Monday, February 28, 2011

Complete and Main Streets bill passes House!

The Complete Streets/Main Streets bill passed off the House floor today. Complete Streets and Main Streets are roadways designed to efficiently and safely move people using all appropriate modes of transportation, including bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and public transportation users.

Rather than applying a cookie cutter design to every corridor, this bill will allow planners work with communities to develop project that are appropriate for various functions of the roadway. The result is a streetscape that is safer and more accessible for all users that promotes livable communities.

Rep. Moeller, the prime sponsor of the bill, summed it up nicely in his floor speech. He said, "we can all agree streets should be safe ... & streets no longer exist just for cars"

Next stop for the bill will be the Senate Transportation committee.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Next Week in Olympia- Week 8

Cut off has come and gone in policy and fiscal committees. Next week will be dominated by floor action in the House and Senate. Legislators have till March 7th to act on a bill and move it out of the house of origin, or it will die.

Many of the bills on TCC’s agenda need to see floor action to move forward during this session. The House must act on the following bills that TCC supports:

SHB 1071 Complete streets grant program Moeller
SHB 1700 Safe and Flexible Street design Fitzgibbon
HB 1536 Congestion reduction charge Liias
HB 1382 Express toll lanes on 405 Clibborn
HB 1967 Public transportation systems Fitzgibbon

The Senate must act on the following bills that TCC supports:

SB 5457 Congestion reduction charge White
SSB 5730 Mileage-based auto insurance Rockefeller

There has been major wins already this session. The “Vulnerable Users” bill, championed by Cascade Bicycle club, passed out of the Senate, and is on its way to the House for committee action. It is great to have this bill out of the Senate, with strong momentum.

One of the TCC’s defensive priorities this session was to stop the Association of Washington Business’s (AWB) top climate priority; to repeal Washington’s vehicle miles traveled (VMT) law. This bill died in the policy committee and will not move forward. Next we will ensure they do not attempt to pass it through in the budget.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Senate Transportation Committee has 24 Hours to Save Transit Service

Below is an action alert that was sent out this afternoon.  The ability to save transit service rests in the State Senate Transportation Committee's hands.  Please note the action alert only works if you are a constituent who lives in the district of a Senator who is on Transportation and represents agencies affected by the bill. That said, if you live in the 11th, 21st, 30th, 34th, 41st, or 44rd district please TAKE ACTION!

Senate Transportation Committee has 24 Hours to Save Transit Service: Take Action Today!
If you take the bus to get to school, work or to essential services, you know that we cannot afford to cut 15-35% of our transit service in the State.  Pierce Transit, Community Transit, and King County Metro are all facing a funding crisis brought on by the poor economy.  If the Washington State Senate does not act now there will be devastating cuts to bus service across Puget Sound.  And the cuts have already begun.  Community Transit has already cut all Sunday service with more to come this year.  Pierce Transit is facing 35% cuts and King County Metro will have to cut 17% service without new revenue.
These cuts will impact our community’s most vulnerable - low income families trying to get to work and school, senior citizens trying to get to medical appointments and people with disabilities who have no other options.

That is why the Senate Transportation Committee needs to pass Senate Bill 5457 in the next 24 hours to save bus service in the Puget Sound.  This bill will simply give your local transit agency the option to raise revenues temporarily in order to avoid massive cuts to bus service. 
It creates a temporary congestion reduction fee of $30 to stave off bus service cuts.  The fee expires in 2013
YOUR SENATOR serves on the Transportation Committee!  Please take 5 minutes out of your day to CLICK HERE and tell them to pass Senate Bill 5457 out of committee to save your bus service.  Make sure to tell them your personal story of why transit is important to you.
Thanks for your support!

Andrew Austin
Field Director
Transportation Choices Coalition
Your voice is important CLICK HERE to act today!

UPDATE: A modified version of SB 5457 that is for a $20 vehicle license fee that applies only to King County passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee today. Thank you for your voice and help!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Next Week on Olympia- Week 7

This week is cut off week in the Transportation committees. If a bill is not heard and passed out of committee by the end of this week, it can no longer move through the process this session (it is dead), unless it is necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). It is excellent news that a bill for emergency transit funding, Senator White’s emergency transit funding had a great hearing on Monday.

