transportation

Snow Report: Bad For Drivers, Good For Skiers

Dec 23, 2015
Crews repair one of three roadway washouts at milepost 154 over White Pass on Dec. 16. The pass has since reopened.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Mx0Nx1

David Hyde speaks the recent snow onslaught in the Cascades with National Weather Service meteorologist Ted Beuhner and Adam McKenney, owner of Leavenworth Mountain Sports.

Gas prices are under $2 a gallon across much of the country. That's because crude oil has plummeted to the lowest price in nearly a decade.

The average U.S. household has saved an estimated $700 this year because of lower gas prices. And drivers can expect more savings in 2016.

Recently, Sharlene Brown was filling up her minivan at a Philadelphia gas station. When prices are down, Brown says, she drives more.

"It changes where I go, who I pick up because a lot of times I pick up and do errands for the church," she says.

Heavy rains in the lowlands and heavy snow in the mountains are making holiday travel tricky.

car keys
Flickr Photo/walknboston (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1O4LD7v

Seattleite Else Driflot kind of knew when it was time to give up her keys. Her eyesight had declined and she was having trouble seeing. It made sense to give up her keys, but that doesn't mean she liked it. 

"It was totally miserable. You know, because I lived alone, I had a good car, I loved my car. So it was hard," Driflot said.

In some ways, Driflot was lucky because giving up driving was a pretty cut-and-dried decision. That's not the case for many seniors and that can lead to some tough conversations.

KUOW's Bill Radke spoke with Laura Fraade-Blanar, a graduate student at the University of Washington studying the link between aging and crash risks, about when and how to have those tough conversations. 

Washington’s White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 near Mount Rainier is still closed both eastbound and westbound. Crews are still working 24/7 to open the high Cascade pass by Christmas, but winter storms might slow that work down.

Scott Bonjukian

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Scott Bonjukian about his proposal before the Seattle City Council to build a lid over the downtown Interstate 5 corridor to create a new central park for the city.

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

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to become the first city in the nation to allow Uber, Lyft and other for-hire drivers to unionize.

Councilmember Mike O'Brien said the vote was consistent with other recent protection for local workers, like the $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave.

U.S. Highway 12 at White Pass is still closed to all but local residents both east and west. The state’s Department of Transportation is working to clear three rockslides and one washout. But there is still no estimate for reopening the highway.

Oregon's political and business leaders agree on the need to pass a state-funded transportation spending package. But they don't agree on how soon it should be approved.

Oregon Signs On To Sell Only Emission-Free Vehicles By 2050

Dec 14, 2015

Oregon — along with a group of five countries and seven states — used the Paris climate change conference to set lofty new emission goals.

The International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance announced the goal of having all new cars sold within its jurisdiction be emission-free by 2050.

That jurisdiction includes Oregon and seven other states, as well as Quebec, Canada; Germany; the Netherlands; Norway and the United Kingdom.

Dave Nordberg, with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, called it an aspirational goal, but not outside the realm of possibility.

Bill Radke speaks with Dawn Gearhart and Paul Guppy about whether or not for-hire drivers should be allowed to unionize in Seattle. If the Seattle City Council votes to approve legislation allowing unionization, Seattle would be the first city in the country to take this step. 

Gearhart is a union representative from Teamsters 117. Guppy is the vice president for research at the Washington Policy Center. 

Lisa Herbold at the former Linda Manor Apartments in West Seattle’s Gatewood neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Bill Radke talks to new Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who represents West Seattle and South Park, about her top three priorities for Seattle. 

The federal government announced Friday that it would send $1 million each to Washington and Oregon for fast road repairs after heavy storms this week. Both Washington and 13 counties in Oregon are under emergency declarations.

Earlier this fall, I-405 was reduced to two lanes in order to allow crews to complete final striping for the new express toll lanes. After opening, they're still causing consternation for some drivers.
Flickr Photo/WDOT (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1TFOTpT

The price of the new Interstate 405 toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood hit an all-time high Thursday at $10 a trip.

The lane opened in September, for carpools or people willing to pay to use it. And it has angered some drivers.

Washington state transportation officials have crews out assessing the damage to White Pass on U.S. Highway 12 near Mt. Rainier Thursday. There’s no estimate yet of when the high pass will reopen after heavy rains tore the roadway out in several places and caused rockslides.

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