Transportation Commission Office – PO Box 47308 – Olympia, WA 98504-7308
Date: July 8, 2020
Contact: Reema Griffith, Transportation Commission Executive Director, 360-705-7070
Topics include future of transportation, COVID-19 impacts, and tolling
OLYMPIA – Planning for future transportation needs is the focus of the Washington State Transportation Commission’s July meeting, which will take place in two parts on Wednesday, July 15, and Tuesday, July 21.
The July 15 meeting includes development of the state’s Active Transportation Plan and details on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted public transportation and freight movement. The July 21 meeting includes updates on the state’s toll facilities and evaluation of potential low-income tolling program options for the I-405/SR 167 Express Toll Lanes corridor.
Both meetings start at 9 a.m. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted virtually using GoToWebinar. People interested in attending can find participation instructions and a link to register on the commission website. Pre-registration is required to attend each day.
The Wednesday, July 15, meeting topics reflect the commission’s commitment to on-going implementation of the statewide transportation plan, “Washington Transportation Plan 2040 and Beyond.” Washington State Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary Marshall Elizer will discuss how the department’s collaborative approach with metropolitan and regional transportation planning organizations reexamines how transportation investments are prioritized and programmed across the state.
WSDOT staff will share details on the development of the state’s Active Transportation Plan. The commission also will hear regional transportation plan updates from three regional transportation planning organizations: the Peninsula RTPO, the Thurston Regional Planning Council, and the Island RTPO.
WSDOT Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar will brief the commission on national developments in advancing 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.
After a lunch break, the commission continues its information gathering series on “The Future of Transportation Post-COVID.” The first panel will report how transit agencies in the state have responded to the pandemic and might face future challenges. The second panel will explore how the pandemic has affected freight, including the rail, trucking, and maritime sectors, and what changes may lie ahead.
The meeting continues its second session on Tuesday, July 21, with an update on the commission’s study of potential low-income tolling program options for the Interstate 405/State Route 167 express toll lanes corridor. At the direction of the Legislature, the commission is heading up a project team that will provide a status update, including results of a nationwide scan of toll discount programs and sharing possible opportunities and challenges for implementing such a program in Washington state.
Next, Alan Hoffman, the co-author of “Pricing Roads, Advancing Equity,” will talk about how road pricing strategies can be a means to solve several urban transportation problems at once, including redressing systemic inequities. This will include how several North American cities, including Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, are including equity considerations as they explore downtown congestion pricing strategies.
Later in the day, staff from the Puget Sound Gateway Program will discuss funding for the SR 509 and SR 167 Extension Projects and the potential for a route jurisdiction transfer, once the Gateway project is complete.
The meeting will conclude with an update on the state’s tolled facilities. This will include details from the June 2020 transportation revenue forecast and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to each toll facility, as well as steps to address possible revenue shortfalls.
Public comment on items on the commission’s agenda will be accepted via email. Comments should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments received by 4 p.m. the day before the meeting, will be provided to commission members electronically before the meeting. Those received after that deadline will be provided to commissioners after the meeting.
All presentations will be available on the commission’s website before the meeting. For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/