Editorial — Legislature needs to reach transportation consensus

May 27, 2015

State legislators are closer than they’ve been in years to reaching a deal to fix the state’s aging transportation infrastructure. They must not get bogged down by ideology and let slip this opportunity to create jobs and make roads safer.

The Senate already passed a package, including a gas-tax increase, with bipartisan support. Last month, the House Transportation Committee passed two key Senate bills, ESSB 5987 and ESSB 5988. Negotiations are under way to reconcile differences between the Senate and the House’s Democratic leadership.

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Westbound Interstate 90 traffic detoured April 17-20

April 17, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. April 17, 2015

Beginning at 11 p.m. April 17, the crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit will reroute all westbound lanes of Interstate 90 to the express lanes between Bellevue Way Southeast and Rainier Avenue South until 5 a.m. April 20.

That will allow contractor crews to continue upgrades to the operations and safety systems in the westbound Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels.

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Guest Column — Transportation: We must act now

March 25, 2015

This region is truly world class — from our breathtaking environment to our vibrant communities. But the “world class” label bestowed upon us in a newspaper column last fall — “Hey, we’re world class! For truly terrible traffic” — must serve as a wake-up call for action.

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler

That headline came after the Washington State Department of Transportation released its 2014 “Congestion Report,” showing us that the gridlock and brake-tapping we’ve been stewing in for years is now significantly worse.

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State transportation package could ease local highway woes

March 10, 2015

A transportation package passed by the state Senate would allocate $15.1 billion for road projects statewide, including three major projects directly affecting Issaquah and Sammamish.

The area could see roadwork totaling $126 million on portions of Interstate 90. The package passed the Senate on Feb. 27, but still must clear the state House of Representatives.

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Eight-week closure of eastbound I-90 HOV ramp starts Feb. 25

February 24, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 24, 2015

Carpools, vanpools and transit will need to use the mainline exit from eastbound Interstate 90 to Interstate 405 during an eight-week closure of the eastbound I-90 HOV ramp to I-405.

The closure begins at 10 p.m. Feb. 25.

The closure will provide contractor crews from MidMountain Contractors Inc. with the space it needs to realign the HOV ramp. A portion of the work is weather-dependent, and heavy rain or cold temperatures could delay the reopening of the ramp.

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Metro Transit seeks input for long-range plans

February 20, 2015

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 20, 2015

King County Metro wants public input as it launches an intensive long-range planning effort that will help determine what regional transit service will look like in 25 years.

With the region’s population expected to increase by 30 percent over the next two decades, this will be Metro’s most comprehensive planning effort yet.

The planning effort, “We’ll Get You There: Our Vision for the Future of Public Transportation,” launches at the same time Sound Transit lays the groundwork for further expansion of light rail, and local cities and the Puget Sound Regional Council update their own transportation and comprehensive plans.

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Sound Transit unveils trip-planning app

February 10, 2015

Sound Transit recently launched a free, regional smartphone app to help Puget Sound-area commuters plan their transit trips.

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Matt Bott to leave Issaquah Chamber of Commerce

February 3, 2015

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Bott has resigned from the chamber to accept a position with Sound Transit.

Matt Bott

Matt Bott

Bott has been with the chamber for six years. With the transit system, Bott will serve as East King County government and community affairs officer.

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15-day closure of eastbound Interstate 90 ramp to Bellevue Way starts tonight

September 8, 2014

NEW — 6 p.m. Sept. 8, 2014

Beginning at 9 tonight, crews will close the ramp from eastbound Interstate 90 to Bellevue Way around the clock for 15 days to lower the elevation of the ramp.

During the closure, all traffic heading eastbound on I-90 to Bellevue Way will use the HOV ramp.

Drivers should expect minor delays during the closure, particularly the first few days as drivers adjust to moving left and using the Bellevue Way HOV ramp. A detour will also be available via Richards Road and westbound I-90. The ramp is expected to reopen the morning of Sept. 23.

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Issaquah Transit Center pilot program ends with no conclusion

September 2, 2014

Sound Transit’s parking pilot program has ended and officials do not yet know what it could mean for the future.

The Issaquah Transit Center was one of four locations chosen for the parking permit program due to its high number of transit commuters and limited parking availability.

Commuters interested in attaining reserved spaces could apply for either a single-occupancy vehicle pass or a high-occupancy vehicle (more than one person per vehicle) pass. Drivers had access to reserved spaces until 10 a.m. on weekdays, and were allowed to park as long as they wished. If they didn’t park before 10 a.m., the spaces were open to anyone.

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