We will also be closely following a few tolling bills that will need to move out of committee this week.

Here are the rest of the transportation related hearings and sessions this week.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

1:30 pm House Transportation
Meeting to run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m
House Hearing Rm B

Public Hearing:
HB 1897 - Establishing a rural mobility grant program.
HB 1929 - Concerning the regulation and preservation of urban streets through a local option street maintenance utility and allowing the imposition of a charge.
HB 1933 - Addressing fraud and law enforcement safety for certain license plates.

1:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Public Hearing:
SB 5659 - Creating a dialogue between the department of licensing, county auditors, and subagents regarding title and registration activities.
SB 5727 - Concerning vehicle registration fees.
SB 5785 - Reconvening an Alaskan Way viaduct and Seattle Seawall replacement project expert review panel.
SB 5836 - Allowing certain private transportation providers to use certain public transportation facilities.
SB 5837 - Allowing certain private transportation providers to use certain public transportation facilities.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1:30 pm House
Meeting to run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
Marine Employees Commission and Public Employee Relations Commission review.
Jones Act review.
Six Decades of Challenges, Washington State Ferries.

Public Hearing:
ESB 5061 - Reconciling changes made to vehicle and vessel registration and title provisions during the 2010 legislative sessions.
HB 1922 - Requiring certain vehicles to stop at a weigh station for inspection and weight measurement.
SSB 5700 - Concerning certain toll facilities.

1:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session: Regional transportation priority projects, Washington Transportation Commission.

Public Hearing:
SB 5771 - Implementing public-private partnership best practices for nontoll transportation projects.
SB 5800 - Authorizing the use of modified off-road motorcycles on public roads.
SB 5791 - Allowing certain commercial activity at certain park and ride lots.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1:30 pm House Transportation
Meeting to run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
House Hearing Rm B

Public Hearing: Bills referred to committee.

Executive Session: Bills previously heard in committee.

1:30 pm SenateTransportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Public Hearing:
SGA 9057 - Edmund I Kiley, Member, Board of Pilotage Commissioners.
SGA 9073 - Richard F McCurdy, Member, Board of Pilotage Commissioners.
SB 5817 - Extending the expiration of the agency council on coordinated transportation.

Friday, February 25, 2011
2/25/11 1:30 pm
Meeting to run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
House Hearing Rm B

Public Hearing:
SB 5141 - Limiting the issuance of motorcycle instruction permits.
SB 5260 - Modifying combination of vehicle provisions.
SSB 5185 - Temporarily suspending certain motorcycle rules when operating in parades or public demonstrations.

Saturday, February 26, 2011
Senate and House Session/Caucus

Sunday, February 27, 2011
House Session/Caucus

Congressional Listening Session Yesterday with Congressmen Mica and Herrera Beutler

Yesterday I had the opportunity to squeeze into the over packed Congressional listening session in Vancouver, WA.  The room the had for the event held 75 and there were over 200 people who wanted to get in.

Lack of space aside, it was a fascinating event.  Outside of the hearing the anti-tolls and anti-light rail folks fighting against the CRC Bridge project were out in full force.  My favorite sign of theirs said, "Don't light rail to nowhere; Portlandia to Nowhere, USA."  If found this funny, I guess they don't have a very high regard for their community.  The pro-bridge, pro-light rail group was out in even greater numbers.  I snapped a bunch of photos, which I'll post later.

In the meantime check out our twitter feed @transpochoices where I put up a running dialogue of the meeting.  A few highlights:
  • Chairmen Mica (FL) opened up the floor saying he didn't want to talk about a specific project, but instead wanted ideas on how to make federal transportation policy better.  Congresswomen Herrera Beutler spoke immediately after him and all she talked about was CRC, It was quite bizarre.
  • Michael Ennis of the Washington policy center went into his typical anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-light rail tirade but Chairmen Mica cut him off saying he didn't want to listen to his talking points but wanted constructive ideas. 
  • Mica also cut off David Madore of and Secretary Hammond when they started reading their prepared presentations.  Madore did not pivot well at all and did not look good.  He even went as far to attack bureaucrats and elected officials, saying elected officials are on the take from project supporters, which is a puzzling considering he pumped $200,000 of his own money into no-tolls candidates.  This guy basically is becoming the Kemper Freeman of Vancouver.  Paula Hammond on the other hand, pivoted with class and skill.  Not only that, her messaging was right on and immediately started talking about Amtrak Cascades and doing more with less as an agency.  She discussed how they are shifting their focus from new road capacity to maintenance, smart highways, transit, rail, and variable tolling.  I basically wanted to stand up and clap hearing these priorities coming directly from Secretary Hammond.
For a full rundown check out our twitter feed at @transpochoices.  Also the Columbian did a nice job covering the event and has three stories on it today, here, here, and here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pay-As-You Drive Insurance, The Choice to Order Car Insurance from Something Other Than the All You Can Eat Buffet

