November 13, 2013
RAIL ADVOCATES SHOULD PROVIDE PRO-RAIL INPUT
Important organizations in our state, and In one case, Seattle, have been and still are asking for public input on transportation, including rail issues and policies. Five entities want your input. Very important that these groups hear from rail advocates.
1) The Senate Transportation Committee (STC) had a state-wide series of “listening sessions” where members of the public gave short testimony on perceived local transportation needs. Rail advocates were few at these sessions. But STC has established: Senatetranspofeedbackforum.org. This on-line forum did not mention rail as a choice! On questions #5 and #6, politely weigh in on the value of passenger and freight rail to your area and to the state.
2) The House Republican (HR) caucus survey reflected views that again omitted rail as a solution the Washington transportation needs. Opportunities for pro-rail input are found following question #s 3,4,and 7. Some HRs support rail as part of our state’s transportation mix, but those views are absent from this survey. Use link: Houserepublicans.wa.gov/our-solutions/transportation…. As evidence that rail is important to Washingtonians.
3) The Washington State Rail Plan-2013 (Plan) obviously involves rail. The Plan is 168 pages. Tap in: Wsdot.wa.gov/Rail/staterailplan.htm. This is another opportunity for both praise and change/addition to the Plan.
4) The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) survey, while multi-modal, does consider rail. Go with the following link: Voiceofwashingtonsurvey.org. Follow normal on-line survey directions.
5) Seattle Center City Connector Streetcar Survey. This survey asks for detailed choices concerning the technical development of a first Avenue (NOT Waterfront) streetcar for Seattle. Not considered in this survey is putting to practical use the classic George Benson streetcars that proved to be a popular success on the Waterfront. Most rail advocates and the general public have strongly expressed desire to retain these streetcars. A fully retrofitted Benson car will cost $2 million less than a new modern car and would seat 50% more passengers than contemporary vehicles. The link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/centercityconnector.
All Aboard Washington members and all who favor rail being a vital and growing part of our stste’s future transportation should let the above transportation decision-makers know your views.
Lloyd H Flem, Executive director