New initiative opens some low-speed state roadways to healthy uses
- Written by Barb Chamberlain, Department of Transportation
Temporary lane reallocations provide opportunity for physical distancing and economic recovery
OLYMPIA – With the arrival of summer and more counties relaxing restrictions under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan, the Washington state departments of Health, Commerce and Transportation have joined together to provide more access to public roadways in support of active, healthy communities and business recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This virus has hit people and businesses hard, and we need creative solutions to mitigate the virus while also resuming necessary economic activity. In most cities, a quarter of all its land is taken up by streets,” Inslee said. “I applaud the agencies’ work to ensure this land has flexible uses that can improve health and safety, and jumpstart the economy.”
The Safe, Healthy and Active Streets Program allows temporary lane reallocations on some state roadways to allow walkers and cyclists more space to maintain physical distance, and to provide greater access to businesses along “main street” highways. This temporary change to some traffic lanes could let towns increase space for people walking or biking, or create outdoor seating for restaurants and sales areas for retailers, while maintaining physical distance to help reduce exposure to the virus.
“Active transportation, like walking and biking, supports physical, mental and emotional health,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “Providing this extra public space encourages people and families to get outdoors and participate in more physical activities, which is especially important today to help cope with the stress of COVID-19.”
“Opening up portions of roadways will help retailers, restaurants and other businesses adapt to new operating requirements by giving customers greater access at their locations,” said Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “These steps strengthen communities and let people experience their main street and downtown commercial neighborhoods in new ways.”
“A number of communities across the state have already approached us about opening parking areas or lanes in their city’s commercial district for increased open space and business access,” said Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “We’re pleased to collaborate with them to find safe solutions that work for all users of the roadway.”
The Washington State Department of Transportation will work with requesting cities and counties to evaluate roadway segments that meet criteria for lane reallocation that is safe for all users. Eligible state highway locations will be on roadways with 35 mph speed limits or lower and within population centers with demonstrated lack of space for physical distancing for walking, bicycling or other forms of active transportation. The duration of temporary lane reallocations will be for up to 90 days, but could vary depending on the agreement with each city.
WSDOT asks interested local jurisdictions to ensure that they’ve communicated with the people and businesses affected by the changes and that they report on how the roadway changes work. Towns could use this reallocation to test and learn from changes they might want to consider implementing in the future.
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 7-9-20
- Written by Robin Pittman
Regular Board Meeting
July 9, 2020, 4:15pm
Phone-in meeting: 1-425-436-6260
Access code: 8182416
I. Call to Order
II. Additions and deletions
III. Public comment
IV. Approval of Minutes
a. June 11, 2020 regular meeting minutes
V. Financial Review
a. Review monthly financial report
b. Review and approve monthly voucher
VI. Old Business
a. No wake buoys
b. RCO grant update
c. Leffler Field committee
d. COVID-19 updates
Next regular meeting is August 13, 2020 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831, unless otherwise posted.
Leadership Team Conference Call 7-2-20
- Written by Mark R. Donnell, Fire Chief, CCFD
Rich Magnussen, Chelan-Douglas Regional EOC: PPE levels at sufficient levels requiring larger storage facility. N-95 masks are still difficult to obtain.
Joyous Van Meter, Chelan-Douglas Health District: Positive cases up with 26 new cases in Chelan County as of yesterday, July 1st. Barry Kling has retired as Administrator. Prevalence study will begin next week with invitations sent out to community members. Starting waste water testing that may identify positive case increases before actual testing does. Started masking surveys in Wenatchee/East Wenatchee (June 23rd 36-43% participation, with increase to 75%). Continuing to work with agricultural businesses regarding infection control for worker groups. Preliminary positive numbers are increasing, hospitalizations trending up but lag behind case counts.
Kari Grover-Wier, USFS: No new cases within work groups. Expect higher recreational use of parks and facilities this weekend, fire crews will be on duty this weekend. Working with Health Dept on testing of employees when they return from assignments.
Debbie Conwell, Manson Chamber of Commerce: Have set up free mask distribution for community members, setting up social distancing/parking for July 4th Fireworks show. Discussed air show and various events/activities for 4th of July weekend.
Jim Colbert, Chelan Fruit: Passed peak of cherry harvest (60%), no positive cases since early May with higher level of acceptance from workers.