Here is our first action alert of the session.  Happy Friday and Enjoy!

Pay-As-You Drive Insurance, The Choice to Order Car Insurance from Something Other Than the All You Can Eat Buffet

What is Pay-As-You Drive Insurance? It is the idea that motorists should be able to have the option to pay for their insurance based upon the amount of miles they drive.  This model makes simple sense; if your car is sitting at home while you walk, bike and ride the bus to get around, the chances of you getting in a car accident are minuscule.  In Washington State, unfortunately, there are currently many barriers to insurers offering pay-as-you drive policies. TCC is working hard to remove these barriers so low-mileage driver can have the option of buying their insurance ala carte instead of being forced to buy it from the all you can eat buffet that doesn’t take into account how much you drive.

Powerful, insurance companies were successful at undermining a bill (SB 5730) that would base auto insurance on the number of miles driven.  Pay-as-you drive, or mileage based insurance, reduces congestion, air, water and climate pollution, promotes environmental stewardship, and makes auto insurance more equitable. The average motorist that switches to mileage based insurance, is expected to reduce their annual miles driven, crashes and insurance costs by at least 10% .
This bill simply authorizes companies to offer mileage-based automobile insurance policies, and ensures that they offer low mileage discounts for low-mileage consumers. It authorizes Department of Transportation, to develop and implement a mileage-based insurance demonstration project so Washington can attract federal money promoting these policies.  

Read about the bill in Sightline and on the Natural Resources Defense Council blog.

Please send a quick email to your Senator to ask them to support the underlying bill, not the bill that the insurance company got inserted during Senate Committee action.  This is one way the state can start to harmonize transportation policy with climate policy to address the 50% of Washington’s climate pollution that comes from the transportation sector.
Taking action is easy just CLICK HERE!

Thanks for your support in this critical action,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Coming to You: March Forum on the Transportation For Washington Campaign!

MARCH "FRIDAY" FORUM: Transportation for Washington is on WEDNESDAY the 2nd
The Transportation For Washington campaign is a multi-year effort to reshape how we generate and spend transportation revenue in Washington State. The broad coalition, led by Futurewise and Transportation Choices Coalition, formally launched in February with the announcement of legislation for long-term and sustainable local options for transit funding. Come learn about the campaign’s plans for saving transit service, fixing our crumbling roads and bridges and building healthy, sustainable communities all over Washington.
Viet Shelton, Campaign Director, Transportation for Washington Coalition
Brock Howell, Field Manager, Transportation for Washington Coalition

WHAT: Transportation for Washington Campaign Forum
WHEN:  Wednesday, March 2nd, Noon-1:15 (Please Note Date Change)
WHERE: Space on the Steps, GGLO, 1301 First Avenue, Seattle (enter from Harbor Steps) (please note new location)

This forum is co-hosted by TCC and Futurewise.  As always, feel free to bring your lunch!



The Boeing Company
HDR Inc.
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Seattle Children's Hospital
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
UW Transportation Services

HNTB Corporation
Wilbur Smith Associates

UPDATE: Details Sparse for Rep. Mica's Congressional Visit to Vancouver, WA

There is word on the street the Congressmen John Mica, the new Republican Chair of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be visiting Vancouver Washington to conduct a listening session.

Despite numerous attempts to gather information it has been impossible to nail down the details on this government funding forum even though it is in a few days.  Transportation Choices is working with the Cascade Bike club and Oregon partners to make sure we have a good turnout of advocates for transportation choices at this important event.  So, please keep checking back to this blog post where I will put updated details on the event as we learn more and they get confirmed.

Here are the details so far (none of them confirmed at this point):

Location: Clark County Public Utility Building, 1200 Fort Vancouver (at Mill Plain).

