human plan

Addresses transportation and mobility access for people with special needs

OLYMPIA – Four years in the making, the updated Human Services Transportation Plan is now available. The report is the handiwork of subject matter experts, transportation providers, social services organizations, tribes, the public and other stakeholders.

Every day, people across the state rely on human-services transportation as their sole source of access to jobs, school, medical appointments, the grocery store and much more. The plan identifies gaps and barriers that create mobility challenges for people with special transportation needs. It also provides strategies for addressing those barriers while also highlighting innovations and emerging trends.

“It’s critical that everyone in our state has convenient access to reliable transportation, no matter their age, income, physical ability or where they live,” said Public Transportation Division Director Brian Lagerberg. “This plan provides our partners with a blueprint for serving the people who need efficient and specialized transportation options the most.”

The plan informs local and regional plans while guiding future investments in special needs transportation for communities across the state. WSDOT collaborated with the Disability Mobility Initiative to better understand the experiences of those who cannot drive and face barriers to transportation access that many may take for granted. These experiences bring the plan to life and show a larger picture of the consequences of transportation challenges faced by many Washingtonians.

The plan is available online in English, Spanish and Russian.

wsdot logo greenOLYMPIA – Labor Day often heralds the final moments of summer before fall activities begin. For people who plan to travel on the popular three-day weekend, now is the time to make travel plans and expect congestion on most routes.

The Washington State Department of Transportation encourages travelers to consult the holiday traffic volume charts to determine best times to travel, including times to avoid if possible. The Interstate 5 Canadian border forecast is not included due to unreliable pandemic travel data the last several years. Travel charts are based on 2019 pre-pandemic volumes.

Travelers should also check ahead for any COVID-19 safety requirements at their destinations or stops along the way.

By following these steps, travelers can “know before they go” and plan ahead, whether they’re just traveling across town or across the state:

  • Get informed about WSDOT's online tools, including the WSDOT mobile app, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit online traveler information for traffic, weather, ferry schedules and a real-time travel map.
  • Follow WSDOT on social media, which includes several Twitter accounts and a Facebook page.
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Call 5-1-1 for updated road conditions.
  • Have a backup outdoor destination as parks and other outdoor recreation sites tend to fill up quickly on holiday weekends. If a site’s parking is full, never park along road shoulders, as this is unsafe for everyone on the roadway.
  • Allow extra time for travel to avoid rushing or distraction.

Highway construction paused

Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, Sept. 5 – to ease congestion. However, please stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place. And please give any emergency repair crews plenty of space to work safely.

Snoqualmie Pass

No construction is planned on I-90 from Friday, Sept. 2, until to Tuesday, Sept. 6. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect delays, especially eastbound on Friday and westbound on Monday (see charts for more detail). Text message alerts about significant delays are available by texting the words “WSDOT Snoqualmie” to 468311.

Tolling

In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, Sept. 5, on the State Route 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The I-405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on the Monday holiday. Out-of-town travelers, including those using rental cars, can learn about toll roads and temporary account payment options on the Good To Go! visitors page visitors page.  

Ferry travel People boarding a state ferry by vehicle should prepare for long waits. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 1-3, and eastbound, Sunday through Tuesday, Sept. 4-6. Customers also can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger.

  • All riders should double check the sailing schedules as some routes are operating on timetables that are different than prior to the pandemic.
  • Visit the Washington State Ferries website for more details on vehicle reservations, ferry email alerts, checking terminal conditions and COVID-19 travel updates.

Trains, airports and transit

Travelers making a trip by train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:

  • 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. The federal CDC still recommends wearing face masks on indoor transit, but they are no longer required. Visit www.amtrakcascades.com or call 800–USA–RAIL for details.

For information about flying via Washington state airports, visit  www.wsdot.wa.gov/travel/aviation/airports-list. For questions regarding WSDOT-sponsored airports, email Paul Wolf, State Airport Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

electric vehicle chart

Plug in your charging station site recommendations by July 15

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Transportation would love to hear your thoughts on the proposed plan for electric vehicles in the state, including the location of future charging stations.

