Smooth holiday travel requires planning, patience
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT
- Hits: 214
Help make your travels less stressful by leaving early and using WSDOT tools to prepare and stay up-to-date
OLYMPIA – No matter what your holiday plans, being prepared for winter conditions and holiday traffic will help make your trip smoother. The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to “know before you go” and plan ahead for smoother travel.
Three-day Christmas weekends are rare – the last one on a Monday was in 2006 – but traffic analysts have used historical data to produce travel time charts predicting this year’s heaviest travel times. One note: WSDOT traffic analysts warn that winter weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for snow and ice no matter where you travel and know that a sudden snowstorm can affect the travel time projections.
The agency provides several other tools to help plan holiday travels:
- Check out online tools, including mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts.
- Visit our online traveler information about traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
- Follow WSDOT’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Pre-program 530 AM and 1610 AM to vehicle radios for highway advisory radio alerts.
- Carry chains and other winter driving essentials.
- Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website or by calling 5-1-1, and watch for highway advisory signs.
- Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel, slow down and drive appropriately for conditions. Often crashes or pass closures are due to drivers going too fast or traveling without proper equipment.
In the mountains, State Route 123 Cayuse Pass (elevation 4,675 feet), State Route 20 North Cascades Highway (elevation 5,477 feet) and Chinook Pass (elevation 5,430 feet) are closed for the winter.
On Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), you can receive text alerts for pass delays 30 minutes or longer – text “wsdot snoqualmie” to 468311 to subscribe, and “wsdot stop” to unsubscribe.
In the Puget Sound, the State Route 520 bridge will have weekend toll rates on Monday, Dec. 25. Travel is free on the Interstate 405 express toll lanes on Christmas day, returning to normal toll and HOV requirements from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 26. I-405 express toll lanes are always free on weekends and evenings. Out-of-town travelers can learn about toll roads and short-term account options on the Good to Go! visitors page. If renting a vehicle, check with the rental agency about their tolls policy and fees.
Other travel alternatives
Travelers planning a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus also should make plans to avoid holiday delays:
- Please plan ahead for heavy holiday ferry traffic and consider purchasing tickets online to save time. The longest lines are expected westbound Friday afternoon and evening, Dec. 22, and eastbound throughout the day Monday, Dec. 25, and Tuesday, Dec. 26. Reservations are recommended on the San Juan and Port Townsend/Coupeville routes. Some ferry routes run on Saturday schedules on the holiday, check the Washington State Ferries website or call 888-808-7977 for details.
- Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations and trains fill up quickly during holidays, though two new daily roundtrips between Seattle and Portland starting Dec. 18 will offer travelers more options. Visit amtrakcascades.com/ or call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
- For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/airports/Amenities.htm or call 800-552-0666.
- Check with your local public transit agency for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays
Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce hires Rose Olcott
- Written by Olivia Plew, LCCC
- Hits: 215
The Chamber of Commerce recently announced that Rose Olcott of Chelan has been named Membership & PR Coordinator. Rose will attend to Lake Chelan Chamber Member coordination and public relations.
“We are extremely excited to have Rose join our Chamber team,” said Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Steele. “Her skills, knowledge of the region and her commitment to our Valley make her an ideal fit for our organization.”
Born and raised in the Lake Chelan Valley, Rose graduated from Manson High School. After receiving an English degree from University of West Florida, Rose became the Editor for the Methow Grist, and has worked with Cevado Technologies as a Marketing Creative and Project Manager for the last two years.
Rose brings years of management, coordination and PR and marketing experience to the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce.
Manson Parks Special Board Meeting 12-19-17
- Written by Robin Pittman
- Hits: 261
Special Board Meeting
142 Pedoi St., Bumgarner Building, December 19, 2017, 4:10pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Approval of Minutes
a. November 16, 2017 Special Meeting minutes
IV. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
V. Old Business
a. 2018 Budget
b. Levy Election
c. Director’s Report
VI. New Business
a. Thank You to outgoing Commissioners
b. Oath of Office for incoming Commissioners
c. Chelan Jet Boat Rides
Next Regular Meeting: January 11, 2018 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street Manson, WA 98831
Bridgeport car thief rams patrol car
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
- Hits: 246
On 12/10/17 at 1:56 AM, a Douglas County Deputy on routine patrol spotted a vehicle driving recklessly on Tacoma St. and 21st in Bridgeport.
The Deputy turned on his emergency lights and siren, but the car sped away. The car ran six stop signs as the Deputy pursued. The suspect vehicle drove into the PUD parking lot. When the Deputy pulled in behind vehicle, the driver put the car in reverse and rammed the patrol car. The pursuit continued.
The suspect vehicle had a flat tire and eventually was forced off the road. She resisted arrest. The vehicle was found to be stolen from Bridgeport on 12/08/17.
The female driver, 24 year old Yvon Lopez-Flores of Bridgeport, was arrested for a possession of a stolen vehicle, felony eluding, and DUI. There was a passenger, 20 year old Christopher Rodriguez of Bridgeport, who was arrested for a DOC warrant.
The criminals were booked into the Okanogan County Jail without further incident. There were no injuries.
Transportation Commission to review I-405 Express Toll Lanes performance and begin work on SR 99 toll rates at Dec.12-13 meeting
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
- Hits: 557
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Transportation Commission is reviewing several tolling items during meetings Dec. 12 and 13. Topics include a two-year review of the I-405 Express Toll Lanes, initial consideration of traffic and revenue analysis for the State Route 99 tunnel under Seattle and options to maintain current toll rates on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
The meetings start at 9a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. These meetings are open to the public. Those wishing to speak to the commission can during public comment periods after key agenda items during the meetings.
On Dec. 12, the Washington State Department of Transportation Toll Division will present initial traffic and toll revenue projections for the tunnel replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct portion of SR 99. The Washington State Legislature has directed that tolls raise $200 million toward project construction costs over time. Although the commission will not adopt toll rates until fall 2018, the data will be used to determine how toll rates will vary by time of day to manage congestion on the facility and impacts on surface streets.
Two additional toll facilities are also on the agenda Dec. 12. at 1 p.m., WSDOT will report on the performance of the I-405 Express Toll Lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood, which have been in operation for two full years. The briefing will include data regarding use of the I-405 Express Toll Lanes, changes in corridor congestion, net revenue collected and results of a survey of public reaction and attitudes. Officials from two of the transit agencies using the lanes will report on their travel times and ridership before and after ETL implementation.
The Tuesday, Dec. 12 meeting concludes with an update on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge financial plan, followed by a report from a work group the commission led to assess options for providing long-term toll payer relief for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The work group recommendations will be delivered to the legislature in January 2018.
During the Dec. 13 meeting, the commission will hear a progress report on planning for the Road Usage Charge Pilot Project prior to launch early in 2018. A road usage charge (RUC) is a per-mile charge drivers would pay for the use of the roads. It is under consideration as a potential replacement for the gas tax drivers now pay on a gallon of gasoline. A RUC may provide a more sustainable funding source for transportation infrastructure, in light of growing fuel efficiency of new vehicles, which consume less gas. The pilot project will engage 2,000 volunteers from across the state to test the concept and shape how it might work.
The Dec. 13 meeting agenda also includes a report from WSDOT on the work it is doing to prepare for connected and autonomous vehicles in the state.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/.
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