Transportation

Transportation
4:34 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Local leaders to state: Let us tax ourselves for transportation

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joins area business, labor and elected leaders to push for "local options" for funding roads and transit.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Local leaders from across King County want to tax themselves to pay for bus service, ferries, roads and bridges, but even local measures would need approval from the state.

The coalition, which includes the mayor of Seattle and more than 40 other cities, want to be able to tack on fees to car tab renewals and vehicle transfers, among others. That requires approval from state legislators.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said local governments should be free to invest in their own infrastructure.

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transportation
6:04 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

WSDOT admits big mistakes on 520 pontoons

Additional work on the 520 bridge pontoons could cost tens of millions of dollars extra and push back the new bridge's opening by six months, after an expert review panel found design flaws that must be fixed.
Bellamy Pailthorp photo KPLU News

Big mistakes were made by the State Department of Transportation in its construction of the pontoons that will hold up the new 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

The agency says it is making repairs and design modifications to ensure the bridge will last the full 75 year lifespan promised.

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Transportation tax
10:32 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Should Washington motorists pay by the miles to drive?

Traffic along I-5 in the area of Joint Base Lewis-McChord often looks like this, and is getting worse a the base's population booms.
Oran Viriyincy Flickr

Washington state transportation officials are exploring whether to charge drivers by the mile to use state highway and roads.

A steering committee of transportation experts recently concluded it's feasible to move the state away from gasoline taxes to a "pay as you go" road fee system.

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Other News
10:11 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Mudslides continue to plague rail traffic north of Seattle

"With the steep slopes on one side and water on the other, we know that debris is going to roll downhill," says BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas of the rail corridor between Seattle and Everett. "And unfortunately, we're caught at the bottom with the shovel."
Zargoman photo Flickr

Mudslides continue to shut down train tracks, and halt passenger rail traffic north of Seattle.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says tracks between Seattle and Everett have been shut down for passenger trains 95 percent of the time since Thanksgiving. 

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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

San Fran’s popular Sidecar is the latest ridesharing app for Seattle

Online apps that track riders' whereabouts make this scene safer. Sidecar is the latest such service in Seattle.
sivinjski danijel flickr

Did you get stuck in traffic during the Thanksgiving weekend? Or: worry about your kids getting dicey rides home from holiday parties?

Those are two reasons you might be interested in a relatively new,
alternative form of transportation: ridesharing.

It's really just a new spin on hitchhiking. Only, when you add in cell phones with an app to download, it’s quicker and more convenient to find the right ride.

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Transportation
10:44 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Seattle's free-ride zone is ending; 'funeral' is set for Friday

Members of the Transit Riders Union shown earlier this month. The group has been protesting the elimination of the ride-free area.
Jake Ellison KPLU

A cultural shift is taking place in Seattle. It’s the elimination of a free-ride zone downtown, for bus riders.

It’s been in place for four decades. And on Friday (Sept. 28) it will go away. 

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Transportation woes
4:02 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Computer troubles freeze United Airlines' system, bringing a cascade of delays

Two United Airlines planes sit at a terminal at San Francisco International Airport Friday. The airport briefly refused to accept any domestic arrivals Tuesday, after a computer crash disrupted United's system.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 12:51 pm

Many travelers using United Airlines faced delays Tuesday, but they weren't connected to Hurricane Isaac. Instead, the airline's computer network crashed, leaving large parts of its system paralyzed Tuesday afternoon.

First noted around 2:15 p.m. EDT, the problems persisted until about 6:30 p.m. EDT, when the airline tweeted that it is "in the process of resuming operations and rebooking customers."

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Transportation
8:43 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Seattle traffic choke point at Mercer changing this weekend

A major Seattle traffic choke point is poised to make a dramatic change this weekend. But officials don't expect the soon-to-be two-way Mercer Street will improve the afternoon commute out of downtown.

As of Monday, Mercer Street will carry two-way traffic for the first time since 1968. But The Seattle Times (http://is.gd/hfCJgX ) reports much more work remains to be done in the neighborhood.

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Transportation
9:37 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Fallen tree blocks highway at Lake Forest Park 

LAKE FOREST PARK, Wash. — The state Transportation Department says crews hope to reopen Highway 522 at Lake Forest Park late Thursday morning.

Workers are removing a large tree that fell across the highway about 3 a.m. and also brought down power lines.

Seattle City Light said more than 4,500 customers in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline lost power.

Highway 522 is a major Seattle commuter route around the north end of Lake Washington. Traffic was detoured to Ballinger Way and NE 145th Street.

transportation woes
1:29 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Smashed windshield a sign of Washington's troubled roadways

The piece of roadway that smashed through this windshield - shown in a screen grab from a video - is bringing to light many of the state's infrastructure woes.

When a chunk of I-5 flew up and smashed through the windshield of a car carrying a family of four, the dangers of Washington's crumbling roadways became all too real.

"The rock hit me so hard in the chest, it literally took my breath away," Henry Jessop, who was in the passenger seat, told KOMO. His son Ian and his daughter were in the back seat, and his wife was behind the wheel.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct
4:21 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Officials break ground on Seattle's deep-bore tunnel

The excavator that will dig a hole for the world's largest-diameter tunnel boring machine
Ashley Gross KPLU

The long goodbye to Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct has begun.

With some ceremonial scoops of dirt, officials today began digging a pit for the giant machine that will chew up the earth under Seattle like a massive termite creating the deep-bore tunnel.

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Transportation
10:07 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Early report: U.S. highway deaths fall to lowest number since 1949

Skid marks left by a van are visible on a highway after a van plunged over both the concrete and iron railing, killing three generations of a Bronx family, in New York.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 9:59 am

If a preliminary report holds true, the number of road deaths fell again in 2011. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 32,310 people died on highways last year, down almost 2 percent from the 32,885 people who died in 2010.

The Detroit News reports:

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Mountain passes
9:09 am
Sun May 6, 2012

State struggles to open some mountain passes due to snow

A spring snowstorm on Cayuse Pass (SR 123) dumped more than a half-foot of snow on the highway. Crews hoped to open the pass on Friday (May 4), but with snow predicted through the weekend, they've had to push it back.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Fresh snow in the mountains has slightly delayed the reopening of one high mountain pass in the Washington Cascades. Highway crews are on track to reopen two other scenic cross state routes before Memorial Day.

What's slowing them down? The snowpack is deeper than average for this time of year in Washington, north Idaho and the northern Oregon Cascades.

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Transportation
11:03 am
Mon April 16, 2012

TSA PreCheck coming to Sea-Tac's north checkpoint

The Transportation Security Administration says it will be using Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's north security checkpoint for its new expedited screening program.

TSA is testing its new PreCheck system at 28 airports this year.

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Transportation
11:48 am
Thu March 22, 2012

520 bridge toll will hit $4.35 in 2016

The peak toll on the Highway 520 floating bridge that began at $3.50 at the end of last year will rise to $4.35 in 2016 after a series of scheduled increases.

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