WSDOT is developing a statewide electric vehicle infrastructure plan by Aug. 1, 2022, to unlock federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program funds. Once the Federal Highway Administration approves the new Washington State Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment in fall 2022, WSDOT could receive $71 million to act on the plan. The main purpose of the plan is to build out alternative fuel corridors in a way that links electric vehicle fast charging stations every 50 miles on major highways and within one mile of exit ramps.

People can add their picks for charging station locations by visiting the interactive map and can give their input through this online survey. WSDOT is seeking feedback from the wider community on the Washington State Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment.

To meet the August deadline, comments and questions should be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 15, 2022.


wsdot logo greenOnline open house available through Sept. 5

OLYMPIA – An online open house is now available for travelers, freight haulers, business owners and others to provide feedback on the future of safety rest areas across Washington state. Input will be used to make decisions about the program’s maintenance and operations and to update the Washington State Department of Transportation’s strategic plan for rest areas.

The online open house is available through 5 p.m. Sept. 5 and allows participants to learn more about the strategic plan process as well as leave comments or feedback.

“This outreach will inform our strategic plan, which shapes the overall operations of our 47 safety rest areas,” said Safety Rest Area Planning Manager Angela Vigil. “It’s an important conversation as we work with our regional maintenance crews, agency leaders and partners on priorities and establish a clearer vision for the future of this program for all travelers.”

The public will have the opportunity to comment on safety, facility conditions, freight parking, site operations, traveler needs, WSDOT’s free coffee program and funding challenges. The agency will begin writing the draft strategic plan this fall, which also will be available for public review and comment. The plan is expected to be finalized in spring 2023.

Online open house information

When:            June 27 to Sept. 5

Where:           Engage.wsdot.wa.gov/safety-rest-areas/

Details:           The online open house is available to access 24/7, whenever best fits individual      schedules. The open house includes:    

  • Strategic plan information
  • Understanding the Safety Rest Area Program
  • Timeline and next steps

Free, temporary internet access is available at several sites across the state for those who do not have broadband service. A list of sites can be found online at: www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-state-drive-in-wifi-hotspots-location-finder/

About WSDOT’s Safety Rest Area Program:

WSDOT owns and operates 47 safety rest areas statewide. While services at each site vary, most offer general visitor information, electric vehicle charging stations, a place for travelers to rest (8 hours for vehicles and 11 for freight haulers in accordance with federal law), picnic areas, restrooms, drinking water, RV dumping stations, vending machines, and free coffee as part of WSDOT’s free coffee program by local volunteer groups.

wsdot logoWSDOT tools available for best times to travel on key routes

OLYMPIA – With the Fourth of July holiday fast approaching, the Washington State Department of Transportation’s highly anticipated travel charts are now available to help people plan ahead. The weekend prior to Monday, July 4 is expected to see increased travel on many key routes including Interstate-5, I-90 and ferry service throughout the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands.

The closure of the U.S.-Canadian border the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in unreliable travel data and wait times for travelers. For this reason, WSDOT will not produce travel charts for the border crossing this year. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination remains a requirement for entry into Canada.

WSDOT encourages travelers to “know before they go,” and follow these tips whether traveling across town or the beautiful Evergreen State:  

  • Get informed about WSDOT's online tools, including the WSDOT mobile app, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit online traveler information for traffic, weather, ferry schedules and a real-time travel map.
  • Follow WSDOT's social media accounts, such as several Twitter accounts and the agency Facebook page.
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Have a backup outdoor destination if your first choice is full. If parking lots are full, find an alternative site and never park along road shoulders, as this is unsafe for everyone on the roadway.
  • Allow extra time for travel to avoid rushing or distraction.
  • Carry extra food and water as well as extra masks and hand sanitizer as an added precaution for emergencies or unexpected stops.

Highway construction paused

Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Friday, July 1 – to ease congestion. However, Revive I-5 work which requires multiple lane closures in downtown Seattle will take place beginning 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 1 through 6:30 a.m. Monday, July 4. Please stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place. And please give any emergency repair crews plenty of space to work safely.

Snoqualmie Pass

No construction or lane closures are planned on I-90 from Friday, July 1, until Tuesday, July 5. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect eastbound delays beginning on Thursday, June 30, then westbound Tuesday, July 5 (see charts for more detail). Receive text message alerts about significant delays by texting the number 468311 with the words "WSDOT Snoqualmie."

