Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: January 17, 2008
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – Emergency recovery for freight distribution, long-term ferry financing, ferry user opinions and airport capacity in Washington State will be among the topics of discussion when the Washington State Transportation Commission meets next week in Olympia.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m., on both Tuesday, Jan. 22, and Wednesday, Jan. 23, and will be held in the Commission Board Room of the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Avenue SE, Olympia. Members of the public are welcome to attend and have an opportunity to address Commission members during a public comment period at 4:30 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Barb Ivanov, director of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Freight Systems Division, will present to the Commission the results of a study conducted by the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics on a freight resiliency plan for Washington. Freight resiliency refers to the ability of the freight distribution system to recover after a disruption in the transportation system, for example, after an earthquake or during a closure of a major freight corridor, such as Interstate 5 in December. Commissioners will discuss the findings of the study and ways the state can improve communications and recovery planning with the freight industry.
The Commission will discuss the status of its study of long-term financing for Washington State Ferries (WSF). The study includes a review of state laws and regulations on transportation financing and taxing authority at the local, regional and state level; a review of other ferry systems regarding funding sources and financing mechanisms; and explores possible future funding strategies. During the Tuesday afternoon session, Commissioners will discuss preliminary qualitative results of the ferry customer survey being conducted over the next year. Next week’s report will center on input gathered during nine focus groups the Commission and its consultant recently hosted throughout a number of ferry served communities. The Commission will deliver a final report on the ferry user survey and on the long-term financing study to the legislature and Governor in December 2008.
During Wednesday’s meeting, staff from WSDOT’s Aviation division will brief the Commission on work of the Aviation Planning Council, a 10-member, Governor appointed advisory board, of which Transportation Commissioner Carol Moser (Benton County) is chairwoman. The council’s key elements of work will be on the statewide long-term air transportation planning study, which will examine current airport capacity at commercial and general aviation facilities and future needs to meet air transportation demands. The briefing will include information about Aviation’s work to develop an airport stormwater management guide, called the “Airport Runoff Manual,” and an update of the “Airports & Compatible Land Use” guidelines.
The Commission will adjourn their Wednesday meeting at 11 a.m. and travel to Vancouver, WA, for a 2 p.m. briefing on the Columbia River Crossing project. This joint project, led by the Oregon and Washington departments of transportation, is studying bridge, transit and highway improvements in a process to identify the best combination of options for relieving congestion. The briefing will be held at WSDOT’s SW Region Headquarters, 11018 NE 51st Circle, Conference Room 102, Vancouver, and is open to the public.