Attending: Congressmen DeFazio and Herrera Beutler with Mica

Invited Testimony:

Chandra Brown, United Streetcar, Portland

WSDOT CRC project team

AGC (Association of General Contractors)

WA Policy Center

Founder of

One topic covered will be the Columbia River Crossing.  There might be public testimony at 10am.

We will keep you posted as we learn more!


The time and date of this event has been confirmed.  It will be at 9am on the 21st at Clark County Public Utility Building, 1200 Fort Vancouver (at Mill Plain).

We are hearing there will be public comment taken at this event during the second half of the forum!

A Press release announcing the event has been released! It will be at the time and location indicated and there will be public testimony! The Columbian has the scoop

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spokane City Council Passes TBD for Street Repair and Sidewalks

The Spokesman Review reports that the City of Spokane's council, by a 4 to 3 vote, reversed their earlier decision and enacted a transportation benefit district (TBD) last night to fit their crumbling streets and build more sidewalks. 

This is great news for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and drivers in Spokane, because pot hole ridden streets are not good for anyone!  Also 10% of the new revenues, which are coming are being raised from a $20 per year vehicle license fee, will go towards building out Spokane's incomplete sidewalk network.

Councilmember Jon Synder has a full recap on his website about the meeting which gets into the interesting weeds of the political and policy debate on the issue.

If you are an advocate for transportation choices in Spokane make sure to contact your Councilmembers Rush, Shogan, Snyder and Waldref and thank them for voting yes to make Spokane streets safer!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Legislative Meeting Schedule- Week 6

There is great news out of Olympia this week, HB 1536, the emergency transit funding bill sponsored by Rep. Liias, passed the first hurdle in order to move along in the legislative session. This bill will help our largest transit agencies whether the next few years of the economic downturn, and avoid further cuts to service until a long-term and sustainable funding mechanism for transit is implemented.

Next week, there are a few important bill hearings. On Monday there is a bill (SB 5541) that would exempt UW from parking taxes. The City of Seattle is very concerned that this bill would take millions from their general fund which would undermine funding for the central seawall replacement project along with bicycle and pedestrian projects.

On Tuesday, there are hearings on two of TCC’s prioritiy bills. One bill would facilitate mileage based insurance in Washington (SB 5730). The Natural Resources Defense Council and Sightline have written about the bill. Also there is a hearing on a bill (HB 1700) that will make it easier for local governments to build safe streets for cyclists and pedestrians by giving them more flexibility.

On Wednesday there is a hearing on a bill (PSSB 5416)that would try to ensure that toll revenue would go to repayment of bonds, toll enforcement, and road maintenance, before it would go towards any other use. TCC believes toll revenue should be used for multiple uses of the road, including public transportation. We do not wan to limit this opportunity in statute. Tolling and public transit are both part of the solution, and should be go hand in hand.

Here is the full schedule of transportation related bills:

Monday, February 14, 2011

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
Environmental permit streamlining.
Fish passage barriers.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Public Hearing:
SB 5541 - Concerning regional mobility grants and tax incentives for improving transportation connectivity and efficiency.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 AM Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance*
Senate Hearing Rm 2

Public Hearing: SB 5730 - Authorizing mileage-based automobile insurance.

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session: Transit service corridor overlay zone, King County.

Public Hearing: HB 1700 - Modifying the requirements related to designing various transportation projects.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session: Stormwater and transportation.
Department of Ecology.
Department of Transportation.

Public Hearing:
HB 1747 - Concerning statewide transportation planning.
HB 1887 - Concerning certain toll facilities.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session: SR 405 Express Toll Lanes, Washington State Department of Transportation.

Public Hearing:
SB 5416 - Addressing the use of toll revenue from eligible toll facilities. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute).
SB 5490 - Concerning the use of express toll lanes in the eastside corridor.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session: Ferry rider survey, Washington Transportation Commission.

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session:
Update on Washington State Ferries new vessel construction.
Ferry Rider Opinion Survey Final Report, Washington Transportation Commission.

Public Hearing:
SB 5742 - Concerning the administration and distribution of Washington state ferry system revenue.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bellingham Buys Back Sunday Bus Service

Jared at the Bellingham Herald has an informative article in today's paper about the City of Bellingham and Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) finalizing their plan for the city to buy back Sunday bus service.

