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Josh Brown 
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Region celebrates Highway 99 Tunnel opening

 

Crowd of people at the entrance to the new tunnel
Walkers gathered at the north portal of the tunnel for the historic walk on Saturday.

The region reached an epic transportation milestone today as the new Highway 99 tunnel opened for the first time.  Whew, we made it! Congratulations to everyone who contributed.

Most importantly, this new structure makes a major regional highway safer. The new tunnel is built to withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and includes modern safety features. If you need tips on navigating new entrances and exits, check out information on the WSDOT website.

 

Trend shows fewer people driving alone to work

Between 2010 and 2017, the share of commuters driving alone to work went down, while transit shares went up. Overall, about a third of central Puget Sound residents chose to carpool, use transit, bike or walk to work.

Nationwide, the region has one of the lowest shares of drive-alone commuters. Only four other metro areas (Boston, Washington DC, New York and San Francisco) have a lower share of solo drivers.  Learn more in our latest Puget Sound Trend, including data by county.

Chart: Share of People Driving Alone to Work by Region, 2017

 

Metro Everett regional center plan certified

Kudos to Everett on the city’s newly certified Everett Metro plan! The plan is about creating a vibrant, walkable center with housing, shopping, open space and more. The city is planning for 22,000 more residents in the center and 9,591 new housing units by 2035.

 

Sumner-Pacific Manufacturing Industrial Center approved for full designation

Congratulations to Sumner and Pacific on the full designation of the Sumner-Pacific manufacturing industrial center. The two cities have prepared a subarea plan to support the continued growth of industrial and manufacturing jobs in the area. The plan also supports enhancement of the White River floodplain to reduce flooding impacts and restore natural habitat. 

 

Regional Aviation Baseline Study moving ahead

Kenmore Air seaplane

In January I briefed the Executive Board on the status of PSRC’s Regional Aviation Baseline Study. The FAA-funded study will provide a clear picture of the aviation activities and needs in the region, build on recent airport master planning efforts, and set the stage for future planning.

I’ve been out meeting with airport staff and airport community members. I’m learning a lot, including experiencing my first-ever flight on a Kenmore Airseaplane! 

Thanks to Kenmore Mayor David Baker for introducing us to the folks who run a great company.  Kenmore Air and BC’s Harbour Air are teaming up to provide daily seaplane service (the “nerd bird”) to connect the tech sectors in Seattle and Vancouver. Watch for more when the Premier of British Columbia visits the region this week.

I welcome your feedback on our work at PSRC. You can reach me at jbrown@psrc.org.

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