Washington only works when it creates infrastructure that gives us all an opportunity to succeed. The key to a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system is to face economic reality and the changing preferences of our state’s residents. We can provide all Washingtonians with the freedom to get around safely, efficiently, and affordably by focusing our investments around three key principles: fix it first, more transit, and build great, healthy communities.
- From 2001 to 2009, young people between the ages of 16–34 drove less, cutting miles driven by 23%.
- AARP estimates that 1 in 5 people age 65+ do not drive and more than 50% of these non-drivers stay home due to lack of transportation options.
- Fixing a road that is already worn out can cost three times as much as keeping a road in good condition with regular maintenance.
- Road and bridge repair projects create 17 percent more jobs per billion dollars than building new highway miles.
- New transit and bicycle infrastructure both generate 40 percent more jobs per dollar invested than similar spending on new highways.
- Less than 2% of the state’s $9.8 billion transportation budget is allocated to keeping buses and trains running.
- Twelve transit agencies have had to reduce service since 2009.
- 13% of all trips and 10% of all miles traveled are made by bicycle or on foot; yet, bicycle and pedestrian projects get less than 1% of the state’s transportation budget.
- In Seattle, a household can save an estimated $11,622 each year by riding transit instead of driving.
- Transportation accounts for more than half of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Fix It First
- Prioritize new highway investments to fix bridges and roads, and maintain and replace our ferry system: at least $300 million annually.
- Increase direct state investments and authorize new local funding tools to enable local governments to repair, maintain, and improve local roads, traffic signals, and facilities for safe biking and walking.
- Adopt a Fix It First policy to guide state investments and federal funds allocation.
- Invest in strategic road projects that will increase the movement of people and goods, create jobs, and improve the health, safety and sustainability of our communities, and have realistic financing plans that are fiscally responsible.
- Increase direct state funding for transit, and intercity rail operations and maintenance, from diversified revenue sources, to maintain current service levels: $400 million annually.
- Invest in strategic transit improvements to accommodate anticipated population growth.
- Authorize a diverse menu of additional local or regional revenue options for all transit agencies, including a local option motor vehicle excise tax (MVET).
Build Great, Healthy Communities
- Provide grants for local governments to implement Complete Streets, Safe Routes to Schools and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure: $150 million annually.
- Establish an Equitable Transit Communities grant program to incentivize affordable housing near high-capacity transit stations: $50 million annually for local governments to use on transportation improvements.
- Invest in clean water infrastructure to reduce polluted stormwater runoff: $75 million annually.
- Create a Deputy Secretary for Sustainable Communities within WSDOT to make sure that policies to improve transportation choices, housing, health status and environment are coordinated throughout state government.
- Adopt a plan to ensure that the transportation system meets the state’s greenhouse gas emission limits.