Board this spring. In the next 30 years, the region is anticipated to grow by 1.5 million people, 393,000 in Pierce County.

Over time this growth will significantly impact demand on our region’s highways and transit systems. Transportation 2040 attempts to strategically plan for future transportation investments based on the anticipated demand, while considering environmental impacts, monitoring and how to pay for the capital and on-going costs of infrastructure.

Historically, stakeholders in Pierce County have been particularly concerned with insuring equitable geographic distribution of transportation dollars and strategic roadway and transit investments that aid the growth of economic opportunities in Pierce County. These stakeholders (all active RAMP participants) include Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, Pierce County, Port of Tacoma, City of Tacoma and the EDB have commented on the draft Transportation 2040 plan.

The comments of these stakeholders are diverse and illustrate some of the competing perspectives of how development patterns should be influenced to best grow the Pierce County economy in the coming decades. Correspondingly, some stakeholders diverge on how and where to fund transit investments. Given that much of Pierce County has relatively sprawling land uses, where transit investments are less efficient, stakeholders with more auto-oriented constituent groups are, not surprisingly, more concerned with making roadway investments than those who serve urban population centers.

Next Steps:
March 19th Release of Final Environmental Impact Statement
March 25th PSRC Executive Board Recommendation
May 20th PSRC General Assembly Action

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