Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) announced today that he has requested funding for transit and road improvements in the Southcenter Region.

“The Southcenter area has seen enormous growth over the past few years,” Smith said. “It’s important that we fund transit and road improvements to continue fostering economic growth and job creation in the area.”

This first project addresses necessary improvements to Southcenter Parkway, between Tukwila Parkway/61st Avenue S and S 168th Street.  Especially problematic is how traffic from Klickitat Drive and the two off-ramps from northbound I-5 mix with Southcenter Parkway traffic headed south toward Strander Boulevard.  This area is the primary entry/exit point – of only six access points – into this major regional retail and warehousing area that suffers from extreme congestion throughout the day.

The second project involves King County’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) program was created to bring potential riders closer to transit facilities rather than building away from population centers and making people more dependent on roads and automobiles.  The goals of these developments are to increase rider-ship, mixed-use developments, urban center development, increased jobs, and greater affordability of housing.  .

Smith requested funding through the 2005 Transportation, Treasury and Independent Organizations Appropriations bill. It is expected that this bill will be finalized before Congress adjourns this year.