WTA's .2% transit sales tax measure barely failing countywide last year and the city's successfully passed a .2% tax measure a few months later using transportation benefit district (TBD) authority.  With the city generated funds Bellingham and WTA are entering into a creative agreement that ultimately will preserve Sunday bus service in Bellingham.

While this is not a permanent solution to the transit funding crisis in Washington I do think creative partnerships like this one using city's TBD authority will be an important tool in the toolbox for helping transit survive across our state in the next few years.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Transportation For Washington Campaign Officially Launched

The Transportation for Washington is officially live.

Here is the press release for the campaign in its entirety:

Transportation for Washington unveils blueprint for more transit and smart transportation investments across state
Campaign also introduces new local transit funding legislation

Olympia – A coalition of environmentalists, transit advocates, labor groups and businesses today unveiled a new vision for Washington state’s transportation future.  Called Transportation for Washington, the campaign is a blueprint with new policies and a set of principles for how to get Washington moving forward with investments to repair aging transportation infrastructure and funding for more transit.

“We have a transportation crisis in our state, unsafe bridges, slashed transit services, bumper to bumper traffic congestion,” said April Putney, Co-Director of Futurewise.  “To get Washington ready for economic growth and create jobs in a way that protects our environment, it’s time for us to have a new vision for transportation in our state.  Transportation for Washington is that vision.”

Transportation for Washington is a multi-year campaign to clean our air and water, invest in transit options that save people money, and build great, healthy communities to work live and play. The campaign is based on three main principles:

1.      More transit.  Washington needs new investments in transit to increase transportation choices while reducing congestion, improve freight mobility, connect our rural communities and decrease pollution.
2.      Fix it first; Save lives.  The state’s crumbling bridges and roads must be repaired first, and then ensure that new investments do not cause more sprawl, pollution and increased costs to taxpayers.
3.      Build healthy, sustainable communities.  Washington needs a more efficient transportation system that supports affordable and healthy neighborhoods that connect people to jobs, their community and each other.

As part of the campaign launch of statewide principles, Rep. Marko Liias (D-Edmonds) announced he would introduce legislation to provide permanent local funding for more transit.  The bill would provide local transit agencies the ability to pursue voter-approved funding for transit, and would allow local transit agencies to select from a variety of local, progressive tax sources.  Before any tax could be levied, it must be approved by the voters in the agency’s jurisdiction. 

The potential tax sources available would be:
·         Progressive Motor Vehicle Excise Tax
·         Vehicle License Fee based on annual mileage
·         Fuel Efficiency-based Tax that rewards clean and efficient vehicles
·         Local sales tax on gasoline

With transit agencies currently relying on the regressive sales tax, Liias is especially interested in solving the growing divide between increased transit use, and the decline of sales tax revenue in a recession.

“Communities are strengthened by the availability of quality transportation choices and reliable infrastructure,” Liias said.  “With local transit agencies staring at devastating reductions in service, this legislation will allow voters to decide for themselves whether to keep the quality of life high in their communities.”

For more information visit:

Liveblogging Transportation for WA Kick-Off!

I am living blogging here our Transportation for Washington kick-off!

April Putney from Futurewise is kicking off the event with a full room of transportation advocates behind the podium and in the audience.

April just turned over the floor to Rep. Marko Liias who is talking about the first step of creating sustainable transit funding in Washington State.  Rep Liias is introducing the sustainable transit act to give communities more long term options for funding transit.  "I firmly believe good transit is integral to creating good communities."

Marko releases list of local options for funding transit, all of which are voter approved.  Then Warren Bare a transit rider talking about the importance of transit service to him and his community.

Member of the press asked a question why Rep. Liias is proposing this two days after Pierce Transit ballot measure failed.  Rep. Liias responded that he was suprised by how close the vote was in Pierce and shows that while urban and suburban areas want transit sales tax may not be the right funding source which is why he is proposing these options.  April Putney added that Jefferson Transit passed a measure by 55% on Tuesday so it was not all bad for transit funding.

