Weekly Reader

Friday, August 23, 2019

If you have not done so, please complete the CWCOG Economic Vitality Survey – Click here. And then share with your employees, and overall network.

Economic Development
At the national level, “the economy isn’t just adding jobs, its adding good ones.” Click here for the opinion piece from Bloomberg.

Are most people working two or three jobs? Not really according to this story from Forbes.

“Sidewalk Labs is building a smart city entirely of mass timber. What could go wrong? North America is on the cusp of a mass timber revolution, and Sidewalk Labs’ Waterfront Toronto project is leading the way. But the smart material faces major obstacles.” Click here for the story.

Co-Working Spaces Fill Opportunity Zone Developments. Is the national trend an option for the Longview Opportunity Zone? “Developers are working to attract tenants to co-working spaces, in a relationship that they say benefits companies as well as surrounding communities.” Click here for a story from Planetizen and here for the original story from the NYTimes.

WSDOT received notification this week from the Federal Railroad Administration that it was awarded a $37.5 million Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair grant to acquire at least three sets of new passenger rail cars for the Amtrak Cascades service. The new passenger rail cars are expected to be delivered in the mid-2020s. The award of this grant will allow for the replacement of the WSDOT-owned Talgo 6 trainsets, including the two currently in service and the one lost in the derailment. The new modern train equipment that will be acquired through this grant will help improve reliability, comfort and capacity on the Amtrak Cascades system that connects Kelso and 17 other cities between Vancouver, British Columbia and Eugene, Oregon.

British research is reinforcing recent studies from the us that SUV’s are contributing to the increase in pedestrian fatalities. Click here for the story from Forbes.

Oregon now officially has 25,000 registered electric vehicles on its roads, which marks the halfway point to the state’s goal of at least 50,000 registered by the end of 2020. The 50,000 goal was set by Governor Brown in late 2017 in an executive order which detailed a series of responsibilities for state agencies to encourage and support the electrification of Oregon’s transportation system.

Community Development / Other
Beginning in September, the Washington Department of Ecology will provide about $2,250,000 on a competitive basis to install level 2 and direct current (DC) fast charging equipment at government-owned facilities in Washington for workplace charging for employees. Eligible applicants include state, city, and county governments in Washington. This grant funding opportunity will open September 4, 2019 and close November 7, 2019. The maximum amount for an individual grant award is $200,000. The CWCOG is currently developing a model to assist with placement of future charging stations in the five-county RTPO region. Detailed instructions for new and current EAGL users are on the Department of Ecology website. For information call Brett Rude, 360-407-6847 (brett.rude@ecy.wa.gov) or Molly Spiller, 360-407-6060 (molly.spiller@ecy.wa.gov).

Here is a story on trends in park design. “Urban park planning and design needs to deliver a lot of community benefit from a small amount of space.”

Up-coming events and activities

  • Metropolitan Planning Organization directors meeting, August 26 and 27, Spokane
  • Washington Rural Broadband meeting, September 16, Olympia WA
  • Regional Transportation Planning Organization Board meeting. September 18, Lewis County