Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: December 12, 2008
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – Safety on rural highways, Tacoma Narrows Bridge tolls, a survey on tolling, and plans to improve the health of Puget Sound will be among the topics of discussion when the Washington State Transportation Commission meets next week in Olympia.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 16 and 17. Both days’ sessions will begin at 9 a.m. at the Transportation Building, Commission Boardroom, 310 Maple Park Avenue SE, in Olympia. Commission meetings are open to the public and persons wishing to address the Commission may do so during the public comment periods scheduled for Tuesday at 4:45 p.m., and Wednesday at 4 p.m.
On Tuesday, a panel representing state agencies that are working to enhance traffic safety on rural roads will update commissioners on their agency’s activities. Included are the Washington State Patrol, Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The panel will include a briefing on Target Zero, a partnership plan with communities to identify traffic safety needs and to guide investment decisions in order to reduce traffic fatalities and disabling injuries.
Also on Tuesday, the Commission will hear the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Citizen Advisory Committee’s (CAC) recommendation for bridge tolls. In early December, the CAC agreed on a recommendation to retain the current $2.75 toll for Good To Go! customers and a $4 toll for cash payers through June 30, 2010. The Commission will consider the CAC’s recommendation as it determines whether a toll adjustment is needed to meet the state’s financial obligations. If the Commission decides to propose a toll increase, it will conduct public outreach efforts this spring.
During Wednesday’s meeting, the Commission will be briefed by WSDOT staff on the results of a survey conducted to determine public views of tolling on SR 520 and I-90. The results will be helpful in determining future tolls on these corridors should the 2009 Legislature authorize tolling on one or both of these corridors. Tolls would be used to help pay for the replacement of the SR 520 Bridge, estimated to cost between $4.526 and $6.672 billion.
David Dicks, executive director for Puget Sound Partnership, will present the Partnership’s Action Agenda for restoring the health of Puget Sound. The Action Agenda prioritizes cleanup and improvement projects, and coordinates federal, state, local, tribal and private resources. It aims to protect the waters of the Sound, restore damaged and polluted sites, stop pollution at its source, and coordinate these efforts. Untreated stormwater runoff from roads and other impervious surfaces has been identified as a significant source of pollution for streams, rivers and the Puget Sound.