Posts filed under ‘Safety’

Successes and Challenges

During their visit to East Wenatchee last month, the Transportation Commission viewed – and five Commissioners rode bicycles on – the Apple Capital Loop Trail. This 12 mile bicycle and pedestrian trail has grown in popularity and now attracts many non-motorized commuters as well as recreational users. As use has grown and function has shifted, the trail now faces access and safety challenges that stem from its success.

Click here to match the photos to locations on the trail. Apple Capital Loop Trail

Wenatchee Valley Transportation Council is currently developing a regional bicycle master plan that will include a focus on improving connections between the trail and city streets, including the locations illustrated in these photographs.

Thanks to Patrick Walker and Jeff Wilkens, WVTC Staff, for the bike tour and photos. 

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July 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Around the State

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Each year the Transportation Commission visits four or more cities around the state to learn about local transportation needs, challenges, and successes. On April 17 and 18 the Commission visited Mt. Vernon, LaConner and other Skagit County locations. Water defines geography in and around Skagit County.

Pictured here is Mt. Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau showing off the new Mt. Vernon River Walk, which adds a functioning transportation corridor, enhances livability and provides a tourism attraction, while also serving as a dike to protect downtown from Skagit River floods.

In the other picture, you see the Swinomish Channel in La Conner. This waterway is heavily used by industrial, commercial and recreational boaters and must be dredged regularly. Taking a cue from Mt. Vernon, La Conner also is enhancing its waterway along the Swinomish Channel with a boardwalk.

In June, the Commission will visit East Wenatchee and the surrounding vicinity in Douglas County and Chelan County.

Please tell us about the transportation challenges and successes in your community.       

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June 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Stewardship: Continuous Improvement, Careful Oversight

Stewardship is about making wise management and investment choices for the future, to ensure the system’s continued safety, mobility and connectivity. A key objective is to simultaneously preserve and maintain the existing system, while working to better manage it for optimum efficiency and effective movement of people and goods.

Stewardship encompasses accountability and performance measures, integration of land use and transportation policies, and protecting and preserving essential public facilities. Increasingly, technology is being employed to increase the efficiency of the existing system, while pricing strategies are being explored to address congestion and the financial sustainability of the system.

WTP 2030 includes Stewardship strategies organized in five broad categories:

  • Continue to Develop and Implement Performance Measures to Align with Federal Direction and Ensure Accountability
  • Use Technology to Realize Maximum Efficiency in the Movement of People and Goods
  • Review Regulations That Require Improvements to the Same Standard and Performance Level for Every Roadway
  • Strengthen the Integration Between Land Use and Transportation Decision-making
  • Ensure the Ability to Build and Expand Essential Public Facilities (e.g. interstate highways, airports, and intercity passenger rail)

How do we continue to ensure that the Stewardship Goal (to continuously improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of the transportation system) can be achieved?

In addition to leaving comments on this blog, we encourage you to use the online public input tool to tell us about the transportation issues and priorities that are important to you.

You can also read the WTP plan and related documents online.

October 20, 2010 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Transportation Safety: More than just traffic

Traffic safety is a huge priority for transportation officials in Washington. As a result of the efforts of staff in the state, Washington has become a national leader in traffic safety and has achieved considerable success through development and implementation of the Washington State Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Target Zero.

But while Target Zero concentrates on  highways and roads , the state, along with counties, cities and transit agencies also focus on safety related to waterways, aviation, transit, rail and other transportation systems and emergency preparedness. Our transportation system is diverse and complex and WTP 2030’s Safety strategies take into account all components of our transportation network.

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September 10, 2010 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Coming up in September: Regional Listening Sessions

The Transportation Commission wants to learn about your transportation priorities and ideas. As part of the WTP 2030 outreach process, the Commission will hold 5 Listening Sessions around the state in the month of September.

