Pierce County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. That’s why getting transportation right is so important — to our economy, our community and everybody who’s trying to get to work or school each morning.
Yet it’s easy to get transportation wrong. That’s why we need some straight talk on two big issues: the transportation challenge in this state and the car-tab controversy with Sound Transit.
When it comes to transportation, the biggest myth is that we can simply build more highways. We already are putting massive sums into improving and expanding our highway system. In 2015, lawmakers approved a transportation package funded by 12-cent gas tax.
There’s just no way to add enough lanes to handle population growth. Highways are the most expensive option for taxpayers, and it’s physically impossible to add more lanes at key chokepoints in the Tacoma, Seattle and Everett areas.
Only a balanced approach — highways, ferries, mass transit and other options — will make your daily commute better.
I’m happy to report that Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a transportation budget this year that makes progress on all those fronts. That budget includes more than $8 billion in the next two years to help people get where they need to go and move goods to market.
We now have funding to improve our highways and finish critical local projects:
▪ Extending carpool lanes on I-5 to the Tacoma Mall.
▪ Advancing funding to purchase property for construction of state Route 167.
▪ Connecting bus rapid transit from…