Vehicle miles traveled growing at slower pace than population and employment
 
Total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the central Puget Sound region saw a slight uptick of half a percent in 2017, but daily miles per person decreased 1.5 percent. The modest increase in total VMT is happening in a time of robust job and population growth in the region. Between 2010-2017, total VMT increased by 5 percent, half as fast as population, while transit boardings increased 19 percent.  
Statewide, total VMT saw a slight decrease after years of fairly strong growth.
VISION 2040 Awards honor exceptional projects and programs
 
I had the pleasure of presenting three more VISION 2040 awards in the past few weeks. Congratulations to everyone involved in these innovative efforts that are advancing the region's plans for growth, transportation and economic development. Outstanding work!
Marion West in Seattle's University District
The Marion West development in Seattle's U District provides housing and job training for formerly homeless young adults, workforce housing for people making 40 to 60 percent of the area median income, and a food bank that is growing fresh produce on the roof.
 
At the awards event we heard more about the remarkable person Marion West. Her grandson James Bible shared some of the family's stories and their role in social justice and civil rights activism in Seattle.

Marion West was a white woman who married an African American man, Ray West, after they met as students at the University of Washington in the late 1940s. They ultimately bought an old fraternity building near the UW where they offered housing for African American UW students who had difficulty finding housing in the area. They endured years of harassment for doing so, including a cross burning in their front yard in 1958. I highly recommend watching this interview of Marion West to hear her recollections of this time.

Partners in the Marion West project are the Low Income Housing Institute, University District Food Bank, YouthCare, Runberg Architecture Group, BNBuilders, Susan Black and Associates, the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and the City of Seattle.

  Kitsap Transit
I also presented two awards to the Kitsap Transit Board, for t he
Passenger Only Ferry Program and the North Viking Transit Center and Base.
 
The agency has worked hard to develop multi-county, passenger-only fast ferry service, overcoming some technical hardships and achieving an excellent performance record and growing ridership on the Bremerton to Seattle route. Plans are to begin service to Kingston and Southworth in the near future.
 
The North Viking Transit Center and Base include innovative sustainability features and provide 265 park and ride stalls and charging stations, an ADA accessible environment, and a seamless transfer spot for North Kitsap routes.
 
Learning about Sultan's redevelopment plans
Thank you to Sultan Mayor John Seehuus and new City Administrator Will Ibershof for showing me around town last week. It was great to learn more about the city's plans, which include redeveloping its historic Main Street. 
 
Nearly 1,000 new homes are planned in the city, which will be a significant boost to its population of 5,050.   The city is also building a new pedestrian bridge at River Park over the Sultan River with the help of $2.5 million in federal funds via PSRC. We're glad to be a partner in this effort.  

I welcome your feedback on our work at PSRC. You can reach me at jbrown@psrc.org .


Executive Director
Puget Sound Regional Council
September 7, 2018