Transportation Commission to discuss pandemic effects on travel, next generation highways

Transportation Commission Office – PO Box 47308 – Olympia, WA 98504-7308 – 360-705-7070

Contact: Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director, 360-705-7070 (Olympia)

OLYMPIA – Travel trends that have emerged during the pandemic will be among the topics of discussion during the Washington State Transportation Commission meeting next week. The commission will also discuss how state highway right of way can be used to meet clean energy, reliability, resiliency, and connectivity goals. In addition, the Puget Sound Regional Council will provide a briefing of its draft Regional Transportation Plan.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. both Tuesday, Feb. 15, and Wednesday, Feb. 16. Due to limitations related to COVID-19, this meeting will be virtual using Zoom. People interested in attending can register on the Commission’s website. The meeting will be broadcast live on TVW.

Highlights of Tuesday’s presentations include:

  • Transportation Trends Emerging from COVID: Location-based data and analytics such as traffic conditions, road safety, and parking availability provide insights into transportation trends resulting from the impacts of COVID.
  • Gasoline Superusers: Who they are and why they are critical to meeting climate goals: Colutra, a national environmental advocacy group based in Seattle, will share results of a study that explores the relationship between “gasoline superusers” (drivers in the top 10% of fossil fuel consumption) and climate goals.
  • Next Generation Highways – A Reimagined Interstate: This briefing describes efforts that are underway across the country to advance the co-location of utilities and technology within the state highway right of way.
  • SR 520 Bridge Self-Insurance Evaluation: Staff will present the results of a recent evaluation that assessed the costs, benefits and risks of pursuing a self-insurance option to cover debt payments on the State Route 520 Bridge in the event tolling revenues are disrupted.

Highlights of Wednesday’s presentations include:

  • 2021 Ferries Performance Measures Report: Washington State Ferries will share recent performance results from a variety of measures that track its progress meeting 17 capital, operational and customer performance goals.
  • Puget Sound Regional Council – Regional Transportation Plan: PSRC staff will provide a review of its plan, which sets forth a regional strategy for a wide variety of investments and services that make up the region’s transportation system.
  • Washington’s Maritime Industry Priorities: Representatives of Washington’s maritime industry will discuss current challenges and opportunities facing the industry in our state.

The commission will take public comment at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16. Those wishing to speak can sign up during the meeting by posting their name in the Q&A box on-screen. Written comments can also be submitted via email at:


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information: Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations may request written materials in alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility accommodations, or other reasonable accommodations by the Commission Office at 360-705-7070 or Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the event sponsor through the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1.

Title VI Notice to Public
It is the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) policy to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with WSDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). For additional information regarding Title VI complaint procedures and/or information regarding our non-discrimination obligations, please contact OEO’s Title VI Coordinator 360-705-7082.