Tolling

In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect Saturday through Monday, July 2-4, on the SR 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The I-405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on the weekend and Monday holiday.

Ferry travel

People boarding a state ferry by vehicle should prepare for long waits. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound Thursday and Friday, June 30 and July 1, then eastbound, Monday and Tuesday, July 4-5. Customers also can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger.

  • All riders should double check the sailing schedules as some routes are operating on timetables that are different than prior to the pandemic.
  • Visit the Washington State Ferries website for more details on vehicle reservations, rider alerts, checking terminal conditions and COVID-19 travel updates.
  • The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing face masks on indoor transit, but they are no longer required.

Trains, airports and transit

Travelers making a trip by train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:

  • Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. Trains are running between Seattle and Eugene, Oregon. Buses are operating for travel between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Masks are encouraged, but not required on all trains and buses. Visit www.amtrakcascades.com/ or call 800-USA-RAIL for tickets.
  • For information about traveling via state-sponsored airports, visit wsdot.wa.gov/travel/aviation/airports-list or call 360-788-7437.
  • Check with your local public transit agencies for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays.

wsdot logoThe March 2022 edition of WSDOT’s quarterly performance report (Gray Notebook 85) is now available online. While numerous performance measures are reported throughout the Gray Notebook, highlights from this issue include:

  • WSDOT's Electronic Screening System helped the trucking industry avoid 230,000 travel hours and $28.9 million in operating costs in 2021
  • Amtrak Cascades had a 46% increase in ridership to 251,000 passengers in 2021 compared to 172,000 in 2020
  • WSDOT and partners recorded a minimum of 8,683 animal crossings in the Snoqualmie Pass East Project area in 2020 and 2021
  • WSDOT began monitoring nine new wetland and stream mitigation sites on 32.7 acres in 2021
  • WSDOT’s and Washington State Ferries' combined agency-wide recordable incident rate increased 29.5% in 2021
  • In the first quarter of 2022, WSDOT Incident Response teams provided an estimated $21.3 million in economic benefit by reducing the effects of incidents on drivers
  • Washington State Ferries completed 27,955 (98.8%) of its 28,306 regularly scheduled trips in the third quarter of FY2022
  • WSDOT advertised 58 of 143 Pre-existing Funds projects during the third quarter of the 2021-2023 biennium

Gray Notebook editions can accessed at the Gray Notebook archive page.

wsdot logoState agencies cleaned nearly 22,000 miles of Washington’s roads in 2021

OLYMPIA – Every year, more than 12 million pounds of litter ends up on Washington’s roadways and up to 40% - almost 5 million pounds - comes from unsecured cargo blowing out of trucks and cars. This debris isn’t just unsightly, it’s dangerous to motorists, people who walk, bike or roll, and roadside workers. To recognize this, Washington is marking National Secure Your Load Day on June 6, which commemorates people whose lives were impacted or taken by unsecured loads and encourages drivers to properly secure their loads every time they drive.

“Washington is the most beautiful state in the country, and to keep it that way we all have to do our part to keep litter and debris off our public spaces,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. “Unsecured loads are a threat to our safety and to the health of our fellow Washingtonians. We’re reminding every driver about the importance of securing their cargo and keeping Washington litter free.”

Today marks the first anniversary of the We Keep Washington Litter Free campaign, which initially focused on alerting Washingtonians about the significant safety and environmental impacts of unsecured vehicle loads. The statewide Secure Your Load for Safer Roads program is a partnership between the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington Traffic Safety Commission aimed at increasing safety and reducing roadside litter.

“Last year, debris on highways caused about 300 traffic crashes and 30 injuries in Washington. So far this year, we’ve also seen two known fatalities related to unsecured loads. This is devastating because these crashes were all preventable,” said Sgt. Darren Wright, a public information officer with the Washington State Patrol. “It’s so important to properly secure your load before driving. Anything that flies off a moving vehicle is dangerous, and can even be deadly. In order to save lives, every driver in Washington needs to secure their vehicle load every time they drive.”

As a part of the annual campaign, state troopers are conducting emphasis patrols across the state for three consecutive weekends, starting June 10 and ending June 26. Drivers can get pulled over and ticketed if their loads are not properly secured in accordance with state law. Fines for littering and unsecured loads range from $50 to $5,000. If an item falls out and causes bodily harm or property damage, the driver could also face jail time. The largest fines are for “lit debris” — primarily cigarettes — and items that can cause vehicle crashes.