Wade Farris, City of Chelan: RV park is open and full, self-contained RVs only, no tents. Mayor continues to push for wearing of masks. More outdoor seating in downtown area. Barricades
Chief Mark Donnell, CF&R (Chelan): All personnel are healthy, PPE levels are at adequate levels.
Updates from Members not Present:
Conference Call ended at 1332
COVID-19 effects on transportation the focus of Transportation Commission meeting, July 7
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC Executive Director
OLYMPIA – The June transportation revenue forecast, reflecting the impacts of COVID-19 on state transportation revenues, will be one of the topics at a July 7 meeting of the Washington State Transportation Commission. The meeting will also kick off a year-long series of discussions on the future of transportation post-COVID-19, with the goal of identifying potential challenges and opportunities for change in the areas of transportation policy, planning, and investments in Washington state.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted using GoToWebinar. People interested in attending can find participation instructions and a link to register on the commission website.
The commission will hear an overview of the June 2020 Washington State Transportation Revenue Forecast, as well as additional presentations specific to the revenue forecasts based on tolling traffic and ferry ridership.
Commissioners also will hear from experts offering insights into the future of transportation. The purpose of this session is to establish the big picture of potential impacts and changes to transportation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This discussion will kick off the commission’s year-long plan for assessing the possible ways in which the transportation system will evolve at all levels in Washington state, such as potential changes in shared mobility, mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian access, teleworking, and congestion management.
The commission will first hear from the principal futurist at Seattle-based Teague, who will explore what the future of transportation might look like through the lens of technology and the passenger’s experience.
An expert panel will share their perspectives on various aspects of the new future for transportation. The panel will be moderated by Sabrina Minshall, executive director, Spokane Regional Transportation Council. Panel speakers include: Former Governor Chris Gregoire, currently the CEO of Challenge Seattle; Chris Mefford, CEO of Seattle-based Community Attributes; Mark Hallenbeck, director, University of Washington Transportation Center; and Dr. Susan Shaheen, professor, UC Berkeley, and director, Resilient and Innovative Mobility Initiative.
The panel will address such topics as: what travel data is telling us; what the foreseeable impacts will be to shared mobility, transit, and social equity; what the broader, long-term economic considerations are for COVID-19, including private sector impacts and anticipated shifts; and, opportunities for re-focusing long-term transportation system planning and re-inventing the “commute.”
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/
High fire danger season expected - use caution
- Written by Carlye Baity, Clerk of the Board/Public Records Coordinator, Chelan County Commissioners
Public Safety Announcement – June 29, 2020
Resolution 2020-70 was passed by the Chelan County Commissioners that the designation of the Fire Hazard Level will be High beginning on Monday June 29, 2020.
Remember that Fireworks are prohibited throughout Chelan County.
As of Monday June 1, 2020, open burning was closed. This includes natural vegetation and yard debris. This restriction remains in place until October 1, 2020
Attended recreational campfires are allowed at private residences and hosted campgrounds in approved “campfire areas”. Have a shovel and water readily available on site to suppress the fire.
“Campfire area” is an outdoor fire-burning area for recreational fires where natural wood materials other than rubbish can be burned. The campfire area must have all combustible material removed down to mineral soil and shall have a containment area of either rock, metal, concrete or any other noncombustible material and shall not be more than thirty-six inches in diameter and twenty-four inches high. All combustible material one and one-half feet surrounding the campfire area shall be removed. Fuel for the recreational residential campfire shall not extend above the edge of the campfire containment area.
No Household trash or garbage shall be burned outdoors at residences at any time.
Burn barrels are illegal and are not permitted.
Governor appoints Spokane’s Kelly Fukai to the State Transportation Commission
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC Executive Director
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Kelly Fukai to serve on the Washington State Transportation Commission. A lifelong resident of Spokane, Fukai has worked in the aviation, energy, electrical and electronic manufacturing fields, and is currently the manager of Public and External Affairs at Spokane International Airport.
Fukai’s six-year term starts on July 1, joining the commission during unprecedented times with tremendous challenges facing our state and transportation system. With the life-changing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic comes an opportunity for state leaders to begin shaping a transportation system for the future that reflects a new era of transport. Fukai is poised to take that on and assist in advancing a new vision for our state’s transportation network.
“Our transportation system is in the midst of transformational change. I am excited to work with our elected officials, agencies, and communities to address the opportunities and challenges in the evolution of transportation.” Fukai said.
