transportation

Cameras on the Highway 520 bridge take pictures of license plates as vehicles pass to assess tolls.
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat about the latest issues concerning tolling on the 520 bridge. 

Moving from crisis to crisis — for too long that's been America's strategy for dealing with the challenges of an aging transit infrastructure, from roads to bridges to ports. The result is a system that's crumbling and in desperate need of attention, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The massive study both looks at the current state of the country's transportation systems and forecasts the challenges that lie ahead.

Flickr Photo/Pipers Creek

Aging vessels are frequently blamed for problems in Washington’s ferry system. But the latest performance report says new ferries are giving the state plenty of grief.

Washington State Ferries missed its goal of keeping vessel out-of-service time to an average of eight weeks a year in 2014, and young ferries were key players.

In many U.S. cities, a 21-mile round-trip commute can take a long time, but imagine if you had to make the journey on foot. The Detroit Free Press says that's exactly what James Robertson does every workday.

It's not so bad being stuck in traffic when the mountain is out. Mount Rainier traffic
Flickr Photo/Adventures of Pam & Frank (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Interstate 405 is a parking lot for about eight hours on weekdays. 

The state wants to know how much you would pay to dodge that traffic by using new tolled expressways.

That question is the focus of a series of public meetings starting Tuesday night at Bellevue City Hall (info on that and other meetings here).

KUOW’s Joshua McNichols has more.

Gas prices have plummeted, but Washington’s gas tax could soon go up.

Shell Oil wants to build more tracks at its refinery in Anacortes, Washington, to receive oil by rail. At a packed hearing in Skagit County on Thursday, more than 100 people turned up to comment on the proposal.

Shell's refinery in Anacortes is the last of Washington's five oil refineries to apply for permits to receive oil by rail from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota.

It’s long been against the law to text and drive in Washington, but the rules would get much stricter under a proposal introduced Wednesday in the legislature.

The Kalakala on the day she was to be scrapped. The unlucky vessel had shone on Puget Sound waters as a ferry between 1933 to 1967.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It was before dawn on Thursday, and the cold air off the Blair Waterway in Tacoma was damp and penetrating.

Karl Anderson, a mustachioed man in his 70s, stood on his company’s graving dock, waiting for the Kalakala.

A line of Car2Gos in the South Lake Union district of Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, about the expansion of car sharing services like Car2Go in Seattle. The City Council has voted to bump the number of permits for short term rental cars from 500 to 3,000. 

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

In the quest to reduce traffic and create more sustainable communities, rail-centered communities are poised to make a comeback.

All through Bellevue’s Bel-Red corridor, mega developments like the Spring District are concentrating new housing and offices around future light rail stations.

But the idea isn’t new. In fact, it goes back to some of Seattle's oldest suburbs.

At least there's a beautiful sunset to look at when you're stuck in Seattle traffic.
Flickr Photo/HeatherHeatherHeather (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Jim Bak, traffic analyst at INRIX, about Seattle's congestion and how that is impacting our economy.

A survey by the Oregon State Fire Marshal found 81 percent of the state's fire departments don't have the equipment they need to respond to an oil train accident.

In a report to Gov. John Kitzhaber's office, the fire marshal tallied up $2.7 million in "start-up" costs for the additional equipment, personnel and training needed for the state to prepare for a crude oil incident.

The governor's office says it's unclear where that money would come from, but the governor is working with lawmakers to bridge the gap.

Flickr Photo/Washington State Department of Transportation

Marcie Sillman talks to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about the Highway 99 tunnel project and the city's plan to study the safety of the viaduct.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Just because you have health insurance, doesn’t always mean you have a way to get to the doctor.

That explains why public health officials are starting to think of access to mass transit as a public health issue.

Starting in March, they’ll offer low-income people a special bus card that lets them go anywhere in King County for $1.50. That’s a deep discount. It even works on Sound Transit light rail.

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