Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The results came back with three top priorities: transportation, education, and mental health care. In the coming weeks, I will be sending detailed updates of my work at the Legislature on each of these issues.
Anyone who has gotten stuck in traffic can tell you, it affects your quality of life. For 80 percent of those responding to the survey, reducing traffic congestion was the number one legislative priority for the 2017 session. Because of your response, this week's email update is focused on transportation solutions.
Roadway improvements for US 2, State Route 9, and SR 522
Although efforts to improve US 2 are in the early stages of planning, the technical work has begun. Along with technical consultants, staff from Snohomish County, Lake Stevens, Everett, Marysville, Monroe, Community Transit, Federal Highway Administration, and the Washington State Department of Transportation are all helping. This is a huge community effort.
The goal is to improve both access and safety. One of the areas of focus is on the east end of US 2, where the trestle, SR 204 and 20th street, converge for traffic heading westbound towards I-5. Another previously completed study on US 2 is for the Everett Port Naval Station to the SR corridor. They are also looking at the long term replacement phasing for the trestle. This includes a plan design to replace the trestle in 3-phases.
State Route 9 is another important roadway for people who live and work in our region. The widening of SR 9 from 176th Street SE to SR 96 has begun. Other projects, like the intersection improvements on SR 204 and Francis Road, are also ramping up.
The SR 522 corridor sketch includes a full project design to improve this roadway. The objective is to replace the existing traffic signal and create better transition points between nearby county roads and SR 522. Improvement goals include alleviating bottlenecks, increasing safety, and reducing traffic congestion.
Transportation solutions I'm sponsoring this session
- The Eastside Corridor Congestion Relief Act would put a stop to the I-5 express toll lanes. House Bill 1030 would repeal the I-405 express toll lanes operation. One lane of traffic moving in each direction would be designated as a high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV). Any remaining funds from the tolls would be used to construct new lanes on I-405.
- No more late toll bills. House Bill 1405 would require all toll charges, penalties, and fines be billed within six months from the date of service.
- No more express lane toll charges for patients with serious medical issues. House Bill 1269 would create an exemption from express lane toll payments for drivers with severe medical conditions
traveling to and from medical appointments on I-5.
- The Sound Transit Board should be accountable to the people. House Bill 1029 would require the board to be elected. The bill would create a board of 19 elected members representing 19 districts throughout King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.
- Vehicle owners of cars not being driven on public roads could get a “break” on their registration fees. House Bill 1272 would allow them to apply for a vehicle registration hiatus if their vehicle is not being driven on public roads.
- House Bill 1271 would reduce the fine for failing to display your Discover Pass. Instead of $99, it would be equal to the $30 sales price of the pass.
- If you were ineligible to vote for Sound Transit 3, you shouldn't have to pay the tax. House Bill 1770 would help homemakers with property only partially in the district. Property owners were told they must pay the tax even if they were ineligible to vote in the $54 billion transit expansion system measure. In the next few days I will be introducing follow-up legislation with further protections for people in this situation.
Click here, or on the picture above, to watch my legislative video update on transportation.
The Parker and Quincy Memorial Pathway
Many people walk to and from work, school, and bus stops along the Bothell-Everett Highway, SR 527. In two separate incidents last year, two young men were hit by cars, and died, while walking on this highway. Parker Lang, 18 years, was hit by a car while walking home from work. Quincy Tigner, 22 years, died after being struck by a car along the same stretch of roadway. In addition, numerous close calls have been reported. New safety measures need to be put in.
I've requested funding be added to the 2017 transportation budget for additional safety features for this stretch of highway. These features would include installing sidewalks and a crosswalk. The sidewalks would run from the Seattle Hill Road intersection, to just before the 180th Street SE intersection, PER Business Park. The crosswalk would be installed near Seattle Hill Road.
Visitors to the Capitol
It is always great to have visitors at the Capitol. Recently, the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics “Sonic Squirrels” team from Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish came to see me in Olympia.As always, my door is always open. Please feel free to contact me with any comments, questions or concerns. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my office phone is (360) 786-7892.
Thank you for the honor of serving you in Olympia.