EKCC 2023 Transportation Priorities
The Coalition thanks the legislature for passing the Move Ahead Washington transportation package. Specifically, we thank you for the funding allocated to SR-18 and I-405, two critical connectors in our region. We look forward to continuing this partnership through further improvements.
The East King Chambers Coalition requests the legislature:
ACCELERATE TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGIES
Technology applied to transportation systems can improve and save lives, reduce carbon emissions, and address congestion through greater efficiency. We support legislative and regulatory incentives to public and private partnership investments in transportation electrification for the movement of people and goods.
To advance these priorities, we urge prioritizing the acceleration of electrification through 5G technology. Cooperation by federal agencies, state, and local governments in expediting the permitting of fiber and 5G small cell technologies will enhance economic recovery and enable connected and autonomous vehicles. 5G networks will transform the transportation industry by enabling all road users and transportation infrastructure to communicate with everything else on the road.
PROVIDE FUNDING FOR CRITICAL PROJECTS
Commuters and businesses need additional funding for the following programs to increase mobility for all modes and reduce congestion as an employment barrier. Due to the statewide impact, we request phasing Eastside projects in the near term to keep our region running strong.
Specifically, we support:
- Accelerated completion of I-405 Master Plan capacity projects.
- Completion of key SR 520 interchanges and funding of a 520 Master Plan.
- Further expansion of park and ride operations on the Eastside and beyond.
OPEN EASTLINK ON THE EASTSIDE
Delays in opening rail stations on the Eastside put our region at a competitive disadvantage. As congestion returns to pre-pandemic levels, commuters need an alternative, especially considering the ripple effects of the current housing market. To alleviate transit capacity issues, we encourage you to work with Sound Transit to do what is required to open EastLink as well as 405 and 522 BRT stations for service within the Eastside as soon as practicable.
Rail stations can be community hubs if developed strategically. To encourage activity within and around these stations, Sound Transit should explore revenue opportunities through retail and leasing. By encouraging these types of multi-purpose developments, residents and visitors will be drawn to these areas and more likely to use rail as a central mode of transportation.
APPLY CLIMATE COMMITMENT FUNDING TO CRITICAL PROJECTS
As the shared revenues from gas tax declines, any replacement should be targeted towards transportation purposes. We request Climate Commitment Funding be, in part, dedicated to the completion of projects and programs like those listed above.