transportation | KUOW News and Information

transportation

You may brag about your ability to multitask, but lawmakers in the Pacific Northwest insist you don’t do it behind the wheel. The Washington Legislature passed a pair of bills this week that would increase penalties for dangerous driving habits.

Lawmakers in Salem and Olympia are debating measures intended to crack down on distracted driving.

Some drivers in the Puget Sound region are experiencing sticker shock over their car tab renewals. That’s because of the formula Sound Transit uses to assess vehicle values as it implements a new tax for light rail expansion.

King County Metro bus
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC BY-NC-ND)

Transit officials in King County have heard your rush hour complaints: Buses are often late or they’re jam-packed.

Riders will get some relief later this month, when Metro puts more buses on the road. It's an overhaul that will affect about a third of Metro's system, 80 routes in total.

FLICKR PHOTO/LUKE MCGUFF (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7b6Etm

The so-called "missing link" in the Burke-Gilman trail is a step closer to being finished. Seattle officials say they've reached a new agreement with businesses in Ballard that have long opposed the project, in a dispute that has spanned more than two decades.

FLICKR PHOTO/HEATHER (CC BY 2.0)/HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/3HVNXD

As bad as the traffic was on Monday, the propane truck rollover on I-5 could have been catastrophic.

Tanker trucks are basically giant movable bombs. So says Mark Hallenbeck, director of the Washington State Transportation Center, a think tank at the University of Washington.

Roads in a large swath of central and eastern Washington and Oregon have been devastated by melting snow and heavy rain. The flood of potholes and washouts has stalled heavy trucks carrying wheat, cattle and equipment.

Steve Hinton has a pretty unusual mindset when it comes to his job.

“I try to think like a fish,” he says.

That’s a crucial part of Hinton’s job as the director of habitat restoration for the Swinomish Tribal Community and the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe. He spends a lot of his time trying to figure out how salmon will respond to obstacles in their way as they return from the Puget Sound, up the Skagit River, into little creeks and streams to spawn. One of the problems they encounter are road culverts.

The 520 bridge under construction.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Drive over the 520 or I-90 floating bridges often? Both have made a new list of bridges that are structurally deficient. It doesn't necessarily mean the bridges are unsafe for travel, but that they need some attention.


In the world of electric cars, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: More people might buy electric vehicles, or EVs, if they were confident there would always be a charger nearby. And businesses might install more chargers if there were more EVs on the road.

Drivers and professional lobbyists for the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft are urging state lawmakers to replace what they call a "patchwork" of city regulations with uniform statewide rules for their industry. They testified in Olympia Wednesday that this would expand the availability of the smartphone-based ride-booking services.

Lawmakers in Olympia heard a set of bills Monday, that would enhance regulations around oil transportation by rail, water, and pipeline.

A joint House and Senate panel of the Oregon Legislature is getting down to work this month on crafting a massive transportation funding package.

File photo of Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Downtown Seattle streets are getting congested. This month the city will roll out its plan to redesign downtown’s roads to ease traffic. Part of that includes examining where Uber and Lyft fit in.


In the second large consumer settlement related to its diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen says it will pay around $1.2 billion to help people who bought its vehicles with the larger 3.0-liter diesel engine. The plan includes a buyback as well as a repair program.

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