Public input will be part of process for PSRC’s Transportation 2040 update

In preparation for an update to “Transportation 2040,” the upcoming transportation master plan for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is looking for feedback and opinions on current issues and future direction from citizens.

The council has begun updating its Transportation 2040 plan, detailing the direction and funding of transportation improvements across four Puget Sound counties through the year 2040. The process is scheduled to last from this summer to next spring and will incorporate updated research and public feedback.

Rob Olson, PSRC director of government relations and communications, said the organization was looking at ways to collect as much feedback from the public as it could.

“One of the things we learned is people want to take surveys on transportation right now, it’s a still a hot topic,” he said “We are trying a whole bunch of certain things, we have direct meetings, we went to events to try to get input from all kinds of different people.”

The organization recently completed a survey with questions targeting those with special needs and underserved populations such as seniors or people who speak English as a second language, but did not receive much response from people in those populations and are reworking their methods to find more success.

The Transportation 2040 draft plan is expected to be released in December for a 45-day public comment period. Olson said a large-scale public survey would begin during the public comment period.

Policy makers will use the data collected through surveys, public comment, and further research, to update the plan.

The data collected by the PSRC allows policy makers to learn how respondents in different cities and counties feel about the issues. Obviously there are local projects or issues that people may highlight, but there is usually a common thread between most of the responses, Olson said.

“We are a four-county planning organization, we can show how different parts of the region feel about different types of policy questions,” he said. “There is some regional variation, people in Kitsap are more worried about ferry service, people in East King County are interested in HOV policies… there is some uniformity, everyone wants access to better transit service.”

The big local issue for Snoqualmie on the plan, Olson said, was the I-90 and S.R. 18 interchange project, which was recently moved up on the state schedule by seven years.

“Regional agreement on priority, connecting cities with light rail, completing our roadway system, and making improvements in key places within the Snoqualmie area for instance, there are some projects that people are looking forward to with the I-90 and 18 interchange, those things will be embraced by the plan,” he said.

Olson said that in addition to transportation projects in the region, the plan must detail methods of funding, plans for all forms of transportation, how they will meet air quality goals, performance measures, include the latest population and employment forecasts, and more. For more information, visit www.psrc.org/our-work/transportation-2040.

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