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transportation

Bella Barger and Erik Nelson take light rail to get to their methadone treatment.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Barger and Nelson live in a tent city in the University District. They used to use a lot of drugs. But that changed when they found out Barger was pregnant.

“We made steps to change really fast,” Nelson said. “We’ve come a long way in the last three months.”

Every day, the couple makes their way to a methadone clinic on Capitol Hill. They used to take the bus. Now that the light rail station is open, they take the train. Their trips are paid for with a special monthly transit pass called Hopelink.

A view to the back end of Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine. The steel hooks on both sides of the wall of the tunnel will become part of the foundation that will support the decks and walls of the future roadway, according to the state.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Bertha has stopped again, but this time, it’s on purpose.

The tunnel boring machine rests in an underground concrete vault. Workers are putting the tunnel boring machine through complex tests before it pushes under the Alaskan Way Viaduct. 

Metro's Chris O'Claire says the transit agency will hand out free Orca cards loaded up with free trips to those who haven't tried them yet. Flag down someone dressed like this, especially Monday and Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County Metro bus routes change this weekend. Some of the biggest changes happen in northeast Seattle.

Sound Transit's Capitol Hill Station, prior to opening, 25 January 2016.
Flickr Photo/Don Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Efv737

Light rail ridership has hit all-time highs since two new stations opened in Seattle on Saturday. On the heels of that success, Sound Transit revealed its newest proposal Thursday.

It would expand the light-rail system to 108 miles total — but take decades to get there.

Engineers told state legislatures in 1995 that the Alaskan Way Viaduct would crumble in a major quake. The project to replace the Viaduct is underway but still incomplete.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When a major quake hit San Francisco in 1989, the Cypress Street Viaduct collapsed, killing 42 people.

The next day, Washington state officials saw images of the viaduct. To their horror, it looked almost identical to the Alaskan Way Viaduct on Seattle’s waterfront.

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with Bruce Gray at Sound Transit about the agency's plan to run longer trains during rush hour to meet demand at the new Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium stops.

Pronto bikes on the Seattle waterfront. The City of Seattle voted to buy the nonprofit, even though it wasn't doing well financially.
Flickr Photo/Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about an ethics investigation into Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly's involvement in the Pronto bike-share system. 

An SDOT Crew puts the finishing touches on a bus-only lane on Battery Street in Seattle's Belltown Neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with Janette Sadik-Khan about her new book "Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution." Sadik-Khan was New York City's Transportation Commissioner from 2007 to 2013.

Faces of commuters who passed through University of Washington and Capitol Hill stations Monday morning.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke talks with KUOW's Joshua McNichols about the opening of new light rail stations on Capitol Hill and near the University of Washington. Radke also talks with Zach Shaner, staff reporter for the Seattle Transit Blog.

'Week in Review' panel Jane Hague, Bill Radke, Ijeoma Oluo and C.R. Douglas.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Should you be ticketed for not passing in the left lane? Is the time for NBA fun over? And, are we seeing a campaign blip or a slide into violence?

Bill Radke peacefully discusses the news with former King County Councilmember Jane Hague, writer Ijeoma Oluo and Q-13’s C.R. Douglas.

A photo from the Seattle Fire Department's Twitter feed shows  the side of a bus ripped open after a collision with a duck amphibious vehicle on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, September 24, 2015. .
Seattle Fire Department

Ride the Ducks of Seattle has admitted to more than 460 motor safety violations.

The company also revealed a settlement plan made with the state transportation officials on Thursday. The Utilities and Transportation Commission, proposes a $222,000 fine against the company. That's after a Ride the Ducks vehicle was involved in a crash last year in Seattle that killed five students.

'Jet Kiss,' by Mike Ross at the Capitol Hill light rail station.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Two new light rail stations open Saturday:  Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill.

One of the things riders may notice is the artwork.

Barbara Luecke, Sound Transit’s art director, showed KUOW's Joshua McNichols a sculpture at Capitol Hill Station called "Jet Kiss," by Mike Ross.

seattle traffic interstate 5 I5 transportation
Flickr Photo/Michael B. (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/98FXJS

Bill Radke speaks with Washington State Trooper Chris Webb about the agency's new emphasis on ticketing drivers who won't get out of the left lane on the freeway. 

On Saturday, March 19 light rail stations opened serving Capitol Hill and the University of Washington (pictured).
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

This weekend, Sound Transit stations at Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium open to the public. It’s a big deal, because it extends light rail through two of Seattle’s most heavily populated neighborhoods.

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols got a sneak peak at the stations – and a ride on the train.

