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Category: Transportation

June
26th

Transportation taxes go down to rare failure on House floor

The number of “yes” votes on the House voting screen ticked upward, then hovered at 49 for a long and dramatic few seconds — but couldn’t get to 50 and the majority needed to pass.

And with that, a transportation revenue package whose centerpiece is a 10.5 cent gas tax increase fell short, a rare defeat on the House floor, where vote counts usually keep doomed proposals from even showing up.

Backers of road projects, mass transit and ferries had taken a leap of faith only to fall short.

One of the supporters, Rep. Marko Liias,

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June
10th

Tacoma: Broadnax warns city “will pursue legal action” against vigilante crosswalk painters

Last month, we wrote about a rogue crosswalk that someone painted at a confusing intersection in the Theater District, shortly after some local business owners had complained to city officials about pedestrian safety on St. Helens Avenue.

Then last week, at least four new unauthorized crosswalks appeared — including three at the intersection of Tacoma Avenue and Division Street and one across 6th Avenue from Wright Park.

Shortly after the vigilante street markings appeared, city officials told The News Tribune they were aware of them.  On Wednesday, Interim Public Works

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May
24th

Transportation leaders not sure bridge collapse necessitates more maintenance money

A truck hit a bridge, causing it to fall into a river.

That’s all there was to Thursday’s bridge collapse on Interstate 5 in Skagit County, said state Sen. Curtis King, the Republican co-chair of the state Senate transportation committee.

Describing the bridge failure as “an accident,” King said that it doesn’t mean that there needs to be a knee-jerk reaction in the Legislature to pour more money into bridge maintenance. That’s a separate issue, he said.

“Believe me, if we had two of these bridges that went down on their own without some kind of an incident happening, we’d be

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May
21st

Washington roads, transit earn D+ from engineers

Engineers give Washington state a grade of D-plus for the condition of its roads and another D-plus for its mass transit.

Those are the lowest grades in a report card released today that give Washington infrastructure an overall mediocre grade of C. It’s the first attempt by the Seattle section of the American Society of Civil Engineers to grade the state, and engineers told reporters today the grades try to capture the direction the state is moving as well as the current state of infrastructure.

Washington measures up better than the nation as a whole, which received a D-plus in a

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May
1st

Tacoma: Council adopts TBD spending plan, city identifies street repairs to be funded by new vehicle license fees

Tacoma’s City Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a $4 million spending plan for the city’s newly created Transportation Benefit District, with the bulk of the money to be spent on local street repairs.

As part of the TBD budget — to be funded by revenues generated from the city’s soon-to-be imposed $20 vehicle license fee —  city officials provided a tentative list of $3.6 million worth of local roadway improvements.

(The streets to repaired under the program can be found here, though a few projects may change, officials said.)

The remaining money in the spending plan will go toward repairing

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May
1st

Pierce Transit wins grant to increase service to downtown Tacoma

Pierce Transit has won a $1.1 million state grant to increase bus service on the Pacific Avenue corridor between Parkland and downtown Tacoma.

The money will enable Pierce Transit to restore bus service every 15 minutes during peak hours from the Parkland Transit Center to downtown Tacoma over the next two years, starting in September. Service during peak hours is currently every 20 minutes. The change will add about 3,700 service hours back into Pierce Transit’s system.

The regional mobility grant is part of the 2013-15 Washington State Transportation Budget.

The change will boost service on Route 1, which runs

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April
30th

Tacoma: City Council formally chooses downtown-to-Hilltop route for extending Tacoma Link

In the end, Tacoma’s City Council formally selected the same downtown-to-Hilltop route for its preferred choice to extend the city’s Link light rail system that it tentatively picked last week.

But the council’s action Tuesday hardly resembled an exercise in rubber-stamping. 

It came only after heart-felt testimony offered by about 20 Tacoma residents and a failed amendment at compromise floated by East Side Councilman Marty Campbell.

“This is the one resolution that unites us, it doesn’t divide us,” Campbell said in proposing the measure. “It doesn’t pit communities against each other.”

The amendment, which

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April
30th

UPDATED Tacoma Link: As City Council prepares to vote on Link extension route, stakeholders’ group recommends hybrid route; Campbell set to float alternative proposal

UPDATE 7:45 p.m.

The City Council chose a downtown-to-Hilltop route as its preferred choice for extending Tacoma Link.

The council’s choice came after a failed amendment by Councilman Marty Campbell that sought support for a hybrid route that would have included the Hilltop extension plus an additional stub extension along Portland Avenue.

After the amendment failed, 5 to 4,  the council voted 8 to 1 in favor of the so-called E1 route — a 2.3 mile corridor connecting downtown to MLK via Stadium Way.  The council’s recommendation will be sent to the Sound Transit board, which is expected to make

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