Public invited to review draft transportation plan for 2040 & beyond

Here’s your chance to have a say in the framework that ensures transportation plans and investments for local streets and roadways, state highways, transit, ferries, sidewalks, bike lanes, air, barge, and rail all work together to keep people and freight moving safely and efficiently.

The public is invited to review and comment on the draft Washington Transportation Plan – 2040 and Beyond, just released by the Washington State Transportation Commission.

The WTP 2040 and Beyond is a statewide policy plan addressing the six statutorily-mandated transportation goals promoting economic vitality, mobility, safety, preservation, environmental health, and stewardship. The draft plan is available at WTP2040andBeyond.com or by calling 360.705.7070.  Comments, due by Sept. 20, 2018, can be submitted on the website or by email to Comments@WTP2040andBeyond.com, or mailed to the Transportation Commission at PO Box 47308, Olympia, WA, 98504-7308.

Transportation Commission Chair Jerry Litt said a regular refresh of the plan is a chance to take stock of what has changed since it was last updated in January 2015. “The pace of change, especially in transportation technologies, is picking up. It’s important to regularly look at emerging issues to be sure we’re on the right track.”

Emerging technology is one of three big uncertainties the commission highlights in WTP 2040 and Beyond. The other two are: system resiliency in light of extreme weather events and natural disasters like earthquakes, and how to pay for transportation. “We’re dealing with some big issues that are going to affect all of us in some way,” Litt added. “Transportation affects every aspect of our daily lives. There are some hard choices in front of us and we need to make smart, informed decisions.”

The commission reached out to a broad group of organizations for input in developing the draft plan. The 27 members of the WTP Advisory Group include regional planning organizations, state agencies, tribal and transit representatives, business and port associations, city and county associations, transportation and planning advocates and others.

“We relied on insights from advisory group members to help us understand transportation issues from the perspectives of their many different constituents,” noted Commissioner Hester Serebrin. “We will strive to ensure that underrepresented communities have a voice at the table in order to develop a plan that supports transportation all across Washington.”

Commission staff are holding meetings around the state to share the draft WTP 2040 and Beyond plan. A list of meeting dates and locations is on the project website.

Commissioner Debbie Young encouraged people to learn more about the plan and provide input. “This plan will shape how we think about transportation problems and solutions, from rural Washington to our biggest cities. Input now will help make sure we hear everyone’s perspective.”

The Commission must adopt an updated plan and present it to the State Legislature and Governor Inslee by January 2019.

- Washington State Transportation Commission