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Policy Committees take up Sound Transit 3; Next Meeting August 11

Posted By Chris Johnson, Friday, July 22, 2016

The Chamber’s Sharp Executive Boardroom was filled to capacity on July 12 for a joint Transportation and Public Policy Committee meeting regarding ST3 – the proposal adopted by the Sound Transit Board and placed on the November ballot.

Sound Transit staff member Luke Lamon provided a complete inventory of projects and proposed expenditures for East King County, with special emphasis on Bus Rapid Transit, which is posted below.

Now we’ve invited Sound Transit staff back to address the revenue side of the package – and to answer our questions about budget projections for East King County.

Please join us on Thursday, August 11, 12 Noon at the Chamber office, for what promises to be an informative discussion.

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Tags:  Sound Transit  ST3 

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Chamber Weighs-In on Sound Transit 3

Posted By Chris Johnson, Monday, May 16, 2016

The formal comment period on the ST3 Draft Plan ended on April 29 and the Bellevue Chamber has provided direct feedback. During the month of May, Sound Transit will review all comments, prior to likely adoption of ST3 ballot measure in June.

The Chamber Transportation Committee has been busy scrutinizing the draft plan, with a particular emphasis on those investments proposed for East King County. The comment letter adopted by the Chamber Board reflects Committee input, as well as a survey sent out to Chamber leadership.

As in the past, the Chamber’s top transit priority is to support implementation of Bus Rapid Transit in the I-405 corridor and construction of adequate park and ride capacity to support the system. Similarly, the Chamber sees extension of East Link light rail from Overlake to DT Redmond as a potential “early win” for East King taxpayers.

Please take a look at our current letter, as well as the draft plan map and project list. We'll have a pro-con discussion on the final ST3 plan in July or August. 

 

 

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Tags:  Bus Rapid Transit  East Link Light Rail  I-405  Sound Transit  ST3 

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Bellevue Chamber & Eastside Chambers Advocacy Pays Off: the Business Community Rejoices!

Posted By Lincoln Vander Veen, Monday, June 29, 2015

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and the East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition advocated persistently over the past two plus years for a statewide transportation package anchored by an increase in the gas tax. The Eastside needs investments in I-405, SR-520, and I-90, among many other important projects and maintenance and operations needs. The wait for a badly needed transportation package was frustrating for Bellevue and the Eastside and, fortunately, appears to be over.

A final package has not yet been officially voted on, nor has it been published, but the details are generally well understood. A gas tax increase of fewer than twelve cents phased in over a four year period anchors the package. That increase will help fund vital congestion-relieving, capacity-adding projects like $1.3 billion to upgrade I-405, $1.5 billion to complete the SR-520 overhaul, and a variety of other big ticket items, like congestion relief on I-5, I-90, SR-509, and SR-167. 

Additionally, the transportation package will provide authority for local governments to raise transportation revenue. The most notable authority will be given to Sound Transit, a regional transit authority with taxing authority in Snohomish, King, and Pierce County. The package will give Sound Transit the authority to ask the voters for $15 billion in funding for Sound Transit 3 (ST3), a ballot measure for voters coming in November of 2016. ST3 would build more light rail service and expand regional bus service, a plan Sound Transit considers critical for a fast-growing and densifying Puget Sound populace.

As the precise details of the transportation package are revealed over the coming days, it is important to remember that Eastside chambers pushed legislators toward this goal by sending repeated emails and calls, hosting events, and publicly testifying countless times to the importance of upgrading our transportation infrastructure and providing relief to commuters and freight-haulers. The public investments outlined in this transportation package are long overdue and will help propel our economy forward.

Tags:  East King County Chambers of Commerce Legislative  Sound Transit 

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