Oil train safety, and traffic impacts to be discussed in Olympia

The safety of oil trains in the state, as well as their impact on road crossings will be the topic of a meeting in Olympia.

On February 15-16, the State Transportation Commission meeting will feature the initial results from the from the 2017 Voice of Washington State (VOWS) survey.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, and Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. The meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday and at 11 a.m., Thursday.

Wednesday afternoon includes updates on several tolling topics, including an update on SR 520 tolling revenue and traffic management performance. Last year, the commission adopted a 5 percent rate increase to take effect this July 1, and this month’s update will help inform if the planned increase will be sufficient.

Later Wednesday afternoon, state transportation agencies that provide grants to cities, counties, and ports, will share their fiscal and policy priorities for the 2017–19 biennium. The Commission will receive briefings on two topics frequently raised when it meets in local communities: conflicts at road-rail grade crossings and the safety of crude oil rail transport. Joint Transportation Committee staff will share results from its report on road-rail conflicts and Department of Ecology staff will report new data on oil shipments by rail and by pipeline.

Thursday’s briefings will begin with an update on the challenges and successes of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, created 18 months ago by the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma. WSDOT will provide a briefing on its annual corridor capacity report that compares current and past congestion in specific urban corridors around the state. The report found increased congestion on many major corridors throughout the state due to increased population, an improving economy, and lower gas prices, but also noted higher transit ridership. The meeting concludes with discussion of a proposal for a comprehensive evaluation of the Growth Management Act and collaborative development of a road map to the state’s future.

Public comment will be accepted.

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/.


Oil train in Marysville



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