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Showing posts from June, 2019

Looking abroad to find transportation answers

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International fellow from Turkey spends a month in Seattle learning about sustainable transportationBy Heather DeRosa

For most, a visit to the Seattle area in May brings soaking up limited sunshine and checking out Pike Place Market or the Space Needle. But for Ali Onuralp √únal, his visit was far from what tourists see.

Ali's month-long visit was part of the Professional Fellowship Program, funded by the United States Department of State, administered by the American Councils for International Education. As one of 30 young professionals visiting cities all across the United States, Ali came to our Regional Transit Coordination Division hoping to take many of our sustainable and active transportation plans and best practices home with him to Ankara, Turkey.

Our Regional Transit Coordination Division proved to be a perfect match to host Ali last month. Working with Sound Transit and other local transit agencies in the Central Puget Sound area, the Regional Transit Coordination Divisi…

When it comes to reducing roadside litter, listen to the kids

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Four winners selected in Adopt-A-Highway litter bag art contestBy Barbara LaBoe

With our elementary school litter bag art contest complete, one thing is clear: Our messaging is about to get quite a creative boost!

We asked children in grades 1 to 6 to send us artwork for new Adopt-A-Highway litter bags and we were thrilled to see the great artwork. And, just as exciting, were the creative ways students came up with sharing our litter prevention messages.

Our crews, along with our invaluable Adopt-a-Highway volunteers, clear about 600 tons of trash off of more than 18,000 miles of state roadways every year. Despite that effort, roadside litter remains an ongoing problem and concern. And the easiest way to tackle the problem is to prevent the trash from getting to the roadways in the first place.

So, we asked our state's student artists to lend us a hand in spreading the prevention message. It wasn't an easy decision picking among almost 100 entries, but our judges ultimately sel…

Encouraging pollinator activity at Scatter Creek Rest Area

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National Pollinator Week a great time to check in on progress being madeBy Ann Briggs

A couple years ago, we talked about our integrated vegetation management program as a way of helping pollinators and encouraging a healthier ecosystem around our state highways.

One of the projects we highlighted at that time was our work around the Scatter Creek Rest Area on I-5 north of Centralia. By limiting mowing operations, we let native plants return to form a meadow, providing habitat for native pollinators unique to that ecosystem.

With National Pollinator Week June 17-21, it's a good time to check in on the progress.

In September 2018, we planted 39 species of native plants in three seed mixes, with species overlap among the mixes. Our goal is to evaluate seed mixes and site preparation treatments to determine which mix will establish pollinator-friendly plant cover for use on roadsides and at construction sites.

We had a relatively cold spring in 2019, followed by an unusual warm and dr…

Community forum kicks off planning for a new regional trail

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By Samantha DeMars-Hanson

Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail Route Analysis to plan implementation for the future trail connection

One of our keys to building and maintaining a healthy multimodal transportation system is creating safe infrastructure for everyone regardless of how they choose to get around.

That’s why we’re excited that efforts to develop a regional bicycle and pedestrian trail between Tacoma and Puyallup received a big boost with a Tacoma to Puyallup Regional Trail Route Analysis to assess three options for connecting the two cities. This connection will bridge a major gap in the vision to create a broader Tahoma to Tacoma Regional Trail network.

Want to learn more? Great! We’re co-hosting a public event from 5:30-8 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 at the Pioneer Park Pavilion (330 S. Meridian in Puyallup).

The evening will begin with an informal open house at 5:30 p.m. and will also include a presentation from mayors Kim Roscoe of Fife and John Palmer of Puyallup as well as Secr…

You spoke. We heard. Change is on the way to the SR 520 trail

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By Ben Lennon

We asked, you answered and now change is coming to Seattle's SR 520 Trail across Lake Washington!

You may recall that after some concerns were raised about the steel cover plates on the trail's expansion joints, we installed a prototype plate designed to ease the bumps that some bicycle riders were reporting. We asked if the new plate, designed by our engineers, was an improvement over the previous plates. And, overwhelmingly, the answer was YES!

More than 260 trail users responded to our survey and provided feedback, and 95 percent said the new plates were an improvement.

Late summer installation
We're working with our contractor to replace all of the narrow cover plates on the floating bridge portion of the 520 Trail by late summer. This will require several intermittent trail closures and as we get closer to the replacement work we'll get information out about any disruptions, including on our 520 webpage. We'll do what we can to avoid high-traffic t…