MEETINGS WITH PIERCE COUNTY
Pierce County has been very receptive to hearing us. We have met with many departments and council members to voice our concerns and recommendations to mitigate the impacts of the new Tehaleh highway. Pierce County Planning and Public Works department has been extremely helpful and receptive to our concerns and ideas. The County is listening and responding and that is good news.
TWO NEW WEBSITE PAGES
We have launched two new pages on our slide menu. One is on the SR162 threat to farming that identifies the threats to valley farming, but also educates you about farming on this corridor and Pierce County's record in protecting it. The second identifies the future roadblocks that will be facing traffic from Orting to SR410/Sumner due to the installation of a major roundabout proposed by WSDOT.
The State of Washington, as with many states, is now facing a fiscal emergency due to the costs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. While spending on transportation projects has been suspended, this is not the time to stop planning for future projects. WSDOT and the state legislature need to raise the priorities of projects that provide the best returns on a limited investment. The SR162 Sumner to Orting transportation corridor fits within that catagory. Widening to add a two-way turn lane and full shoulders falls within the current highway right-of-way, reducing costs of property acquisitions. Now is the time for legislators and county council members to recognize the dramatic needs of this corridor.
The Orting Valley is at high risk of being covered by a Mt. Rainier lahar. When is not the only question, how do we get people evacuated fast enough to save lives is another question. When is anyones guess, but they say it is inevitable. How we save lives needs to be addressed NOW. Restricting the evacuation with a series of roundabouts on SR162 (as planned by WSDOT) is not good planning to save lives. (Also see our take action to stop roundabouts page HERE)
VISIT WITH 2020 LEGISLATORS posted 3/6/2020
Your communications (emails/ letters) again have and continue to let the legislators know we are still here with the same needs. They have slowed down in recent months so we need to increase those numbers again. There are enough of us that a monthy or quarterly effort will increase their impact.
The outcomes of our last visit to the legislators are:
EMAIL/LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
AFrom now until next legislative session, we are urging everyone to continue to send messages to the legislators on two points:
REASONS WE QUESTION WSDOT'S ROUNDABOUT DECISION HERE
Discuss the issues with others
and connect them to us