Thursday, April 12, 2012

RAMP Report 4/4

It was a full house on April 4th as 70 people joined RAMP & SCATBd to discuss transportation priorities with former Congressman Jay Inslee, candidate for Governor.

After Chamber President & CEO Tom Pierson opened the meeting, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and Algona Mayor Dave Hill provided overviews of the priorities of the two groups.  Both representatives highlighted the common themes in South King County and Pierce County.

The region is reliant on the movement of freight to maintain its role as an economic driver.  Between the Port of Tacoma and the industrial lands of Pierce and South King Counties access must be able to efficiently move goods and people.  As highlighted in the RAMP legislative priorities, maintenance of existing facilities and the completion of SR-167 play a large role in this potential.  The completion of SR-167 to the Port is expected to add approximately 80,000 jobs in the region.

Candidate Inslee explained to those in attendance how critical he sees construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure to the entire state's economy.  He noted that around 40% of all jobs in our economy are tied to freight mobility.  With this in mind, the path to job growth is through the transportation system.

For Mr. Inslee, this included giving people options for commuting to free up existing capacity as well as expanding current capacity.  He noted that SR-167 would help in this regard as well as projects like the Stampede Pass Expansion.  As a State Representative from eastern Washington, Inslee worked on the Selah Gap overpass that eventually led to signficant economic gains for Yakima.  He also highlighted his work on securing funding for the TIGER III funding for the JBLM area.  He believes that working on both the federal and state transportation levels will serve him well as governor.

During the question and answer period, Jay Inslee noted the need to work on a number of issues at the state level.  This included:
  • Prioritizing transportation projects that will create jobs - like SR-167
  • Creating local government funding options for local transportation projects
  • Recognizing that improving public transportation options will free up road capacity for others

No comments:

Post a Comment