Event is over.  Great turnout, exciting times for transportation in Washington State, will post pictures down the road or see some photos live at on out twitter @transpochoices

Here is some press on today's event so far.
Everett Herald
Seattle Transit Blog 

And the TNT
And Publicola 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Book Review: Still Stuck in Traffic: Coping with Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion

This updated edition of Anthony Downs’ classic Stuck in Traffic is a book by a policy wonk for policy wonks. Chock full of economic analysis illustrated with neat little tables and comparative graphs, it will have some readers itching to get to the main point while others delight in the care Downs takes to explain the subtleties of his argument and the details of his evidence.

Downs attempts to avoid siding with any interest groups, auto industry or environmental. His position is stark: traffic congestion is here to stay. People may rail against it when they’re inching along at a snail’s pace home for the umpteenth time, but they will find it hard to stomach the solutions that can really make a difference: road tolls, peak-hour parking taxes, changes to employer provided free parking plans. Meanwhile, highly touted solutions like expanding public transit or building new roads aren’t nearly as effective as people think they are. Traffic congestion can be controlled, Downs says, but it won't be eliminated. It may be an unavoidable side effect of economic health.

Thick and slightly dated as it is, the book is still a fascinating and worthwhile read. Those of us with crammed schedules shouldn’t be turned off by the length: simply scanning through the chapter summaries, tables and graphs is almost guaranteed to provide new insights.

Mapping Last Night's Election

Chris Karnes from Tacoma Tomorrow has mapped out the precinct by precinct election results of last night's election.  Here is the useful image of the precinct results and a the full map can be found here.

As you can Prop one fared very poorly in the exurban areas of east Pierce County, Fox Island, North Gig Harbor and near Ft. Lewis.  We overwhelmingly won Downtown, North, and Central Tacoma as well as did well in Downtown Puyallup.  We won by a lesser margin in West, South Tacoma.  We lost by a small margin in most of Lakewood, Gig Harbor, and Puyallup.  One interesting thing to note is the only two areas that approved the measure South of SR 512 were around PLU and the around the Wall-Mart on Highway 7.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Liveblogging Election Night

Its 8pm and this is the first post of TCC's election night's live blog during this important election for transit service in Washington State.

I am writing live from Tacoma's Tempest bar in the Hilltop. The bar is packed with agency folks, political hacks, and elected officials. Anxiety is high but people are in pretty good spirits knowing we ran a very robust campaign.

8:08 pm: To view the election pages directly here are the links.

Pierce Transit:

8:10: Votes are in for Pierce Transit. Approve prop one losing by 45%

8:39: In better news (and almost a mirror opposite) Jefferson Transit's measure is passing by 55%

Here is the Tacoma vote breakdown. The exurban areas voted no strongly, Puyallup and Gig Harbor we barely failed, and Tacoma passed it!

LD Total Votes Approve Votes Approve % Reject Votes Reject %

2 12,768 4631 36.27% 8137 63.73%

25 24,416 10037 41.11% 14379 58.89%

26 18,037 7885 43.72% 10152 56.28%

27 20,416 11379 55.74% 9037 44.26%

28 20,910 10283 49.18% 10627 50.82%

29 13,810 7005 50.72% 6805 49.28%

31 11,544 4024 34.86% 7520 65.14%

Total 121,901 55,244 45.32% 66,657 54.68%

AM update

Looking at precinct level results, the only precincts south of Highway 512 that supported the measure were the area around PLU and Wal-Mart.

Election Alert: Tonight is a Big Night for Transit Funding

Tonight is a big night for transit elections in Washington State.  With transit agencies falling off the cliff financially due to precipitous drops in sales tax revenue over the last few years, a lot of jobs and service are at stake.

Pierce Transit, the State's second largest agency by ridership is going out for the last .03% of their state allowed sales tax authority.  I've been very involved with the Save our Buses campaign effort for this effort.  It has been a robust campaign with incredible voter levels thanks to tireless volunteers, staff, and healthy fundraising.  I have a hunch this election will be close either way but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!  If Prop one doesn't pass Pierce Transit will be forced to cut services by 35% in the next couple of years.

Also Jefferson Transit is going for the rest of their state allowed sales tax authority.  I also had the pleasure of working this campaign on their efforts.  Thankfully there was no organized opposition in Jefferson County and I'm feeling optimistic about Jefferson transit's measures.

