Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Transit Digest - September 21st, 2007

Today, we're debuting a new feature on the Official Blog, similiar to In Brief and Blogworthy. Transit Digest will run weekly on Fridays and cover brief transportation news items from the previous few days. Here's the first edition!

WSA Board of Directors votes to Support Roads and Transit Measure: WSA, the largest statewide association of technology companies and executives in the world, came out this week in support of Roads & Transit. In doing so they recognized that this plan represents our best chance to build transit, improve roads, and get people moving.

Traffic in eighteen cities is apparently worse than Seattle's congestion:
Seattle's rating has improved since 1999 when its congestion ranked second-worst in the nation. Transit use and ridesharing are relatively high here, and recent studies take that into account.

This year's report says Seattle commute times are not deteriorating as quickly as they are in some areas.
Transit works. It reduces congestion and it makes commutes reliable. People all over Puget Sound are clamoring for mass transit service - especially rail.

Sims refuses to adopt stance on Roads & Transit measure: The King County Executive won't take a position despite pressure to do so.
Four years ago, when Sound Transit asked the federal government to approve construction of a Seattle light-rail line, King County Executive Ron Sims was the chairman and public face of the agency.

King County Executive Ron Sims, long an advocate of light rail transit, said Tuesday he'll remain neutral on the $47 billion, three-county road-and-transit ballot measure to be decided by voters Nov. 6.

Sims said he's been "vigorously" approached by both sides in the ballot measure issue for his backing but has decided not to take a side.

"I've always taken this position," Sims said Tuesday evening. "I've told people in political circles I won't support or oppose it. It's a very significant proposal that voters are really going to have to dwell on and think about."
Seattle gets a glimpse of its transit future: The Downtown Seattle Tunnel is reopening for public use after Sound Transit retrofitted it for Link service and made numerous improvements.
The reopening is one of several projects coming soon to better move commuters throughout the region.
  • In the South Lake Union area, a red streetcar arrived by truck Monday afternoon, the first of three to begin service in December.
  • Two Sounder commuter trains will be added Monday between Seattle and Tacoma, and one will be added to Sounder's Everett-to-Seattle line.
  • Link light-rail trains begin service from downtown to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in the second half of 2009. Train tests inside the tunnel will start in October, on nights and weekends, Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray said.
  • And high-occupancy lanes are being added in Everett, Tacoma, and Highway 99 south of the airport and on the Interstate 90 floating bridges.
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