Washington has been rated by the league of American Bicyclists
as the nation’s No. 1 bicycle-friendly state for the second year in
The Bicycle Friendly State Program recognizes states that
actively support bicycling as a way of addressing climate change,
traffic congestion, obesity and high fuel prices. States are rated
based on their support of bicycling through legislation, policies
and programs, education, places to ride and planning.
I don’t think anybody has officially announced the opening
ceremony yet for Bremerton’s new tunnel, although it doesn’t seem
to be a big secret. Last week Carlos Jara, in a comment on one of
my stories, invited the community for the ribbon-cutting ceremony
on Monday, July 6.
More info out of Kitsap Transit confirms the date and narrows
down the time to about 4 p.m. After the ceremony, the tunnel
will be open to pedestrians for a short time, old cars will parade
through, and then traffic from the 5:30 p.m. ferry from
Seattle, which will arrive at about 6:30 p.m.
Nearly 10 percent more vehicles traveled the state’s highways
this year than in 2008. Whether it was the nice weather, cheaper
gas, or popular concerts and festivals, the sheer volume made
getting anywhere a nightmare, according to the state Department of
Travel was especially tough over Snoqualmie Pass on Friday
afternoon and Monday. On Friday, several minor collisions in the
early afternnoon near the pass led to 17 miles of stop-and-go
traffic through the evening. Drivers coming back Monday faced 22
miles of stop-and-go traffic.
Highway 101 around Hood Canal was also a mess. Thousands of
people who would normally cross the Hood Canal Bridge had to go
around because the bridge is closed for construction. That led to
southbound backups stretching as far as 9 miles from Hoodsport. It
took 60 to 90 minutes to get through that mess.
Other spots where it was really bad were northbound Interstate 5
Monday afternoon and evening from Olympia to Fort Lewis, and
Highway 2 westbound Monday was stop-and-go between Peshastin and
Our old Kitsap Sun pal Chris Kornelis tells a funny
story about this morning’s ferry commute to Seattle, where he’s
now at The Weekly. It got hot on the second deck, in more ways than
Pemco came out with a new character today for its “We’re a Lot
Like You. A Little Different.” campaign. It’s the “4-Way Stop, You
Go. No You Go. No You Go. Guy.” and pokes fun at Washington drivers
who are notorious for being overly polite and letting others
through the intersection out of turn.
The character will be introduced with a story on KING-TV’s
“Evening Magazine” program tonight at 7.
The insurance company even did a poll to find out if drivers
have a good understanding of four-way stop laws. Most of them do,
the poll discovered, making the pollsters wonder what other factors
lead to the behavior.
If you didn’t know, when two cars approach or enter an
intersection at about the same time, the vehicle on the left must
yield to the one on the right. In the poll, 89 percent of
Washington drivers got it right. Ninety-six percent of drivers 55
and older knew the law while 84 percent of those younger than 35
Pemco has about 50 other Northwest profiles featured at www.werealotlikeyou.com.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, for the second time in two weeks, signed a
bill sponsored by Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, that benefits
Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll-payers.
On Tuesday, Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5795 that restricts the use
of tolls to expenses directly related to the financing, operation,
maintenance, management and repairs of the bridge and not to
overhead costs such as staff training, travel and meetings. It
requires the state Department of Transportation to post quarterly
expenditure reports on its Web site.
The move comes two weeks after the governor signed another Kilmer
bill, SB 5556, that ensures that toll violators whose fines are
reduced still pay the portion of their ticket that goes into the
bridge account. Rep. Larry Seaquist worked on getting the bills
passed from the House side.
Ferries director David
Moseley and 15 other state managers received Governor’s Leadership
in Management Awards Tuesday at the governor’s mansion.
He had a lot thrown at him in his first year in the post and
soaked it all up, stayed composed and clear-thinking while being
attacked, and involved the public more in ferry system
Now that I’ve just got done posting about Drive Nice Day on
Thursday, I come across this.
The National Safety Council is estimating that 366 people will
be killed in car crashes and 19,400 injured from 6 p.m. Friday
until the end of Monday. The good news is, that’s down 23
percent from 2007.
Using your seat belt will reduce your risk of injury by 50
percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration. The NSC estimates that 324 lives will be saved this
Memorial Day weekend because people wore seat belts, and that 85
more lives could be saved if everybody wore one.
Back in the day, not many people wore seat belts, even if your
car was new enough to be equipped with them. I didn’t. Then my
roommate and sister-in-law got killed in car crashes within a few
months. Neither was wearing a seat belt. I’ve had mine on ever
Gov. Chris Gregoire has proclaimed Thursday as “Drive Nice Day”
and is challenging Washington drivers to have a collision-free day
on the roads.
Washington agencies will receive $114 million in federal
stimulus money for mass transit projects, according to an
Associated Press story I don’t see anything for Kitsap or ferries,
but I’ll try to find a more complete list if there is one.
Sen. Patty Murray says the grants released Wednesday by the U.S.
Department of Transportation include:
$71 million for 60 hybrid buses for King County;
$22 million for Sound Transit bus and rail projects;
$14 million to buy 22 buses for Snohomish County transit;
$2.7 million to expand the Ben Franklin transit base in
$2.3 million to buy four hybrid buses for Olympia transit;
$1.3 million for the Seattle monorail and south Lake Union