Puget Sound Regional Council wants public comment on Kitsap transportation projects
By JEFF RHODES
Port Orchard Independent Editor
July 15, 2010 · Updated 2:17 PM
The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is seeking public comment on two sets of transportation projects recommended for funding, and the projects up for consideration include one in South Kitsap as well as a countywide transit study.
PSRC’s Transportation Policy Board has recommended two projects for its contingency list, including $200,000 for a shoulder-widening pro-ject in Manchester.
In addition, public comment is being solicited on projects recommended to receive $2.6 million in new or redistributed Federal Transit Administration funds. Among those is a $100,000 grant for Kitsap Transit’s High-Capacity Planning Integration Study of Land Use and Transit.
The Manchester grant would fund design and construction for 1,700 feet of shoulder widening and drainage work.
The Kitsap Transit grant, meanwhile, would pay for further study of a plan unveiled in November by which Kitsap County would promote economic development and manage its growth by improving its transportation connections both with Seattle and within the county by utilizing ferries, buses and HOV lanes.
“It’s all about accommodating the population without destroying the quality (of life) we have now,” Kitsap Transit Executive Director Dick Hayes said at the time.
He explained that the long-range plan was created as a response to the PSRC’s Vision 2040, which predicts the county will have as many as 150,000 more people in 30 years.
Detailed information about both projects is available online at psrc.org.
PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth and transportation planning in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.
The council is composed of more than 80 county, city, port, transit, tribal and state agencies throughout the region.
It coordinates the distribution of about $160 million in Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration funds each year.
PSRC sets priorities and decides how to target those funds to support state and local transportation and growth management plans.
As such, the organization and its goals aren’t universally admired.
“In my view,” Port Orchard Mayor Lary Coppola recently blogged, “Kitsap County has no business even belonging to PSRC. We have very little in common with the needs — and thinking — of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Membership also gives PSRC — which allocates the federal transportation money we receive — way too much control over our local land use and transportation planning, and other decisions.”
PSRC advocates “a closely coordinated set of policies that will lead to growth directed to high-density development in urban centers and mass transit as the primary mode of moving people, requiring huge public subsidies,” added Port Orchard resident Karl Duff, former president of the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners.
“Why should residents of Kitsap County expect to benefit from policies of a governing board we don’t know and didn’t elect rather than our own elected representatives?” he asked.
The public comment period runs from now through Sept. 23.
Written comments received by Sept. 2 will be included in PSRC’s agenda packet for the Transportation Policy Board meeting on Sept. 9, when the association is expected to finalize the recommendation it will make to its Executive Board.
Comments can be made in person at the Transportation Policy Board meeting, as well as the Executive Board meeting on Sept. 23, when the funding is scheduled for final approval.
They can also be mailed to Puget Sound Regional Council, ATTN: Kelly McGourty, 1011 Western Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle, Washington 98104-1035.
Or they can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Kelly McGourty at (206) 971-3601 or email@example.com.