Pronto bikes on the Seattle waterfront. The City of Seattle voted to buy the nonprofit, even though it wasn't doing well financially.
Flickr Photo/Tony Webster (CC by 2.0)

Seattle is buying the Pronto bike-sharing program for $1.4 million – even though the program essentially failed in nonprofit hands.

Jan Young on the Cross Kirkland Corridor trail. Young argues that it's cheaper and more effective to put transit on I-405, leaving this trail for non-motorized use in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

All over the region, undeveloped open spaces face enormous pressure. In Kirkland, the pressure for more mass transit is butting up against green space that filled a spiritual need some Kirkland residents didn’t even know they had.

On Monday, Amtrak opens its Cascades trains to cats and dogs between Eugene, Oregon, and Bellingham, Washington. But there are some guidelines.

Pronto Bikes in Seattle's University District
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

UPDATE 3/3/2016 7:05 PM: When the idea was before a City Council committee meeting this week, council members voted verbally, and the committee chairman, Mike O'Brien, misheard one vote and said the final count showed a tie.

Councilmember Debora Juarez was recorded as being against the $1.4 million plan. She actually voted in favor of it but was misheard by O'Brien.

Christie True, who runs the King County parks department,  stands with county executive Dow Constantine before the Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue. A new proposal would put a bike and pedestrian trail atop the historic trestle.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

King County officials rolled out plans Monday for a bike trail that would run from Woodinville to Renton.

The 16-mile trail would replace parts of an abandoned rail line on the Eastside.

Port of Longview Rejects Plan For Refinery, Propane Terminal

Feb 23, 2016

Port of Longview commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to end talks with an energy company that wants to build the first oil refinery on the West Coast in more than 25 years.

If you spend any time on the road, you've no doubt noticed erratic or dangerous driving by people using mobile phones behind the wheel. But ongoing efforts in Idaho and Washington state to tighten the rules on cell phone use while driving are stalling out.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee stands before a wall of traffic monitors at a state transportation management center with Patty Rubstello, WSDOT's Assistant Secretary for Tolling
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

Governor Jay Inslee has a plan to improve traffic on Interstate 405. He says the new toll lanes are helping, but traffic has grown worse between Kirkland and Lynnwood since tolling began. On Tuesday, he laid out his strategy for the corridor.

Lois Harris opened the Vogue Coiffure Beauty Salon on 23rd Avenue in 1966. Road construction there has put her in the worst financial situation she's seen yet.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

Central District business owners will get a chance to tell city officials about the problems on 23rd Avenue on Tuesday. They say a big road project there has scared away their customers. They want a financial bailout, but the city says no.

'Week in Review' panel Ijeoma Oluo, Joni Balter, Bill Radke and Paul Guppy.
KUOW Photo/Bill Radke

The Week in Review panel covered many issues on this week’s show: what this presidential race says about us, Whitman College’s mascot debate and 405 tolls.

But one segment got particularly heated when KUOW’s Bill Radke, Seattle Channel’s Joni Balter, Washington Policy Center economist Paul Guppy and writer Ijeoma Oluo discussed whether Washington state should make it easier to charge a police officer in the use of deadly force.

Sound Transit's Roosevelt Station, under construction in January, 2016.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

An independent consultant says Sound Transit is doing a good job estimating costs as it shapes the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure. But a cost estimate can’t predict everything — future property values, for example, or even more earthly things, such as the cost of a pound of rebar.

A toll area on Interstate 405.
Flickr Photo/SounderBruce (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ruiWYC

Bill Radke talks with Debbie Jaksich, program manager for King County's Communities In Motion program about the benefits of carpooling.

Some people ride the bus to work. Some rent a bus to party on. So-called party buses have been in the news a lot in recent years because of accidents and deaths across the country.

Sound Transit Senior Planner Val Batey on First Avenue in Seattle. Batey says her agency is exploring First Avenue as a possible surface route for trains serving Ballard and West Seattle.
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

This fall, voters will decide whether to extend Sound Transit’s light rail farther, like to Everett and Tacoma. The ballot measure is called Sound Transit 3.

Planners are deciding now where to put the trains that the measure would bring into Seattle because there isn’t enough room in the existing downtown transit tunnel.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took the gloves off Monday and launched a full-throated attack on Senate Republicans for sacking his Secretary of Transportation in a surprise move last Friday afternoon. 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has cancelled a series of regularly scheduled meetings with the Republican leader of the state Senate. The move follows Friday’s surprise vote by Senate Republicans to oust Inslee’s Secretary of Transportation.

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