Roadside litter is an expensive and unrelenting problem in Washington. The Washington State Department of Transportation and Department of Ecology together spend $8.5 million a year on efforts to clean the state’s roads and highways. Last year, Ecology-funded pickup programs spent more than 125,000 hours collecting nearly 5.2 million pounds of litter and cleaning nearly 22,000 miles of road. In just the first four months of 2022, WSDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway volunteers and maintenance crews have already found and removed 136 tons of litter and debris from roadways and rights of way.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done with local government and state agencies to lessen the harmful environmental impacts of roadside litter, but the truth is that more litter is deposited every year than we can pick up,” said Amber Smith, statewide litter prevention coordinator at the Washington Department of Ecology. “Litter from unsecured vehicle loads affects every corner of Washington and can contain harmful chemicals or cause injuries to wildlife, as well as people. Please, help keep our roads safe, beautiful and litter free by making sure your cargo is properly secured before driving.”

Tarps, straps and cargo nets are easy and effective solutions for securing many types of vehicle loads and preventing road hazards. The Washington State Department of Ecology is piloting cargo net giveaway events in King, Thurston and Yakima counties in June. Up to 40 statewide retail hardware store partners will also share best practices and products to safely secure loads. 

In addition to unsecured loads, the We Keep Washington Litter Free campaign focuses on additional littering behaviors in several sub-campaigns. Statewide advertising for the 2022 Secure Your Load for Safer Roads campaign runs through June.

The public can lend a hand cleaning up roadside litter through WSDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program. Anyone interested in joining can learn more on the Adopt-a-Highway program webpage.

More information

travel map2022

Use WSDOT tools, allow extra travel time during popular travel weekend

OLYMPIA – With Memorial Day just around the corner, now’s the time to make a travel plan for this traditionally busy travel weekend.

For those who are traveling, consulting the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Memorial Day weekend traffic volume charts can help determine best times to travel on key routes, including times to avoid if possible. The Interstate 5 Canadian border forecast is not included in these charts because testing/vaccination requirements and the length of time the border has been open doesn’t allow for reliable forecasts at this point. Travelers should also check ahead for any COVID-19 safety requirements at their destinations or stops along the way.

By following these steps, travelers can “know before they go” and plan ahead, whether they’re just traveling across town or across the state:

  • Get informed about WSDOT's online tools, including the WSDOT mobile app, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit online traveler information for traffic, weather, ferry schedules and a real-time travel map.
  • Follow WSDOT on social media, such as several Twitter accounts and Facebook
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Call 5-1-1 for updated road conditions.
  • Have a backup outdoor destination as parks and other outdoor recreation sites tend to fill up quickly on holiday weekends. If a site’s parking is full, never park along road shoulders, as this is unsafe for everyone on the roadway.
  • Allow extra time for travel to avoid rushing or distraction.

Highway construction paused
Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, May 30 – to ease congestion. However, please stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place. And please give any emergency repair crews plenty of space to work safely.

Snoqualmie Pass
No lane closures or other construction is planned on I-90 from Friday, May 27, until to Tuesday, May 31. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect delays, especially eastbound on Friday, May 28, and westbound Monday, May 30 (see charts for more detail). Text message alerts about significant delays are available by texting the words “WSDOT Snoqualmie” to 468311.

Chinook and Cayuse passes
State Route123/Cayuse Pass is scheduled to reopen by 8 a.m. Friday, May 27, in time for Memorial Day weekend. Relentless winter weather with continued snowfall and high avalanche danger will keep State Route 410/Chinook Pass closed until it is safe to reopen. Travelers can check the Chinook Pass and Cayuse Pass online reports for updates. Both these passes close each winter due to weather and hazardous conditions.

Tolling
In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, May 30, on the SR 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The I-405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on the Monday holiday. Out-of-town travelers, including those using rental cars, can learn about toll roads and short-term account payment options on the Good to Go! visitors page visitors page.  

Ferry travel
People boarding a state ferry by vehicle should prepare for long waits. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound Thursday and Friday, May 26-27, and eastbound, Sunday and Monday, May 29-30. Customers also can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger.

