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SR 99 tunnel performance

KTKO AM1380
Published:2019-04-13 Roads
SR 99 tunnel performance    Print Snohomish Times    
SR 99 tunnel performance

Deaths and serious injuries from crashes on Washington roads and highways have increased since the state last updated its traffic safety planning. How can we do better and what must change? At its meeting next week, the Washington State Transportation Commission will learn what the 2019 update of the Target Zero traffic safety plan proposes to reverse this trend. The commission also will learn about the first two months’ performance of the new State Route 99 tunnel and begin discussing potential changes to fares and policies for Washington State Ferries.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. This meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so at a 4:40 p.m. public comment period.

Tuesday’s meeting begins with a briefing from the Washington State Department of Transportation, City of Seattle and King County Metro on the changes each agency has measured and observed in traffic volumes, traffic patterns and transit usage since the SR 99 tunnel opened in early February. Drivers are making almost 500,000 trips each week now in the new facility and usage is expected to grow.

As part of the commission’s exploration of technology and transportation topics, it will hear a presentation by Teague that looks at the customer experience with technology. Teague is a global design company working with auto manufacturers and suppliers on the customer interface and experience with connected and automated vehicles. Other projects include a concept for autonomous school busing, and interactive windshields.

Commission members will hear about various policy issues under review by Washington State Ferries and Ferry Advisory committees across the system. This review will inform their recommendations to the commission on proposed changes to ferry fares and policies for the next two years. The commission will commence its fare setting process this spring, kicking it off with public input meetings in several ferry-served communities this spring; meeting locations and dates will be announced later this month and will be posted on the commission website. After collecting input, the commission will release its fare proposal in June.

In addition, the commission will receive a briefing from WSDOT on highway preservation work. While the state is meeting its short-term pavement condition goals, most long-term preservation measures are headed in the wrong direction.

Washington Traffic Safety Commission staff will brief the commission on the 2019 update of the Target Zero traffic safety plan soon to be released for public review and comment. The 2019 update includes a new chapter on autonomous vehicles.

The meeting concludes with a presentation on the INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard. Kirkland-based INRIX analyzes congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities, across 38 countries. The latest scorecard ranks metro Seattle sixth worst in the country for congestion.




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