Most importantly if you haven't voted and you live in one of these counties GET YOUR BALLOT IN!  Stay tuned to the blog tonight after 8pm where I will post results and limited election night analysis from the Save our Buses party in Tacoma.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Next week in Olympia - Week 5

Transportation Advocacy Day is this Thursday, when more than a hundred transportation advocates will descend on Olympia to call for greater transit, bike and pedestrian support. There is also a very important hearing on Wednesday on the emergency funding for transit bill, sponsored by Rep. Liias (House Bill 1536: Temporary Congestion Reduction Fund). At this hearing, transit agencies and riders will testify about the drastic cuts they are facing and the need to raise funds to sustain service and routes. Also, this week there are work sessions on public transportation and rail, and a public hearing on the bill that will clarify toll setting authority necessary because of Initiative 1053.

Monday, February 7, 2011

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
History of Public Transportation Finance.
Department of Transportation, Public Transportation Division, introduction and update.
Transit Investment Blueprint Study.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

SB 5700 - Concerning certain toll facilities. (If measure is referred to committee.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

3:30 pm House Transportation
House Hearing Rm B

Work Session:
Department of Transportation Passenger Rail update.
Department of Transportation Higher Speed Rail update.
Department of Transportation methods of project delivery.

Public Hearing:
HB 1536 - Providing a congestion reduction charge to fund the operational and capital needs of transit agencies.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

3:30 pm Senate Transportation
Senate Hearing Rm 1

Work Session: Sustainability studies, Washington State Department of Transportation.

Public Hearing:
SB 5128 - Concerning statewide transportation planning.

SB 5251 - Imposing an additional vehicle license fee on electric vehicles.

SB 5528 - Eliminating the handling loss deduction for the motor vehicle fuel tax.

Friday, February 4, 2011

More Riders are Chosing Rapid Ride A!

King County Metro has a long press release here about increased ridership on Rapid Ride A (Federal Way to Tukwilla).

The short story is ridership is up 25% since the service started compared to previous bus service there and costumer satisfaction on the line is way up (from 85% compared to 52% satisfaction with the previous 174.

More on the survey:

And a recently conducted on-board survey of more than 500 A Line passengers reveals a variety of reasons why RapidRide has become a popular travel alternative. In addition to achieving an overall 84 percent satisfaction rating compared to a 52 percent satisfaction rating on the route it replaced, the A Line scored high with passengers in several other areas, such as:
  • 81 percent overall satisfaction with how long their bus trip takes,
  • 83 percent satisfaction with how often buses run during peak hours,
  • 88- 90 percent satisfaction with Metro’s new hybrid-electric RapidRide coaches and on-board features, and
  • 81 percent satisfied with the A Line getting them to their destination on time.

Great news!  Bus Rapid Transit (and BRT Light as I like to call systems like Rapid Ride) is an important part of the transportation solution in Washington State.  I had the pleasure to explore the Rapid Ride A line a few weeks ago and I was generally very impressed.  Aside for a 20 minute wait in Tukwilla, when the buses should have been running every 10 minutes, it was a very smooth, comfortable, and relatively quick ride.  While it is far from a true BRT it is a big improvement over traditional local bus service.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Significant Metro Route Changes Starting Feb 5

 This useful Information is Just in from our Friends at Commute Seattle:

Significant Metro Route Changes Starting Feb 5

Starting Saturday, Feb. 5, Metro will make routing and bus stop changes for approximately two dozen bus routes serving downtown Seattle to keep people moving during the long-term construction in downtown Seattle and the SODO area.

Click here for a map of new 3rd Ave stop locations

Highlights of the February changes include:
  • Routes shifting from First Avenue to Third Avenue are: 15, 18, 21, 22, 56, 57;
  • Routes shifting from Third Avenue to Second/Fourth avenues: 111, 114, 143, 157, 161;
  • Routes changing bus stop locations on Third Avenue: 16, 26, 28, 66;
  • Route 99 will loop to travel north on First Avenue and south on Alaskan Way. To avoid confusion when northbound service switches to First Avenue, Metro plans to identify the route simply as Route 99 rather than the Waterfront Streetcar Line. Buses will no longer be “wrapped” to look like the old waterfront streetcars; and
  • Other routing changes for routes: 37, 81, 85, 116, 118, and 119.
To maximize use of the bus stops on Third Avenue, Metro is expanding its alternating-stop system on that street. Bus routes skip every other stop, and some will be grouped differently at these stops than they have been in the past.

