Comment period opens for regional program funding

KING COUNTY - The Rural Town Centers and Corridors program is scheduled to receive an additional $2 million from the Puget Sound Regional Council. The funds were announced last week as part of a package of 119 projects slated to receive more than $213 million.

Although the aim of the program is to promote cooperation on rural projects throughout the Puget Sound region, the pilot program for the project has its roots in the Snoqualmie Valley and the allocation of additional funds could see the area receive future projects.

The pilot project saw improvements made from Duvall to Fall City, including roadway and city center transportation improvements.

The Rural Town Centers and Corridors program was created by the Puget Sound Regional Council in the fall of 2002 to find better ways to integrate planning and capital project improvements for rural highways and town centers. The Puget Sound Regional Council is the regional transportation, economic and growth planning agency for the central Puget Sound region. The council serves as a forum for cities, counties, ports, transit agencies, tribes and the state to coordinate regional issues.

Among the projects proposed for the Eastside is the implementation of two-way transit and HOV lanes on Interstate 90, providing a bicycle screen and making necessary safety improvements. Funding for the Totem Lake Transit Hub will be used to construct HOV direct access ramps. The urban overlay project in downtown Bellevue will resurface that area's five main arterials.

A complete list of projects is available online at

Written comments will be accepted until Oct. 7 and will be included in the agenda packet for the Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board meeting on Oct. 14, when it finalizes its recommendation to the executive board. Comments may be made in person at the Transportation Policy Board meeting on Oct. 14, and at the Executive Board meeting on Oct. 28 when the draft plan is scheduled for final approval.

Comments may be submitted at or by mail to Karen Richter, 1011 Western Ave. Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98104.

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