Thursday, November 20, 2008

WSDOT drafting SR 19/20 corridor plan

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is currently running a corridor planning process for State Route (SR) 19 and 20 from SR 104 to the Port Townsend ferry dock.
The process includes an essential stakeholder and public involvement component. There is a Corridor Working Group composed of stakeholders that held its second meeting on November 7. A public open house is scheduled for December 4, 3:30-6:30 PM, at the Chimacum Middle School campus, 91 W. Valley Rd. WSDOT is looking for public comments on a master list of potential improvements along segments of the SR 19/29 corridor. Officials from Jefferson County, the City of Port Townsend, and Jefferson Transit will attend the open house, as well.
For more information on the open house and on the corridor planning process in general, visit the WSDOT SR 19/20 Corridor Plan website.

1 comment:

JeffersonCAN said...

The Transportation Lab has the following general comments about the Plan for SR 19/20.

In 2005, 39% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in Jefferson County came from on-road transportation. The Transportation Lab seeks to find ways of reducing CO2 emissions from on-road transportation by promoting the use of mass transit and ridesharing.

The SR 19/20 corridor accounts for the majority of VMT in East Jefferson County and, thus, is our greatest source of transportation-related CO2 emissions. The two main groups generating VMT on this route are (1) people commuting to and from work and (2) discretionary trips to Silverdale, Bremerton, and Seattle for medical appointments, shopping, events, and SeaTac airport. The commuter group is the easiest to target for reducing VMT with better bus schedules, vanpools, ridesharing, and use of park & ride lots. This would be the best investment the state can make for improving the SR 19/20 corridor.

1. The major recommendation of the Transportation Lab is to amend your vision statement by adding the following phrase at the end:

... with minimum environmental impacts, "and meeting the state-mandated requirement for a 30% reduction in per- capita vehicle miles traveled by 2035."

2. Assumung a 50% increase in population by 2035 and an 30% reduction in VMT per capita , the total increase in VMT by 2035 would be only 5%. This is ten times lower that the Traffic Forecast (from Jefferson County Public Works) of 50-70% by 2031 (for business-as-usual). The VMT reduction scenario should totally change how we spend transportation dollars, directing them largely towards alternative means of transportation and safety improvements.

3. For VMT reduction, the Transportation Lab supports a Smart Trips program for East Jefferson County. We favor education programs promoting the use of buses, vanpools, ridesharing, and park & ride lots for all three activities, as well as walking and biking.

4. The Local Solutions to Global Warming Act (SB 6580), which passed in 2008, identifies reducing global warming as an important aspect of comprehensive planning. Since road construction is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions due to fuel use by heavy equipment and CO2 released in the formation of concrete, it should be planned with caution. For Jefferson County Government in 2005, over half of the CO2 emissions for its vehicle fleet were from heavy equipment used for road building and maintenance.

5. For major intersections in need safety improvements, the Transportation Lab strongly supports roundabouts over traffic signals. Roundabouts have a better safety record, produce a calmer flow of traffic, and generate fewer CO2 emissions than useless idling at stoplights.