The Puget Sound region has seen some of the most dynamic growth in the country over the last twenty years. Leaders and citizens alike are constantly focused on how to enjoy this growth while lessening its undesirable effects. Traffic cuts into valuable time spent with our families or at work, and it is a blemish on the business environment of the Puget Sound.
Congress’ role in alleviating traffic and improving transportation is to support local efforts and provide as much funding as possible to local projects. Along with my colleagues in the Washington State delegation, I'm pleased we've been able to provide support for state and local priorities, such as easing rail-road congestion throughout the region, expansion of local Park & Rides, increased opportunities for mass transit and public transportation, and road and highway improvements. Much more needs to be done, however, and I am eager to work with state and local leaders to chart a course that will improve transportation for all Washingtonians.
The large size and growth of Joint Base Lewis-McChord has led to increased vehicle traffic near the base and has made passage through the area extremely difficult. As a local resident and frequent traveler on I-5, I understand the frustrations of fighting traffic around the base and elsewhere in our region.
I have supported initiatives such as the Cross-Base Highway, the Inter-base connector, the SR 509 connector and the SR 167 extension to help route traffic off of I-5 and provide some relief. Access and egress points in this corridor need to be improved or redesigned to gain maximum efficiencies, and to that end, my office and I will continue to be as helpful as we can to improve this situation.
In the long term, it is important that we reauthorize the surface transportation programs to reflect the evolving needs of our transportation infrastructure. I have long been a supporter for greater investment in infrastructure that promotes economic growth and have introduced legislation that would help to specifically target enhancements to our nation’s freight transportation system in a fiscally sustainable manner. However, it is also important that the investments we make are fiscally responsible and do not add to our nation’s debt. I am committed to ensuring that we make necessary and sensible infrastructure investments in transportation and other economically important sectors in a responsible way.
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