Thursday, February 26, 2009

Transit Oriented Communities moves into House Rules!

Breaking news:
House Bill 1490 has passed out of General Government Appropriations with a 9-5 vote.

Thanks to the leadership of Chair Darneille Transit Oriented Communities moved past the fiscal committee in the House quickly and with strong support. The bill now moves to House Rules on its last step before the floor. As always, we'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Update on 1490

It has been a while since we talked about HB1490, Transit Oriented Communities.

The good news is this bill is still alive and well and moving through the legislative process. There have been some changes to the bill as it came out of committee. The companion bill passed out of the Senate Government Operations Committee last week. The House bill passed out of House Local Government and now is in General Appropriations. There are a large number of people who have signed in on the bill in general appropriations so it has pushed out until later in the day. We are waiting in the committee now until the bill comes up for public hearing, we'll keep you posted as 1490 goes through its last step before entering house rules.

Successful Transportation Advocacy Day!

On Tuesday we had a very successful transportation advocacy day! We had over 100 people attending. I would just like to send a big thank you to all of you who traveled to Olympia to talk to you legislators about our four transportation priorities and to all of the organizations who helped make the day a success.

The four issues we focused when walking to legislators was:

-Long Term solutions for transit funding
-Transit Oriented Communities
-Safety for All users
-Safe Routes to Schools.

Attendees also got to attend the House Transportation Hearing where Safe Routes to Schools and the WSDOT state list for federal stimulus dollars was proposed. All and all it was a good day.

Thanks for coming and helping making an impact in providing for transportation choices for Washingtonians!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Today on the docket: The Alaska Way Viaduct and the Deep Bore Tunnel

The Senate Transportation Committee is packed full of people testifying on Senate Bill 5768, Ed Murray's Alaska Way Viaduct bill which orders the construction of a deep bore tunnel. It is important to note that SB 5768 fulfills the compromise plan the Governor, King County Executive, and the Mayor of Seattle agreed upon last month for the viaduct replacement. That said, this bill does not address the need for increased transit funding to service in the corridor (the original proposal for the transit funding was a 1% MVET tax). TCC believes increased transit service and funding in the corridor is a crucial component to the project and for King Co. Metro as a whole. We will continue to monitor the Alaska Way Viaduct debate and work for sustainable transit funding for the corridor.

If you want to watch the hearing, check it out live on TVW here or on your TV.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pay as you go insurance bill drops in the Senate

Senator Eide has dropped a bill to allow pay-as you go insurance in Washington State.

The Seattle Times covers the story here.

As the Times points out, there are some concerns around privacy for this type of insurance, because companies would have to use electronic devices to track mileage. That said, it is a great idea for reducing vehicles miles traveled on the personal and regional level.

Lets use a low mileage user like me as an example of why this is a good idea. On average I drive my car about 20 miles a week for things like quick trips to the grocery store and an occasional drive for hiking or skiing. 95% of my commuting is done with transit and walking. I pay the same amount for car insurance as somebody who has the same driver profile, but commutes to work every day 40 miles each way in their car. The logic behind this is hard to follow and our current insurance system is a disincentive to drive less. It is as though I am forced to buy an all you can eat buffet, when really all I need is a ala cart menu.

Senate Bill 5708 was dropped on January 29th. We'll continue to track and support this legislation in Olympia and keep you posted.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Forum Today at Noon!

Friday Forum is Today at Noon

Make sure to join us at today’s Friday forum. The topic will be the Alaska Way Viaduct and the plan to build a deep bore tunnel to replace State Highway 99 through downtown Seattle with surface and transit improvements. We will have representatives from King County, WSDOT, and SDOT as our panel and will take questions for discussion as well.

Noon today!
King County Chinook Building: 401 5th Ave., Seattle, WA at (5th and Yesler.)