September 9, Vancouver

WSDOT Headquarters, 11018 NE 51st Circle (9am – noon)

September 14, Yakima

Harman Center, 101 North 65th Avenue (9am – noon)

September 23, Spokane

Downtown Spokane Library, 906 W Main Avenue (1pm-4pm)

September 29, Everett

Everett Transit Station, 3201 Smith Avenue, 4th Floor (9am – noon)

September 30, Bremerton

Norm Dicks Government Center, 345 6th Street (9am – noon)

The objectives of the Listening Sessions are to:

  • Actively engage the public and solicit input from across the state to help shape WTP 2030 – the state’s 20-year plan for transportation
  • Learn about regional and local perspectives on transportation system needs, challenges and opportunities to further inform the plan

You can read the plan and related documents at: 

http://wstc.wa.gov/WTP/default.htm

If you cannot make it to a Listening Session, please use the online public input tool to tell us about the transportation issues and priorities that are important to you. Comments will be accepted through October 15, 2010. You can also provide comment by email (wtp2030@wstc.wa.gov) or by mail (P.O. Box 47308, Olympia, WA 98504-7308).

Comments on the plan are welcome and encouraged on this blog. Let us know what you think.

August 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm 3 comments

Washington’s Future Transportation System Is Taking Shape

The Washington State Transportation Commission (Commission) has released a draft of the Washington Transportation Plan (WTP 2030) for public review and comment. The Commission led the development of WTP 2030 with ongoing engagement and input from a diverse Advisory Group and other partners throughout the state. You can view the draft plan on the Commission’s website.

WTP 2030 sets a 20-year course for Washington State’s transportation system. It identifies long-term funding shortfalls, service needs, and system-wide challenges along with recommended solutions and approaches aimed at moving the state’s transportation network into the future. Once finalized, the plan will be submitted to the Governor and the 2011 Legislature.

The Commission’s website also features an online public input tool that gives you the opportunity to comment on transportation issues and priorities as well as comment on specific portions of the plan. Comments will be accepted through October 15, 2010. You can also provide comment by e-mail (wtp2030@wstc.wa.gov)

August 2, 2010 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Young people choosing not to drive

It used to be that teenagers couldn’t wait to get their driver’s licenses and hit the road. But data from the Department of Transportation shows a trend that has shifted dramatically over the last 15 years.

A recent article in Ad Age, Is Digital Revolution Driving Decline in U.S. Car Culture?, discusses the decline.

In 1978, nearly half of 16-year-olds and three-quarters of 17-year-olds in the U.S. had their driver’s licenses, according to Department of Transportation data. By 2008, the most recent year data was available, only 31% of 16-year-olds and 49% of 17-year-olds had licenses, with the decline accelerating rapidly since 1998.

The article suggests several reasons for the downturn. The primary assertion is that the proliferation of wireless and mobile devices makes younger drivers more inclined to use public transportation rather than drive themselves. Additional factors include the increases in the minimum age for first-time licenses and graduated licensing programs, which place limits on teens driving alone and often the hours within which they can drive. Finally, the cost of buying a car and paying insurance premiums is too costly for many young drivers.

Washington State passed a law in 2001 that created an Intermediate Drivers’ License for 16-18 year olds and limited late night driving. The law was amended in 2010 to forbid teenagers with drivers’ instructions permits and intermediate drivers’ licenses from using wireless communications devices while operating a moving motor vehicle. With new and stricter laws to prevent distracted driving popping up everywhere those who want to text, talk, or work on their computers while commuting may choose to take the bus or train.

As the Streets Blog points out in their post on the Ad Age article, Younger People Driving Less, Auto Industry Getting Nervous, both the auto and insurance industries are concerned by the trends, as it means less business from the younger cohort of the population. It’s also interesting to think about what this trend means for the WTP 2030. If fewer young people are driving, that would take cars off the roads – but would also put more strain on our public transportation systems, in addition to an increased demand for wireless access on public transportation.

What do you think a decrease in younger drivers would mean for the roads and transit systems? Do you see this as a positive shift for commuters as a whole?

July 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm 5 comments


Welcome to the WTP Blog 2030

The Washington Transportation Plan (WTP 2030) is issued by the State Transportation Commission and serves as the state’s comprehensive and balanced transportation plan. The WTP establishes a 20-year vision for the development of the statewide transportation system, from state highways and ferries to sidewalks and bike paths, county roads, city streets, public transit, air and rail. The Washington State Transportation Commission (WSTC) provides a public forum for transportation policy development and has specifically established this blog to engage the general public and all other key stakeholders in a dialogue about statewide transportation priorities. The Commission encourages the sharing and discussing of information about the content and development of the WTP 2030. This is not a WSDOT blog; no comments on specific projects or traffic will be posted.

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