McKenna on KIRO: Toll lanes and ST3

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the debate over I-405 toll lane performance measures, as well as the valuation method used by Sound Transit to tax car values. On 405, some believe the law requires that the express toll lane project be shut down because one performance measure – that the average speed […]

Coming soon? Gas tax info, right at the pump

Paying taxes has been pretty low on people’s “fun” list for some time now, and paying them these days can give you a headache. Just ask the last-minute filers scrambling to finish their income tax returns this week. They re-learned an annual lesson: our federal tax system is immensely complicated. Giving over your hard-earned dollars […]

McKenna on KIRO: Bertha emerges, but what about cost overruns?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about who will be on the hook for the Bertha tunnel boring machine’s cost overruns. Bertha completed its long journey this week, starting a new phase in the viaduct replacement project. Rob McKenna: “Keeping in mind, this is the biggest earth-pressure balance machine – or closed-face boring machine – […]

McKenna on KIRO: Driverless cars in the near future

KIRO 97.3’s Dave Ross talked with Rob about Google’s ambitions to build and sell driverless cars. Ross reported that the NHTSA “said this week that, for purposes of the regulations, Google’s software can be considered as the ‘driver’ of the car.” Ross: “Wouldn’t that be sort of like flypaper for personal injury lawyers, considering that […]

Dumbest option is letting county road system fail

King County’s road system, all 1,486 miles of it, is in crisis. The system’s annual maintenance needs are about $350 million, but the current funding mechanisms only bring in about $90 million. That’s a huge gap, and every year the backlog of needed repairs and maintenance is growing. We’re talking about a roads system that […]

An honest study on transpo increases reveals a big problem

From time to time, we all need to take a step back and evaluate the picture. That’s true of our personal lives, but it’s just as true of government and its efforts, too. That’s why a new report from former state Transportation secretary Doug MacDonald is so valuable. MacDonald started with a seemingly simple question: […]

Telling the truth is more than not lying

Trust is a fleeting thing. It takes a long time to build it, but it can be wiped away in an instant. That’s why it’s perplexing that Gov. Jay Inslee is considering instituting a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) by executive order. This was a major point of contention during negotiations this year over the new state transportation package. In […]

State transportation plan balances reforms, investments

The Legislature has passed the first new transportation funding package in a decade. Credit is due to Senate Transportation Committee Chair Curtis King (R-Yakima) and ranking member Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), House Transportation Committee Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) and ranking member Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) and other legislative leaders for being at the table for […]

Legislators need to monitor WSDOT closely for taxpayers

One of the best pieces of news to come out of the just-concluded legislative session was passage of a new transportation package. On SGW we called it “the right package at the right time,” and it’s quite an accomplishment. It comes after a drawn-out, sometimes contentious debate that began in earnest in 2013. The package […]

2015 session: Took too long, pretty good results, one huge issue remains

At the end of the day – 176 days, actually – Washington’s legislature ended up having a pretty solid and productive session this year. May we never see its like again. From a policy perspective, we’d be fortunate to have many more years like this one. From a governance perspective? Not so much. The issues […]