Other February revisions for Metro include an increase in bus service across the State Route 520 Bridge, a new bus route connecting Kenmore to First Hill, and returning buses to the rebuilt Kirkland Transit Center later in the month on Feb. 26.

Detailed information about the February service change will be posted on Metro Online at
. Maps highlighting the downtown streets with revised service are online now at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eastside Transportation Town Hall with Councilmembers Hague & Lambert Rescheduled

The Eastside Transportation Town Hall with King County Councilmembers Jane Hague (Council District 6) and Councilmember Kathy Lambert (Council District 3) has been rescheduled for February 8th.  If you are an Eastside resident who cares about transportation choices in your community make sure to attend this upcoming event!  There are no transit directions in the announcement below but the community center is a short walk from the Mercer Island Transit Center, which has frequent service from Seattle, Bellevue, and Issaquah.  

Invitation to a town hall meeting on Eastside transit
Join Councilmember Jane Hague (Council District 6) and Councilmember Kathy Lambert (Council District 3) for a town hall discussion on Eastside transit. This town hall has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 6:30 p.m. at the Mercer Island Community Center. Hope to see you there!
Driving Directions
to the Community Center at Mercer View:
8236 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 275-7609

I-90 Eastbound from Seattle: take exit #7A, 77th Ave SE. Turn left across the freeway. At stop sign turn right onto North Mercer Way. Go one long block to the stop light. Go straight though the stop light. Turn left onto 81st Avenue SE. Turn right onto SE 24th Street. The Community Center is two blocks up on your left.

I-90 Westbound from Bellevue: take exit #7, Island Crest Way. Continue straight ahead. Turn right on 81st Avenue SE. Turn right on SE 24th Street. The Community Center is two blocks up on your left.

Just in: El Centro proposed building Parking Lot Adjacet to Beacon Hill Light Rail

The Beacon Hill Blog is reporting that El Centro De La Raza is proposing to build a parking lot right next to the Beacon Hill light rail station.

The idea of building a new private parking lot sitting next to the best transit system in the state is a bit shocking. Surface level parking lots are not the innovative TOC ideas we identified in our Transit Oriented Communities Report (co-authored with futurewise and GGLO).

From the post:
A January 31 letter from El Centro’s Estela Ortega (read the full letter here) to the Beacon Hill community requests support for a temporary parking lot in El Centro’s south lot, adjacent to Beacon Hill Station. The proposal is for 80 public parking spaces, to “help generate much needed revenue to support (El Centro’s) programs and mission during these difficult economic times.” The letter goes on to describe potential benefits to the neighborhood including security improvements, access to Link Light Rail and neighborhood businesses, hosting of mobile food vendors, and parking for Festival Street events.

Wow; we'll keep a close watch on this development and keep you posted.

If you want to attend the hearing on this issue and listen or make your voice heard here is the info:
You can give your opinion on the proposed parking lot at a hearing of the City Council’s Committee on the Built Environment on Wednesday, February 23 at 9:30 am in the City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue.

We got word from our friend's at city hall that current permitting would only El Centro to build parking as an intern use and would only be a valid permit until 2012. 

Here are the details on the legislation:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Perfect Valentine’s Day Present for a Transit Dude or Dudet

It is that time of the year again, the isles of your local pharmacy are overstocked with subpar chocolate and sappy Valentine’s Day cards.

Skip the chocolate this year and give the gift of transit oriented music!  TCC is grateful to have the generous support of local Seattle Artist Del Rey (who lives car-free) to bring you and your loved ones the gift of music. Del Rey is giving 100% of the proceeds of the sale of her new transit and bike themed album to TCC.  It’s the best of both worlds; you can give the gift of a meaningful donation to Transportation Choices Coalition and some sweet tunes at the same time!

What more could you ask more? So put down the chocolate bunnies and tacky cards and give the give of music for a cause!

Check out Del Rey’s video of one of her songs about biking around town, listen to the music on her website here, and buy a 45 for Transportation Choices HERE!

Also a big thank you to the Seattle Bike Blog who wrote about this story here 

You can also buy the records in a brick and mortor store at:
Wall of Sound
& at
Dutch Bike Seattle