Fukai brings over 20 years of experience in leading and working with diverse groups in the development of collaborative and comprehensive plans and policies that grow necessary infrastructure, enhance economic and workforce development, and support community interests.
She joins six other commissioners from around the state who are charged with state transportation policy development, assessing how the entire transportation system works across the state, and issuing the state’s 20-year Transportation Plan. The commission also serves as the state tolling authority and leads special projects directed by the Legislature, such as the Road Usage Charge Assessment, and the Autonomous Vehicle Work Group.
“Transportation is the heart of our community’s health and economic vitality. It connects us to our family and friends, provides access to necessary goods and services, and broadens our perspectives through exposure to new places and experiences,” Fukai said. “I am honored to work alongside our communities to ensure the resiliency of our future transportation system.”
Fukai replaces former commissioner Joe Tortorelli who served two terms on the commission.
Chelan community siren test scheduled for July 1st
- Written by Brandon Asher, CFR
At noon on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 Chelan Fire and Rescue will be doing a test activation of its community siren.
After floating the idea of creating community awareness going into a predicted bad fire season, we were met with overwhelming support from the community of reactivating the siren.
The siren will only activate when Chelan Fire and Rescue is on 2nd alarm or greater wildland or structure fires. In these situations, we have requested all available manpower and equipment from all 5 of our stations.
This will serve notice to the community to be prepared for a larger wildland fire that could potentially be threatening the safety of our citizens and visitors. It also serves notice that there could be a delay in other responses due to having to break a truck away from the current emergency.
There will not be a weekly test of the siren as we understand that it is loud and people may wonder what it is for.
After this Wednesday, if the siren goes off, take a quick look at your surroundings and look for smoke.
Every effort will be made to update our social media pages and other media partners with as accurately and timely of information as the emergency allows.
See our previous story: Chelan Fire and Rescue contemplating extending siren uses
Local law enforcement will not enforce mandatory mask wearing proclamation from state
- Written by North Central Washington Law Enforcement Leadership Group
In response to many inquiries on the Governor’s recent proclamation regarding face coverings, we want to communicate we will continue to focus on crimes and criminals which impact public safety.
The statewide face covering order is a public health and safety measure, it is not a mandate for local law enforcement response.
We encourage our community to take the necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of all.
OK to wear a mask with concealed carry
- Written by Jan Brincat, Assistant to Sheriff Brian Burnett, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett advises on June 24, 2020, after receiving news of the Governor’s recent proclamation regarding face coverings, he has received many inquiries regarding wearing a mask while carrying a concealed firearm.
Carrying a concealed firearm while wearing a mask is authorized providing the carrier has a valid Concealed Pistol License, and follows RCW 9.41.050. Keeping that in mind, also be sure to review RCW 9.41.300 for information on areas where firearms are permitted.
Following is the link to the cited RCW’s: https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41
Goals for under-represented firms established for federally funded projects
- Written by Jackie Bayne, Office of Equal Opportunity, WSDOT
WSDOT to host virtual public meetings and teleconferences July 6, 8, and 10
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation is proposing new overall goals for disadvantaged business participation on all federally funded projects and is accepting written comments on the proposals through Friday, July 24.
The purpose of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program is to create a level playing field for firms owned and operated by disadvantaged individuals wanting to participate in federally assisted highway, transit, and aviation programs. To qualify as a DBE, a firm must be a for-profit business that is at least 51 percent owned by an individual or individuals who are women, part of a federally recognized racial minority group, or otherwise socially and economically disadvantaged. Qualifying firms must be certified by the Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises to participate in the DBE program.
The proposed overall DBE goals are available at:
- Federal Highways Administration funded projects (pdf 233 kb) – 19% DBE participation
- Federal Transit Administration funded projects (pdf 211 kb) – 4.8% DBE participation
- Federal Aviation Administration funded projects (pdf 236 kb) – 10.4% DBE participation
The goals are for projects from Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2023.
WSDOT is inviting contractors, labor and trade organizations, small and disadvantaged businesses, and others interested in working with the agency to attend one of its upcoming informational meetings regarding the proposed DBE goals.
Comments on the proposed goals will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, July 24, and can be mailed to:
Title VI & Equity Analyst
WSDOT, Office of Equal Opportunity
P.O. Box 47314
Olympia, WA 98504-7314