Tuesday, May 21, 2013

RAMP Legislative Priority Gains Big Support Across the State

Groups from across the State of Washington came together yesterday in a strong show of support for the proposed Transportation Investment Package.  Democrats, Republicans and leaders from business, labor, ports and local government were all represented at the rally in Olympia.

The event was emceed by the Mayor of Auburn, Pete Lewis, who introduced speakers including Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Denny Heck, State Senator Tracy Eide, State Representative Judy Clibborn, State Representative Hans Zeiger and State Representative Dave Upthegrove.  Local government officials also spoke in support of the package, as did representatives from business, labor and local ports.

Congressman Heck summarized the theme of the rally when he stated, “We can’t let politics get in the way of this transportation package. Our state needs a modern infrastructure to compete in the 21st-century global economy. Thousands of family-wage jobs are at stake. The time to act is now.”

In taking a look at the crowd on the steps, Scott Mason President ILWU Local 23 observed that, “Usually you would see just labor, or business.  What I see here are all factions of our statewide economic base turning out to support a single idea; invest in our transportation system now or our State will be quickly outcompeted both domestically and worldwide in the movement of goods around the globe.  There are no more excuses – pass the Transportation Revenue Package this session.”

In Washington State, four out of every ten jobs are trade dependent. It’s for this reason that so many disparate groups came together today to show that there is no time to waste on modernizing our infrastructure for 21st-century global trade. Our leaders in Olympia must act now and vote to approve the Transportation Revenue Package.

Transportation Funding Rally May 20, 2013 Media Coverage

Thursday, May 16:
Business Examiner - http://www.businessexaminer.com/blog/May-2013/Pierce-Chamber-to-join-transportation-package-rally/

Seattle Times (Editorial) - http://seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2021001198_edittransportationxml.html

Sunday, May 19:
News Tribune - http://m.thenewstribune.com/newstrib/db_108680/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=1OB7kY3l

Monday, May 20:
News Tribune - http://blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2013/05/20/morning-update-special-session-day-8-2/

Business Examiner - http://www.businessexaminer.com/blog/May-2013/Capital-steps-rally-backs-Transport-funding/

Seattle Times - http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021023827_apwaxgrtransportationrally3rdldwritethru.html?prmid=obinsource

KING 5 - http://www.king5.com/news/politics/Despite-rally-for-transportation-package-I-5-bridge-remains-a-concern-208231511.html

• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/legislative/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/nXxTb/
• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/psLLb/
• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/psLLd/
• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/psLLX/
• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/psLLY/
• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/psLLZ/
• http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/washington/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/psLLc/

Q13 Fox - http://q13fox.com/2013/05/20/inslee-if-you-want-roads-bridges-repaired-raise-the-gas-tax/#axzz2TwukLMVR

Kitsap Sunhttp://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/may/20/inslee-speaks-at-transportation-revenue-rally/#axzz2Twtnxz6E

Wenatchee World Online - http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2013/may/20/inslee-signs-87-billion-transportation-budget/

Spokesman Review -http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/spincontrol/2013/may/20/inslee-vetoes-part-transportation-budget/

Westport News - http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/Inslee-signs-transportation-budget-4532425.php

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tacoma Amtrak Station Relocation

The past few months local officials, concerned citizens, business representatives, and other key stakeholders came together to form a Citizen Advisory Committee and reviewed a proposal by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) that would relocate Tacoma’s Amtrak train station, currently located at 1001 Puyallup Avenue, to the Freighthouse Square mixed –use retail facility at 25-1 East “D” Street.

The relocation of the station is due to the Point Defiance Bypass Project, which will reroute passenger trains to an existing rail line along the west side of I-5 through south Tacoma, Lakewood, and DuPont.

The Committee developed 25 initial recommendations that were organized into four broad categories consistent with the long-term goals of the Dome District where the current and future station is located. These recommendations were then shortened and prioritized.

The most significant recommendation was related to the “blockage of East “C” and East “D” streets by trains, train-related safety gates, safety arms, or signaling devices that occur when trains are passing in order to improve pedestrian and vehicular north-south circulation throughout the district.”

The Committee noted that WSDOT’s current proposal of relocating the Amtrak train station to Freighthouse Square would result in these streets being blocked for a longer period of time than currently, because of the increased length of the Amtrak trains. Tacoma City Councilman David Boe also pointed out critical safety issues related to this recommendation, since increased wait times may entice impatient drivers and pedestrians to go around safety gates and related devices.

The Committee recommends placing the station platform onto the trestle to the east. The current Tacoma Trestle is a 100 year old, wooden, single-track trestle leading up to Freighthouse Square. The aging trestle needs to be replaced with a new concrete double track structure anyway, adding weight to the Committee’s recommendation to build the platform on the trestle.

In addition, the Committee noted the importance of having the Amtrak station located in Tacoma and the Dome District, creating a transit hub and making it easy for travelers to visit downtown Tacoma, UWT, the Glass Museum, and other key places. 

Other Committee recommendations were related to noise, parking, traffic circulation, urban and station design, and can be found in the City’s website.

167 Goes All the Way to Washington, D.C.

Momentum continues to build in support of completing State Route 167 as a Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce delegation visited policymakers in the other Washington last week.

Chamber members met with numerous officials, including several members of Congress such as Congressmen Dave Reichert, Adam Smith, and Denny Heck, as well as Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. During the trip Chamber members and policymakers discussed the significance of completing SR 167 on a local, state, and national level.

For more on information on the trip or the project, visit the Port of Tacoma’s blog.