  • All riders should double check the sailing schedules as some routes are operating on timetables that are different than prior to the pandemic.
  • Visit the Washington State Ferries website for more details on vehicle reservations, ferry email alerts, checking terminal conditions and COVID-19 travel updates.
  • The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing face masks on indoor transit, but they are no longer required.

Trains, airports and transit
Travelers making a trip by train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:

  • 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. The federal CDC still recommends wearing face masks on indoor transit, but they are no longer required. Visit amtrakcascades.com or call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
  • For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit wsdot.wa.gov/travel/aviation/airports-list or call 800-552-0666.
  • Check with your local public transit agencies for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run during holidays.

wsdot logoOLYMPIA – After more than two years, volunteer groups across the state can once again participate in the state’s free coffee program at selected safety rest areas, providing coffee to the traveling public.

The free coffee program promotes safe highways by providing coffee to reduce drowsy driving. Volunteer non-profit groups dispense the free coffee at 34 designated rest areas operated by the Washington State Department of Transportation. In addition to coffee, travelers get a chance to learn more about the local volunteer group and can also make a voluntary donation for the coffee. The popular program was shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic safety concerns.

Groups can now start making bookings for slots for Friday, May 20, through the end of the year by vising the program webpage for details (www.wsdot.wa.gov/about/contacts/rest-area-free-coffee-program). 

Participating groups should follow good sanitation and COVID prevention practices and follow https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/proclamations/21-14.3%20-%20COVID-19%20Vax%20WA%20Amendment%20%28tmp%29.pdf

Governor Inslee’s Amended Proclamation 12-14, including providing a declaration to WSDOT that the group meets the proclamation’s vaccine verification, exemptions and accommodations requirements (more details available online).

Free coffee program details:

  • An updated reservation system is available this year through email on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications also can be mailed (more details on the website).
  • Only coffee and other non-carbonated beverages can be dispensed; food cannot be part of the free coffee service.
  • Not every location has free coffee volunteers every day; service depends on volunteer group availability.
  • Some sites may not have volunteers scheduled on the first available weekend. Groups will have signs out at near coffee dispensing areas when they’re on site.

wsdot logoIt’s time for airports to submit their applications for the second round of 2021-2023 Airport Aid Program grants. The Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation Division anticipates awarding between $1.1 and $1.3 million in funding.

Airports can only apply for projects previously submitted through the Statewide Capital Improvement Program, also known as SCIP. The SCIP is an unconstrained prioritized list of projects entered by Washington’s 132 public-use airports that captures project requirements for airports to address individual airport needs.

To apply, airports can fill out the online application and airport aid application checklist. WSDOT requires airport aid grant assurances be submitted with the application package.

Applications are due Friday, May 15, no later than 5 p.m. Qualifying projects should be targeted for completion by June 30, 2023. Eligible projects may include work beginning after June 1, 2022.

WSDOT will prioritize applications based on the SCIP project scores.

Guidance and information regarding scoring is provided online in the WSDOT Airport Aid Grant Procedures Manual.

WSDOT will announce grant award decisions after June 1, 2022.

The next grant cycle begins July 2023.

Airport Transformation Grant Program

Starting this year there is also an Airport Transformation Grant Program. The purpose of the program is to support the transformation of Washington's public use airports to become more environmentally sustainable.

In October 2021, WSDOT Aviation announced that with its 2022 Airport Aid grant program, 10% of the annual program funds available will be dedicated to this program.

Sustainable aviation projects may include, but are not limited to, sustainable aviation fuel storage, electrification of ground support equipment, electric aircraft charging infrastructure, airport clean power production or electric vehicle charging stations whose infrastructure also supports ground support equipment and electric aircraft charging.

Projects will be evaluated on their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the modification of airport infrastructure to adopt clean forms of transportation, adoption of airport clean power generation, and/or modification of existing infrastructure resulting in less dependence on fossil fuels.

Projects not selected for funding for Airport Transformation Grants will automatically be considered for funding under a new sustainable aviation grant program that WSDOT Aviation will establish in 2022.

Information on how to apply for an Airport Transformation Grant can be found on WSDOT’s Aviation website.