OLYMPIA – State and regional plans to address future transportation needs are the focus of the State Transportation Commission’s meeting next week in Olympia. The meeting includes briefings on three regional long-range plans, development of the state’s Active Transportation Plan, status of the Highway System Plan update, and planning efforts underway to bring High Speed Rail to Washington.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. both Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18, at the Transportation Building, 310 Maple Park Ave. SE, on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. The meeting is open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during public comment periods at the end of each day.
The emphasis on long-range transportation planning at this meeting reflects the commission’s commitment to on-going implementation of WTP 2040 and Beyond, the statewide transportation plan, which the commission adopted in December 2018. The plan set the stage for identifying projects, investment strategies, and responsibilities for tackling critical needs statewide. It provides guidance for local and state plans to work in concert to keep Washington moving. This agenda looks in depth at how WTP 2040 and Beyond has influenced regional and state plans, including those from Thurston County Regional Planning Council, Island County Regional Transportation Planning Organization, and Peninsula Regional Transportation Planning Organization.
On Tuesday morning, the commission will hear an update on the state’s toll facilities, including the State Route 99 tunnel performance, and traffic and revenue updates for all tolled facilities. Later, the co-author of Pricing Roads, Advancing Equity, will talk about how several North American cities, including Seattle; Vancouver, British Columbia; San Francisco and Los Angeles, are exploring downtown congestion pricing as a way to solve several urban transportation problems at once, including the opportunity to improve transportation options in places that have been underserved.
Tuesday afternoon, the Washington State Department of Transportation will brief the commission on how the agency’s collaborative approach with Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Planning Organizations provides an opportunity to rethink how to prioritize, program and fund investments in the transportation system. Presentations also will be given by WSDOT staff on development of an Active Transportation plan and the process being used for the Highway System Plan update.
Wednesday morning WSDOT staff will provide an overview of the work to date by the states of Oregon and Washington, the province of British Columbia, and multiple other private and public partners to examine the options for regional High Speed Rail.
Finally, Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar will present a state and national perspective on Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT). An integrated way to improve safety, mobility, and operations efficiency, CAT enables all modes of transportation to work together through interdependent vehicle and systems automation and information exchange.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/