Because being there is what's most important, WPC's Center for Transportation researches and analyzes the best practices for relieving traffic congestion by recapturing a vision of a system based on freedom of movement.

Transportation Blog

New car tab fee and higher sales tax likely on special April ballot

February 24, 2014 in Blog

Today, the King County Council moved towards putting new taxes on the ballot. On April 22, 2014, King County voters may vote on a costly plan to impose a $60 annual car tab fee and a .1% sales tax increase on drivers and consumers. Both of the new taxes would sunset after 10 years.  According to Crosscut, King County has nearly 2 weeks to get the measure on the ballot. However, if state lawmakers approve of new local taxes for transit, the King County Council would meet to discuss eliminating both taxes.

A comparison of House and Senate transportation tax proposals

February 21, 2014 in Blog

The Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) in the Senate recently unveiled a new transportation proposal that would spend $12.4 billion on roads, ferries, and other modes of transportation over the next 12 years.  This is in addition to the $8.7 billion per biennium the state currently spends on these public services.

The proposal would impose an 11.5-cents per gallon gas tax hike (a 30% increase in the current state tax), higher yearly car tab fees, new taxes on trucks, higher car registration fees, and other new fees on drivers.

House bill seeks to modernize taxicab and rideshare regulations, benefit consumers

February 7, 2014 in Blog

House Bill 2782, introduced by Representatives Tarleton (D-36th) and Habib (D-48th) yesterday, would direct the Joint Transportation Committee to study the taxi, limousine, and rideshare industry and make recommendations regarding a state regulatory framework. The study would do the following:

Long-standing WPC recommendation to add congestion relief as a goal gets public hearing

February 1, 2014 in Blog

Congestion relief is not a goal when public officials decide to build roads, but that may soon change. House Bill 2123 would re-establish congestion relief as a transportation policy goal, creating an official relationship between spending and relieving traffic congestion.

Washington currently has six transportation goals. They are:

House Bill 2563 would increase transit tax authority

January 23, 2014 in Blog

HB 2563 was introduced by Representative Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34th) and referred the House Transportation Committee this week. This bill would give city, county, or transportation district officials the ability to impose the following tax increases:

Two simple ways to fix the SR-520 cost-overrun mess

January 13, 2014 in Blog

Washington Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson recently admitted the SR-520 Bridge Project she manages is $420 million over budget. Cost overruns have already consumed the $250 million contingency fund, and Secretary Peterson says she needs $170 million more to keep the project afloat. Peterson said “the good news” is she wants to get the $170 million from increased borrowing and by taking money from road improvements in other communities.

That’s pretty far from good news.

2014 session kicks off with bill that would streamline bridge repair and replacements

January 13, 2014 in Blog

Tomorrow, January 14, 2014, HB 2071 will have a public hearing in the House Transportation Committee work session. HB 2071 would streamline permitting and contracting to repair or replace structurally deficient bridges in the state. The bill is based off of the great work the Washington State Department of Transportation did when the Skagit River Bridge collapsed last year. Streamlined permitting allowed state officials to build and install a replacement span in just four months.

Sound Transit officials carefully select information for children's train exhibit

January 9, 2014 in Blog

Two years ago, WPC’s Center for Transportation found that Sound Transit officials planned to groom kids as young as five years old to favor, and someday vote for, buses and trains. Sound Transit officials had sought contracts with consultants that had “relevant experience in the K-12 education environment to assist…in shaping an initiative to support and encourage educators to incorporate transit-related topics in student learning.”

Climate Policy in Washington: Comparing the Republican and Democratic Proposals

January 8, 2014 in Blog

After months of study and discussion, the Republicans and Democrats of the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup (CLEW) in Olympia released two different draft proposals designed to cut Washington's carbon emissions.

The two approaches are quite different but both claim to meet a standard of environmental effectiveness. For example, the proposal offered by Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-Orcas Island) and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) claims:

2013 Solutions Summit Transportation Video

January 6, 2014 in Blog

The Center for Transportation's Solution Summit Pasco session has been posted online.

The Transportation session featured Dr. Ron Utt, former Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and Senator Doug Ericksen (R-42nd).