Transportation is Front and Center
Transportation issues are reaching a fever pitch here in the Puget Sound.
- The City of Seattle has the $930 million Move Seattle proposition on the Nov. 3, 2015 Seattle ballot.
- WSDOT opened I-405 with two Managed Express Toll lanes last month with $330 million of gas tax revenue.
- The 2015 Washington State Legislature approved an 11.9 cent gas tax increase for roads with significant reforms in the state statutes relating to transportation in July, 2015 (allocating $1.2 billion for I-405, Bellevue to Renton).
- Construction of East Link from Seattle to Microsoft through Downtown Bellevue using the I-90 Center Roadway and South Bellevue Way will start in 2016, pre-empting the Center Roadway starting in 2017.
- Sound Transit has been authorized by the legislature to ask voters for $15 Billion in additional taxes for Regional Transit (read Light Rail) in November, 2016.
- The U.S. Congress is in the final stages of adopting a five year Surface Transportation Act for the federal role in our transportation system (the federal gas tax is now 18.4 cents per gallon, last increased by President Clinton in 1993).
Now comes the Seattle Time’s event at Kane Hall at the University of Washington, Gridlocked: Driving solutions to our regions traffic jams, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 . This event is sold out, but will be videoed with showing schedule to be determined.
The program will be headlined by four ‘experts’ who have been featured in the Seattle Times this week and are quoted in the link above. Bryan Mistele, CEO of Inrix, the Kirkland based worldwide transportation data collection firm (www.inrix.com) is the one of the group making sense.
Inrix is standing the transportation data collection industry on its head. Here-to-fore we have had to rely on road tubes or vehicle detectors or cameras or other data collection systems that have been labor intensive and static, giving sparse data at few locations. Inrix is collecting billions of data points daily around the world that is real time and dynamic. The company has experts creating algorithms to make real time sense of the data and changing the way we think (the xxx minutes to Seattle, Bellevue, etc. signs you see on our local freeways is Inrix data, purchased by WSDOT for display). And, maybe, the urban planning industry can get some real data for planning purposes.