Transportation Commission Office - PO Box 47308 - Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: February 10, 2010
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Transportation Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting next week in Olympia. The two-day meeting will cover many topics including toll rate setting on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (TNB) and the SR 520 Bridge, an update on the State Highway System Plan, and a report on the state of traffic congestion in 2009 across the nation.
The two-day meeting will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 16-17, at the Transportation Building on the Olympia Capital Campus, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE in Olympia starting at 9 a.m. both days.
From 10:30 until noon, Tuesday, the Commission continues its deliberations on TNB toll rates for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010. At its January meeting, the Commission received toll recommendations from the TNB Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) and heard suggestions for adequate debt coverage from the Washington State Treasurer. At its January meeting, the Commission took a preliminary action to propose that cash tolls increase to $5.00 and that electronic tolls increase to $3.25 and referred that proposal to the CAC. The Commission will receive a report back from Al Weaver, Chairman of the TNB Citizen Advisory Committee. The Commission will continue discussion of debt coverage and schedule public input meetings and a public hearing on the toll rates to be formally proposed at the Commission’s March meeting. On Tuesday afternoon, the Commission will continue its work to develop a toll rate proposal for the SR 520 Bridge.
A highlight on Wednesday is a special report by a national leader in traffic and navigation services on the state of congestion in 2009 across America and how it changed compared to the first half of 2008. The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard Mid-Year 2009 finds that traffic gridlock during peak periods on major roads in urban America, had reached its low point in the second quarter of 2009 and has now started to increase. The Seattle area ranks ninth nationally in congestion, the same ranking as in 2008. Metropolitan Los Angeles ranks first, followed by New York. View the National Traffic Scorecard.
Wednesday’s meeting will begin with a public hearing to consider and act on rules the Commission has proposed regarding route jurisdiction transfers. Under the Route Jurisdiction Transfer Program, the Commission is required to consider and act upon possible additions, deletions, or other changes to the state highway system. Once the review is done, the Commission makes a final finding and forwards its recommendation to the Legislature for final action.
The Commission also will discuss and take action on a process for future naming of state ferries. Additional presentations on Wednesday will feature WSDOT planning and safety activities.